Dreaming is both a talent and a handicap. It can be a way of building a world not yet built, or an easy way of evading what needs to be confronted. It requires some skill. I have always been a talented daydreamer. Many of my dreams have been detailed evasions, of the handicap type. Instead of gathering the nerve to approach the boy I liked I would nurture imaginary stories in which the boy and I were happy together without the risk of breaking my heart. They would be long engaging stories with lots of dialogue and some twists and a little bit of tension that would always be resolved with a delicious ending. I wish I had been more heartbroken and exhilarated and wise right at the centre of experience instead of safely cocooned in painstakingly constructed imaginary worlds. I loved escaping, and still do. I love sinking into invented universes. I love fiction, I love novels and movies. I love forgetting about the world, not having to face the world, and dreaming always is so cheap and free and easy. It’s tempting to not work hard at achieving something and instead get lost in the dream of success blooming like a fruit out of your fingertips (a most disastrous recipe). One cannot avoid reality for too long and if time is perhaps the only valuable thing we could ever own, we should spend most of that time out there living and fighting, bleeding and laughing, taking flight and getting wiser in the real world. But I will never stop daydreaming, because I can’t. And out of all the human beings in the world, my favorites will always be the ones that hold feverishly a lottery ticket and think in detail of what they would do with all their riches.
Dreams can be cozy nooks that keep us from going outside and face what needs to be faced. At the same time, how could we ever move forward if we are not pushed by a dream? All that is powerful, and magic and inspiring has always begun with the kernel of a dream. Maybe the best of us, all of us, is our ability to dream beautiful dreams so we can fight for them.
For me, drawing is a way of dreaming. It is very similar to those long escapes from reality in which instead of talking to the boy I liked I would imagine a world in which we were kissing, or married. Now, instead of thinking about work and bills and cleaning my house and a thousand daily irritants and conflicts, I spend delicious hours drawing detailed worlds in a blank page, inhabited for example by round trees, and very large birds. But to draw is also a dream all by itself, a dream that needs to be fought for, and built, out there in the world. One day, I say, one day, I will be drawing full time instead of drawing in the interstices of all the other things one has to do to pay the rent. I hold that idea with the preciousness of a lottery ticket not yet cashed. I hold that idea like a candle that needs to be defended, protected with my whole body against the wind. I let that dream drive me and I fight.