The fuzzy state between sleep and wake is where my imagination hides. It’s stuck, squeezed into the tiny space that wake and sleep give it. It takes skill to get into this space; I cannot be fully asleep, I cannot be completely awake, but when my mind can balance like the acrobats do on a thin metal wire, beautiful images come to fruition. I can create cities and build ladders beneath the ocean. I can travel time and make mountains explode in laughter. I meet people I never knew, I see colors more vividly. Everything is bigger. Everything is smaller. Nothing is ever exactly how things are in reality.
This ability, my ability to toe the line between sleep and awake, keeps me dreaming, keeps me living, and keeps me inspired by all the possibilities we can create in our life.
Once, and this is how powerful my mind can be, I thought I had opened my eyes to look at the sky outside my window. I thought it was whispering to me, but I couldn’t understand the words. I sat up on my bed (again, this is all happening in my head, not in real life, but not in a dream) and leaned closer to my window to get a better look. It is completely dark outside, like nothing I’ve ever seen. There is no moon, but there are a million stars, tiny like pinholes. I reach my arms up and through my window. My arms continue to stretch and stretch and stretch. I am reaching for the sky, I want to know where the whispers are coming from, I want to know the secrets of the dark sky. Finally, my hands take hold of the sky. Its smooth and delicate like a silk scarf. I take the sky, a bit in my right hand, a bit in my left, and pull it apart. I need to know the secrets that lie behind this dark screen. Light pours in, electric blue light, and I can hardly see. The stars begin to shift and roll toward the hole that I created. My body is now floating toward the sky, catching up with my arms. I am scared because I am so free. I am scared because I didn’t know this was possible. I am scared because I don’t know what is going to happen. Finally, my body catches up with my arms and I am just a tiny little human, with tiny hands, hanging on to the loose pieces of sky that I tore away. The light is brighter now, but somehow in this world, I do not go blind from it. Suddenly, I notice that this is not just a beam of light, these are stars, thousands of them, falling from the sky down to the city beneath me. But I could hear the whispers clearly now: “Let us go, set us free” they said.
From these types of visions or dreams I have, I am sometimes inspired to create stories from it. That’s how I wrote my short story Paper Cuts. I have other ways of creating stories, but this is my favorite because it feels like these stories come to me organically. It feels like they want me to tell them. It makes this whole writing process that much easier and that much more magical. I will post a follow-up soon of the story I create from this little ‘dream’ I had.