Edge of Reality; 10"x8" acrylic on canvas
“The poet’s pen/…gives to airy nothing/A local habitation and a name.”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (act 5, scene 1, lines 15-17)
I’m reminded of dream-spinning, of the ability to create something from nothing. We are, as creative beings, conjurers of magic, giving that which exists only in our minds — loose ideas, emotions, memories — a name, a representation in the physical, through word and song and paint and pen.
And how are we to define this “reality” we live in? Aren’t our dreams, while we’re in them, as real as daytime? What separates that fiction from the fact we live in? I’m drawn to the idea of ‘cold, hard reality,’ that place we must return to when we dream too much, when people say our feet have left the ground. Why? What marks this reality as the one that matters, over the one we dream? And aren’t we allowed to escape into the thoughts in our heads?
If I can take these thoughts, these bits I think, and give them voice, give them, as the quote suggests, a place — a physical place — and a name, then does that make them real? Or does me thinking them make them real?
What happens when we hit the edge of reality, where one fades into the other, the magic floating in that rift? Do we, like the early explorers believed, simply fall off the edge of the world in the dark, swirling abyss of — what?
I think that sitting down and showing up and crafting that magic with our hands is one of the most amazing things in the world. I feel it when I make journals — when I take paper and thread and board and create a book that someone can hold and explore in — when I do paintings — a white canvas transformed into a message — when I take a blinking cursor and craft words in an order that says something.
Think on this today. Give an “airy nothing” a solid place in reality. It’s the first step in living your dreams.