The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt
Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country. Anais Nin
Dreams are the guiding words of the soul. Why should I henceforth not love my dreams and not make their riddling images into objects of my daily consideration? Carl Jung
Nothing happens unless first we dream. Carl Sandburg
I can still see the image so vividly. A farm house, yellow in color, white trim, two story with a wrap-around porch. From a bird’s eye view I see two other buildings, a barn and a smaller structure. A paved road travels in front of this setting then requires a right turn onto a dirt road which gently curves between the house and barn. A babbling brook and trees enrich the landscape. Even as I describe it now, it is comforting to see.
This image came about as if by magic. I asked, inquired, appealed to, invited the wisdom of the universe. Wisdom. Is that the right word? I am unclear. I asked the question, “What home would support our artistic natures?” I cannot remember how long or adamantly I spoke or nurtured this request of the Great Mystery, of the Divine, of God. All I know is that one day the image arrived, complete with a yellow house, barn, babbling brook and a road that curved.
Some months after that, we bought Simplicity. The image of so long ago was forgotten until more recent years and days. Was Simplicity that place? Was this the house to support our artistic dreams? Similarities could be found. Simplicity was a yellow two story house with white trim. If you look at Google Earth aerial view, the detached garage could resemble a barn. The front walk curves. The street in front of the house is paved. Mature trees are on the property. No babbling brook, but the bird bath does provide water. A case could be made that this is my dream image. Sort of.
In the years lived here, we have developed our unique answers to who is the artist within us. I paint. Don photographs. We both write and create. Together we have crafted this house into a sanctuary for our artistic endeavors. Not only do we each have an office, we have studio space as well. We surround ourselves with artwork. Prints of Georgia O’Keeffe, Grant Wood, Picasso and Rodin are among the famous artists found on our walls. In our travels, we have met artists whose work inspires and motivates us to explore our own expressions more deeply. They, too, appear on our walls and shelves, offering a delightful variety that brings diversity of color, style, and shape to Simplicity’s living space.
At the top of the back stairs is the guest room. As you walk in, you are greeted by, The Visiting Artist, a print of an artist from my hometown. This is how Don and I feel about everyone who comes to Simplicity. Each is an artist of life who gifts us by their presence. Through the exchange of stories and ideas, we grow and expand our understandings of each other and ourselves. Guests settle into Simplicity’s quieting presence and invitation ‘to be’.
This early dream image came with a set of very specific hopes in creating a space for artists. The barn hosted studio space, the outdoors a peaceful place to let go and renew thoughts. The farm house had a large kitchen, complete with a trestle table and bench seats so all could find room. The porch provided a place to relax and be in silence or conversation. Here artists of all mediums gathered to talk about their day and creative process. A writer learned from a photographer. A dancer’s expression enhanced a painter’s canvas. Each person’s work informed and added to the artistic experience of all.
This part of the dream image has materialized in our salon process called, The Artist Within. Thus far, the focus has been with photographers, but someday we hope to add other artistic expressions. The actual salons have been located off-site in another community, another country, not here at Simplicity. Yet, it has happened. Not in the specific way that the image looked or how that idea was to unfold, but the essence of it is exactly who we are and where we are. Simplicity has provided the space for us to develop our artistic gifts and welcome each person’s unique style and expression into our home. Simple as that.
Sometimes dreams come in disguise. Right before us, yet not at all what we expected. Thank you, Simplicity. You have made us real.