Thursday, July 06, 2006


Whimsy. A flight of the imagination. When we day dream, we often indulge in whimsical fantasies. One of my favorite whimsies is that I’m attached to these giant wings floating briskly over the treetops from Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I can go there anytime and feel the warm updraft pick me up, and, sometimes, if I’m very deeply into the day dream, I can rise on this updraft in circles like the ospreys and hawks do here on my creek.

A prism sits in the window near my deck where the sun in winter shines through. What fanciful whimsical patterns it makes on the floor and table and across my legs! The reality of the spectrum of color in my life is so much bigger than the prism, a 4 inch piece of cheap glass. I can lose myself between the violet and blue, totally relaxed. Or, I can look deeply into the yellow and feel revived and energized. The red make me feel beautiful.

A journey made on a whimsy is a passage into your dreams, which are not always what you wish them to be. We spirit ourselves away from our current abode into a different world, a world where life is different, a world where we live in perpetual bliss. However, like dreams, which come from our subconscious where both good and evil live, a whimsical journey often turns into a flight back to reality. We cannot hold onto that fantasy for long; it fades and we fall.

Some people live from one whimsy to another, believing that the next one will be permanent, will become reality. Whimsy doesn’t necessarily require money, no matter what the VISA ads may say. Whimsy only requires that you cease to recognize the real world with its boons and consequences. Those who use mind altering drugs often live in whimsy until they become addicts, and the overwhelming need for another fix brings the person back to painful reality.

A whimsy addict, though, is a multiple personality, living one period in the hopes that this flight of fancy will be the career of success, living another period in the realization that no career can bring the happiness so direly sought. Yet, tomorrow’s dreams and hopes will bring another whimsy, and the person will be off to chase that castle into the warm updraft and soar above the mountains. Landings can be cruel and painful.

Whimsy is following dreams which have no basis in reality, hoping for success where you have made no preparation. Some whimsies are good, we do not expect them to become reality. I often use whimsy to relax, drifting slowly on the air with the sun on my back. I also use whimsy to help me create things – painting birdhouses, making jewelry, writing – imagining what I would like to see in my back yard if I owned a Victorian house or a I.M. Pei building. When I make jewelry, I live a different life, becoming the person who would like an onyx and crystal necklace or just a pair of earring to brighten a casual picnic day. When I write, however, I use whimsy to keep me typing because the reality is that the more I write, the better writer I become.

Whimsy, like any other part of our world, can be a creative or destructive force. I’m sure I use it both ways.

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