Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Blessing and a Curse

Anyone who has been gifted with a vivid imagination is, in my experience, both blessed and cursed in equal measure.

Let me be clear, I love my imagination. I love being able to disappear into secret worlds and be surrounded by fascinating, courageous and sometimes downright evil men and women. I love the thrill of witnessing a colossal battle, or a gentle moment in violent times, or a heart-warming love story. I love being moved by moments of profound brevity and joyous levity.

When reality gets to much, I vanish. I cease to be me, and suddenly I am thrust in a world where everyone's problems are so much greater than my own, and that makes whatever situation I am facing all the more bearable.

Yet there is a downside to all this wonder. Lack of sleep for one. I slept like a log almost all Sunday because, for the first time in a long time, my brain just shut off (until about 7:00 in the morning when I had a heart-stopping nightmare). Last night, I barely slept. My mind was a whirl and things and people and places and events kept me up the whole damned night.

There is an even greater curse. That is, none of it is real. In reality, people are never as brave, or as forthright, or as honest, or honourable. The truly good person is rarely found. Situations one might often imagine themselves in never occur. That man you imagine holding you is never there. That award you imagine winning is not even a real award. That career you've been dreaming of is impossible to acquire. There's no use for swords and armour any more. What code of honour? Real life is, for the most part, quite dull. People have forgotten the wonderment of being a child and looking at the world with fresh eyes; seeing the potential and magic therein (I am waging a personal battle against that - there is still magic and wonder to be had in the world! There is, dammit!).

Imagination can be a remedy for this. It is, really. If life gets me down, I imagine myself a different one. That is a double-edged blade, though. The return to reality something of a let-down. Goodbye adventure and wonder. Hello cold wind and unsmiling crowds.

I think I'm going insane. I'll disappear into the Sierran Tundra now....

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