have friends who are really into the whole Law of Attraction thing. You know, creative visualization– that mental process by which you imagine what you want and it becomes yours by sheer force of quantum physics. When this subject comes up in conversation, I snap my mouth shut like a Victor mousetrap. I’ve always poo-pooed the theory that you can make a Porsche Carrera appear in your garage simply by conjuring it up in your head, but I love the idea of magic. When I was a kid, I religiously watched Bewitched, transfixed by the fact that Samantha Stevens could clean her entire house simply by wiggling her nose like a bunny right before Darren arrived home from the office. I tried this technique on my bedroom several times, but eventually my mother’s nagging would interfere with the spell and I’d have to pick up my toys manually. I have a friend who visualizes everything and she swears that she’s acquired all that she has by doing so—her house, her husband, her career, her dog, her really cool woodstove. Whatever she wants she envisions, and soon it’s hers. I saw another friend do it to nab a front row parking space at Wal-Mart on a Saturday afternoon and that miracle convinced me that maybe there was something to it.
I decided to give it a half-hearted whirl before I went to sleep each night. It wasn’t an attempt to attain anything, I just started envisioning the future that I desired. At most, it would help me clarify exactly what it is I want out of this life, and at least, it would help me fall asleep, which I’m happy to report has happened on a number of occasions. I now do this exercise almost every night. It’s more like a little bedtime story than actual visualization.
I dream a house, a sweet little cottage with big windows and lots of light filtering in. It’s open and airy, and there are no partitions between the kitchen and the living room. The floors are hardwood and the walls are dotted with art. It’s very tidy, and since I never visualize doing actual housework, I assume there must be some little cleaning elves or an invisible housekeeper involved. Each day, I sit in the kitchen at the beautifully tiled island and I write in the sunlight. I write and write and write. In my dream, I’m paid handsomely for doing this—there’s demand for whatever the hell it is I scrawl and I stay busy at it. My faithful, microscopic dog Theo roams around the kitchen and in my dream he has a friend– a big, sweet huggable dog who sits at my feet while I type.
This is a house full of love and creativity. People gather in it to play music and talk about writing and to make art. Joy permeates every room. My children and grandchildren come and hang out often, and there’s a little guest bedroom for anyone who wants to stay. There’s an office in the back somewhere, and sometimes I write there, just for a change of scenery.
I can’t decide where this house is located—some nights it’s near a river in the woods, some nights it’s in town, but it’s always hugged by a huge, peaceful congregation of trees, which gives a feeling of being out in the sticks, though it may be more suburb than sticky.
In the dream, there is an outbuilding, like an old barn, and a red canoe leans against it, an indication that I spend time during spring and summer floating rivers. Inside that little building are things I can’t see, but I imagine they involve projects pertaining to art.
Just outside the window, I can see purty little wildflowers, and parked on the gravel is a newer model, rather rugged vehicle. It’s hazy, but I think it may be a small SUV. It’s nothing fancy, but in my fantasy I know that it’s extremely well-maintained and reliable. I also have invisible health insurance (which I don’t need because I’m chockablock full of fitness), money to travel and enough of a cash stash to take care of small emergencies or to help my children when they need it.
Here’s the loveliest part. At the end of each day, another vehicle pulls up beside mine. My heart pitty-pats and I stop writing. I go to the door and greet a man. I can’t see his face, but I know it’s a lovely one. He smiles a blurry smile, and I smile back, and we kiss hello. In my visualizationalizing, this is my best friend in the world, and this is the best part of my day. We’re comfortable and happy in each other’s company, and we chat and I make coffee. We sit out on the back deck in Adirondack chairs and sip caffeine and look at the trees and the sky as the sun goes down. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we’re silent, sometimes we reach across those chairs and hold hands.
It’s a simple, beautiful life and a really swell dream. I’ve been running it through my head for about a year now, and it’s become a pretty part of sleepytime. I’ve come to believe that this evening ritual is good for me. I remember that as a child, I was raised to believe that asking God for anything for yourself was selfish and sinful. Prayers were for other people. So, I always prayed for others, and the most I requested for myself was that Mr. Yahweh would make me a better person. Visualizing this stuff makes me consider what I want, and that’s revolutionary for me. Still, the skeptical part of my brain abhors anything new-agey, and the grain of salt I’ve been doing this with is the size of a boulder.
Months and months ago, I was sitting on the sofa with my roommate, Amadeus, who by that time had graduated to boyfriend status. He softly strummed his guitar as I piddled on my laptop. Theo the Wonderdog® sat between us, because while small and gentle, he’s emotionally needy and he likes to wedge. Anyway, as we sat there, doing nearly nothing, I became aware of how happy I felt, of how gently pleasant life had become. It was a gradual, subtle change that had moved in so softly that I hadn’t really noticed. I felt a sudden surge of gratitude. I was living in a creative environment with a person who understood my wacky ways. There were always musicians stopping by, we socialized with crazy, artistic types; I made bad art and wrote for a living, and I cohabited with a classically trained musician who played rock and roll on weekends and wrote songs at night. He was endlessly interesting and infinitely sweet, and I adored him. It struck me that Amadeus was the blurry man in my dream. Several months later, we married.
We live in a condo, not a cottage. There’s no kitchen island, no big windows, no deck. My piece of shite 2001 Kia Sportage sits unmoving in the carport, waiting for a master cylinder. I do have insurance now, thanks to my husband. I’ve been hanging some art on our walls and there are friends who come over and play music. Our front door is still firmly on its hinges—no one’s beaten it down for my writing talents. Theo has no big furry roommate, but Amadeus and I go to parties at the homes of other dogs and he’s always invited. We have no canoe, but an acquaintance of ours has two, and last weekend he issued an invitation for us to float the Buffalo with him anytime we were ready to go. There are no Adirondack chairs and few trees, but each afternoon a car pulls into the driveway and my heart goes pitty pat and I go to the door and greet my best friend. At night, we sit on our big comfy couch and sip coffee. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we’re silent, sometimes we reach across the cushions and hold hands. No matter how hard times are, or how down we feel, there’s always an underlying foundation of happiness. It feels strange and foreign and so different from my past relationships that I’m often overcome by the wonder of it all. There’s definitely some sort of law of attraction working between my husband and me.
I’m not sure if I manifested this any of this via creative visualization, but for the time being, I’m going to keep dreaming my dream. It may not change anything for the better, but it sure can’t hurt. And if at some point I grow bored with the process, I may just start wiggling my nose.