this is what i ask of you.

dream deep.

take the raw, ridged rock between your two hands. weigh it on your outstretched fingers (not against the polished gem, not against the well-faceted diamond or the ruby embraced by artisan-crafted gold filigree).

close your eyes and do not focus on the work you have not reached by means of passing time and your own steady steps forward. do not think about the shaving, the sawing, the gritted teeth and sharp, accidental slide-bite of a crack, a mistake, a flaw.

do not think about what you do not have between your fingers. you have the beginnings of an emerald crown that will gild the brow of a queen. you have the unetched, unpolished formation of a space ship’s dazzling, bejeweled control board. you bear a future sultan’s sword across your lap, but for now it is not yet forged, dull steel.

in another’s lap, between their ever-spinning fingers, it will seem as though this waxen, bloodless, barely imperceptible spark is cast with more possibilities, more light, more love, more magic. it will seem as though their carefully carved shields and thrones and flagpoles are meant for greater, grander horizons.

do not let that poison prick taint your tools. do not let that yearning, that impossible, indefatigable desire ruin the power in you, the rush of strength and imagination and possibility that builds palaces, draws hearts together in love, dashes a wicked ruler’s sceptre and releases the fatigued spirit trapped inside.

dream deep.

focus on what you have before you: your own impossibly, perfectly created mind and spirit and soul, and your own steady steps forward with pen, and paper, with patiently clicking keys and the harnessed faerie fancy of electrical developments.

do not disdain the rawness you must sculpt and shape and pinch little parts away from. do not dismiss the truest, hard to explain dregs of your heart that brim forth in the oddest ways, the most unusual phrases, the most difficult moments and breaths and songs.

welcome the words as they come to you. they may be straight and set firm. they may be giddy and perhaps more than a little blackberry purple-blotched. they may sway on the lines you write them on. they may sit fast and solemn and militant, no less important than the ones that sway their skirts and bob their heads and are seemingly shot through with more precious minerals than what you have just, shamefully, cast through your own little bit of metal.

(do not doubt.

do not doubt the rawness.

do not doubt you, who is the only you that can write like this, this strong, this determined, this late at night or brief, blinking interludes in a hectic, constantly streaming day. do not doubt you who has passing time and your own steady steps on your side, to bolster you, to urge you in this quest to see this impossible, improbable, often unformed and unhappy, adventure through.)

dream deep.

dream dark.

pin down the real and the true of what makes you this wordsmith, at this moment, for this story that steadily peels itself away from the unbecoming (but always true, always heartfelt) chrysalis of the rawness.

focus on what you have before you: eight year old skinned knees. tumbling over large steeds and into loving, soothing arms. cupid’s arrow piercing your gangly frame for the first time. blotchy hateful voices daring to tell you who you are and who you aren’t.

tell it truthfully or with a little warm dab of fancy and fantasy and what should have happened but never did (tell it for real little girls/boys/all deep and wondrous souls, tell it from their voices or from legendary wizards and kings and heroes on quests).

tell truthfully, but love the you that is peeling itself away from the unbecoming chrysalis of all that has forged you over passing time and with your own steady steps forward. do not listen to the blotchy hateful voices daring to tell you who you are and who you aren’t.

who you should write and who should be left by the wayside.

dream deep.

take the raw, ridged rock between your two hands. weigh it on your outstretched fingers (not against the polished gem, not against the well-faceted diamond or the ruby embraced by artisan-crafted gold filigree).

perhaps that is its final form. one day. not now. perhaps, before you reach that point - that steady, endless, confident, triumphant assembly line of earrings and tiaras and perfectly crafted finery - you will need to suffer through lumpy pottery, the painful equivalents of first yarn projects and missed stitches.

embrace the process of sculpting and shaping and pinching little parts away from the writer/artist/needed, wanted creator of wonders you are emerging as from the shed, no longer needed chrysalis of indecision, discarded labels, momentary doubts.

close your eyes now. breathe. steady yourself. and dream.

these are your untapped wonders. this is your voice.