Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
– Langston Hughes
A friend once told me that he’d given up on dreams. His main goal in life was to pay his bills on time, keep his head down and get through the day. Although I understood, my heart was breaking for him. In his youth, he’d lived his dreams daily and had great adventures that most of us can only imagine. But then the world changed irrevocably changing the course of his life, and he had to find a new way to be. He is still looking. This is his reality.
So what do we do when everything we thought we wanted, or everything we actually had disappears? What do we do when we can no longer live the life we’d once dreamed of? What do we do if we don’t even want to dream? I wish I had the answers, and I suspect they’re different for everyone.
Hope is a waking dream. – Aristotle
There was a time when I could find answers in my camera. If I needed to clear my head, I’d grab my beloved 40D and snap away. I suppose I still seek this solitude in my iPhone, but nowhere nearly as often as I did back then. I feel it’s inevitable for one inspiration to evolve into another, for one creative habit to swap places with something new.
Lately, I’ve been rereading my favorite books, practicing yoga weekly and getting into the spirit of fall. I’m still photographing my coffee cup every morning, and when I see something that sparks joy, I capture it. I haven’t given up dreaming like my friend, but I’ve recognized that my dreams have changed, my inspiration shifted, and I’m okay right now to stay still and just be.
By slowing down and giving my body and mind a rest, I’m allowing space for new dreams to grow. Before I know it, I’ll probably be finding a way to capture it with my cameras. How do you maintain inspiration? Have your dreams changed too? I’d love to hear what you think.