I have a recurring fantasy that usually hits around this time of year. Sure enough, with the cold snap last week it showed up again, and has been doing so regularly over the last few days. Maybe if I write about it it will come true?
It is evening in winter. As the first stars flicker in the sky, a lamp in the window casts a golden light on the snow around the house. Inside, there is a fire in the wood stove, and by the light a woman sits. It is moi!
I am wearing a fine woolen garment that reaches down to the floor. I have a serene and peaceful expression on my face. I am bent over some task.
(Wait! I forgot the critters! The goats and chickens are snug in the shed. The big dogs are asleep at my feet; the “spaniel gentle” sits on the chair next to me.)
But what is the task I am doing? I am making an object. I am drawing a small picture. I am carving a wooden spoon. I am making a clay goddess figure, or a cat or other tchotchke Or I am sewing a magnificent piece of clothing—a cape, say—entirely by hand. Perhaps I am even writing something—yes, writing counts as an object.
And this, sitting by the fire, day after day, is how I make my living. I am a cottage industry, and a good one. People fight over my drawings, wooden spoons, clay goddesses, and so on. My objects sell themselves. All I have to do is sit by the fire and make them.
Isn\’t it odd that I can see the room, the dress, the dogs, but the nature of the task remains vague? What never changes, though, what is always clear and compelling is the golden lamplight, and the look of serenity on my face.
I think I know what the fantasy is about, and what makes it so potent: it is about creativity without crisis, art without angst. It is about making beautiful things while feeling reasonably relaxed. It is something I would dearly love to achieve some day.