Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Buffalo Takes the Cheese

I had a resounding revelation yesterday. No, really, I did... it wasn't just gas. I was sitting in my studio, contemplating work I need to do on an altered book. The book is about dreams and creativity and letting it flow. Y'know... artsy fartsy stuff.

Anyway, I was staring at this partially done page that's got a straight backed chair sitting against a green wall. For some reason, I felt that a buffalo needed to be perched in the chair. Don't ask me. It just seemed so right. Still does.

Even so, I sort of scoffed. I said (Yes, I talk to myself. Get over it. I have), I said, "Barb, c'mon. I know you're a freak, but... a buffalo? In a chair?! Impossible." The other Barb said, "It's only becomes impossible when I no longer dream it, when I can no longer imagine it."

Blam! Eye-blinking mental explosion.

It only becomes impossible when I can no longer dream it, when I can no longer imagine it.

Some 90 or so years ago, two men flew a stint into the Alaskan bush to deliver mail and supplies. The first attempt failed. One was convinced it was impossible and he went home. However, in 1921, the other gent, one Carl Ben Eielson, went on to fly the first air mail run in Alaska. He flew from Fairbanks to McGrath in 4 hours, a distance that normally took dog sleds 20 days to cover. Bush pilots are now the backbone of the mail and goods delivery service in most of Alaska. Granted, it's the third most dangerous job in the US, but it can be and is done.

Okay, okay... so putting a buffalo in a chair in a bit of art isn't anywhere near what it takes to be a bush pilot in Alaska. I'm not saying that. I'm talking about the power of what we'll believe when it comes to believing in ourselves, in our decisions. I really do believe that as long as we can envision a thing, it is possible. It may not happen as planned, we may even be a little ahead of our time (ask DaVinci or Galileo). We may be seen as outlandish and silly (ask Mozart). Our colleagues may pack up and go home. It doesn't matter. If the vision is there, it's doable.

So, the buffalo stays. Thus, a buffalo standing in a straight backed chair is, most assuredly, possible. I imagined it, that's why.

And everything else I can imagine is possible too.


  1. Hell, yeah! And were you, by chance, working on our collaboration? ;)

  2. Too often it is the detractors that impede. The parent that scoffs. The friend that throws in the towel and goes home. The crowd that chants disbelievingly that you will fail. To believe and push forward on your vision when few if any around you can see what you see is courage. No bravery is needed to be just like everyone else.


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