So yesterday I found myself sitting in the passenger seat of my fathers car, driving through the dark hours before sunrise. I say the dark hours, and they were,as the area we drove through had no street lights, and it was shaping up to be a dreary morning, the sky was overcast with thick clouds, that had it been brighter would no doubt still seem uninviting.
And for the first time in a long time I caught myself performing a sort of mental tug of war between my rational analytical, and my imaginative childlike side.
The reason for the two being at odds was simple enough, I was the one with the map. As such I had to focus, really focus, on where we were, and what little of the surroundings allowed themselves to be identified in the fleeting moments the headlights illuminated them. However my imaginative childlike side had other plans, as we drove past what I recognised as a wind generator, I witnessed the wrathful gaze of an impotent giant flailing his arms in rage as we sped away, my imagination turning the red warning lights into the monster’s eyes. Later we passed a somewhat rare sight, the end of a train line, the sort that had no station attached and only really sees use for maintenance or temporary storage of extra carts that they might use during rush hour. However it had two red indicator light on either side of the double tracks, with a small building behind them, the posts along the tracks soon turned into a dragon’s jagged teeth.
All the while I was maintaining my focus on getting the directions right, telling myself to ignore the fantastical creatures of these dark hours, and to a degree I could. To a degree, because where most people would get annoyed at such flights of fancy, I as a writer can benefit from them.
So when, in this coming year, you suddenly find yourself staring at giants, dragons, sleeping trolls, or staring into the abyssal depths that threaten to swallow you and your vehicle like some small candy devoured by some hungry child around halloween, take a moment, and enjoy it, or write it down, before your rational mind tells you that really, it’s just a windmill, train stop, oddly shaped hill, or tunnel with defective lighting, and you’re just traveling in those darkest hours before the dawn, where fantasy can be seen, and stories are born.
For now, happy new year everyone, let’s hope it’ll be a creative one.