I didn't write that story, but it inspired Circle Home, about a little girl who believes she comes from the Stone Age. She's guided back home by a snake who lived in a shopping mall!
Hey, you never know what will get your imagination going!
Writing from the creative unconscious is like walking into a cosmic shopping mall where each shop offers a different a persona for us to try on, actually different ways of being in relationship to ourselves and the world.
The only means of exchange in this cosmic mall is exuberance, fearlessness and a desire to share and be shared. Oh, and there’s a key to the mall, too. We all have it in our pocket when we arrive, even if we don’t know it’s there.
The key is a desire to break out of the box of who we think we are, who others think we should be. It is a desire to fly in a place that, as John O’Donohue says, “is full of the most melodious and nourishing and wild freedom. And everyone should go there, to the wild place, where there are no cages, where there are no tight rooms without windows and without doors, everyone should go to the free clearance places in their own hearts.”
And so, with our keys, we enter the mall.... There, in every window we see amazing costumes. Here there is a multi-colored cloak of the finest silks, feathers and gemstones. The price: a desire to imagine.
Here there is a hat made of strange writing and symbols that call to you, and seem to say, You know, it's all there, in the depth of your imagination, just waiting for you. Now, come now, and you will see, you will feel, you will know..." The price: a desire to remember the depth of your creativity.
There are shops with nothing but wings: dragon wings, fairy wings, warrior wings in all colors and textures. The price: a desire to fly.
In another, there are swords of golden and crystallized light that are heart beat of the creative warrior in you, the one who stands firm against your Inner Critic. The one who will pave the way for the passionate and challenging journey on which your characters and stories will lead you if you are brave enough to follow their lead. The price: the fierceness to embrace the fullness of your imagination.
The shops go on and on; they are as cosmic as your creative potential. And even more amazing, is that just the perfect shops show themselves to you as you near.
I believe each time we return to this cosmic shopping mall, we find different shops… shops beyond persona, shops of depth, mystery, and wonder that we weren’t ready to see when we first arrived. We were not ready to allow ourselves such freedom of expression and flight. Amazingly, as time passes and we write and create and fall in love with our characters, all of them, the invited and univited one, the characters of light and dark and all the gray areas of the human condition, we integrate these parts into who we are, we see that there was no shopping mall at all. That we never had to pick or choose – all that creativity was inside us all along!
As creative women and men, we are at home in such mystery; we carry those rhythms, colors and songs inside ourselves. Once this becomes part of our consciousness, we are on a path from which there is no looking back.
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