Imaginations run wild to the most extraordinary places, whether to a magical kingdom or a whole other world. A person’s imagination is an escape, a reality someone can make their own. Letting your imagination run wild, you wouldn’t expect your own world to become an actuality– or at least I didn’t. My story begins in a small town: landlocked with no escape. The normality of this town causes my mind to wonder to new and exciting places.  I long to escape to worlds of my own imagination, longing for the day my dreams can become a reality.

Long days in classes culminate with a daily meeting between my four friends and me at the twenty-four hour diner down the road. We have riveting conversations there,  ranging from daily annoyances of school to the trivial conflicts between different social media pages. In other words, the most interesting topics you will ever discuss. In high school, our entire lives revolve around our social hierarchy within the boundaries of our school walls. Sometimes, you just need to get away from it all.

People just flat out leave, like my neighbors who had enough of this place and decided to spend the rest of their days traveling the world. At least that’s why I assume they decided to travel– that’s why I would travel.

Some find other ways, like cryptic messages that you have to read between the lines to understand. For example, there is a supposedly crazy old man who lives at the end of Main Street. He spends his days filming short films with his own seven cats as recurring characters.  Each has its own dialogue and characteristics as if they could actually talk. Now that might be pushing it to the extreme, but I guess it could be interpreted as a type of an escape. As for me, I write and create. In that sense, I guess I’m very similar to the old man.

Writing makes my imagination to come to life, and so do  drawing and painting. Each is a  tiny piece of representation of my own imagination. Pages upon pages, sketchbook upon sketchbook, canvas upon canvas. I’ve barely made a dent in the records of the ideas in my head, and I’ve also made zero progress in acting upon my desire to escape the cramped corners of my small town. I can not imagine the day that I would actually go to a coastline, get on a ship, and to sail to my heart’s content, seeing the world not through a lense but actually living it.

However, I have to settle with using something to satiate a sliver of my desires. So with a paintbrush in hand and a blank canvas in front of me, I illustrate the starting point of my fictitious adventure across the open seas.

As I stroke more and more paint across the canvas, something changes. The environment seems to change, like as if a breeze blows through, clearing the air. I keep going. I push past it, getting more and more into my work. Then I smell a distinct smell of salt as more and more of the breeze flows through. This is different. I keep going. Diving into the painting, my imagination lacing together the pieces. I keep going.  Then a trickle, followed by a stream, then a rush of water drains out of the painting. A creation of my imagination. A rush of sunlight, a salty breeze, and sand already in between my toes.

Somehow, I did it. I made my imagination become my reality. I escaped.


(Copyright 2017 Meredith O’Neil)