Friday, July 1, 2011

The Power of a Picture

If you paint a vivid picture in your mind for long enough, can it become a reality?

When I was twenty-five, I got on a plane and flew from New York to San Francisco. I was figuratively lost, and I decided to get literally lost. I wanted to leave behind all the baggage of my identity and be someone else. My plan was to drive down the coast to Los Angeles and on to Las Vegas. I never made it more than forty miles south of San Francisco.

Photo by Kathleen Keagy
I got derailed by an enchanted home in the town of Half Moon Bay. It was an old train depot that had been nurtured back to life by a physicist and an artist who had propped it up on stilts and replaced its foundation. I spent a month taking care of the two dogs and the cat that resided there while their owners traveled in China. The house sat on top of a bluff overlooking the ocean, the kitchen sink where the old train depot ticket counter used to be. I watched the sunset each evening while doing the dinner dishes. I walked with the dogs every day on the bluffs. My time in the train depot helped me to find my footing again and to repair some cracks in my own foundation—something I had not been able to do back home in New York.

In a few weeks, we are moving to the beach here in Los Angeles. I feel like I am going home. When I left Half Moon Bay, the realist in me didn't think I would ever get the chance to live that close to the ocean again. But I never stopped watching those sunsets. I never stopped painting the picture in my mind. In two weeks, I will be able to watch the sunset over the ocean while standing at my kitchen sink.

If you paint a vivid picture in your mind, can it become a reality?  Yes, I believe so.

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