Drifting Away

Mouse Riding On Paper Boat In Water Watercolor Illustration

For Day 25 of World Watercolor Month and our optional prompt of “Drift,” I sketched a little mouse drifting through the water in a paper boat. As a kid, I remember dropping a leaf or paper boat in the gutter after a big rain and then chasing it along as it rushed down the hill. I’ve no idea why I found that so fascinating, but it was something fun to do at the time. These days, it’s my mind that often drifts to other places while I’m rushing to catch up. My head is often filled with all sorts of jumbled thoughts and while I hope they come together into something resembling an idea, there are many times when I’m just drifting. Yet, that’s all part of the process. Taking time to daydream is one of the best ways to come up with something a bit more creative. For example, I don’t look at the prompt for the day until the morning I’m meant to sketch something. Then, I just go about my day with the thought in the back of my brain. How it actually manifests on paper at the end of the day is usually a surprise to me as it didn’t resemble the first idea that came to mind at all.

In July, the busiest of months for me, I often find myself rushing about with little time to just sit and daydream. So, no matter how much I have on my plate each day, I block some time on my calendar that just says “Time To Dream.” This reminds me to take a little break from whatever it was that I was doing and do nothing much at all. It’s simply time to let my mind wander and think whatever thoughts it wants to think without me trying to guide it along. While this can seem like wasting precious time it’s actually one of the most productive parts of my day. It’s like I’m riding in a little paper boat far away from stress and deadlines where I’m able to see things more clearly. And, I can invent and create freely in that space, without worrying about what will happen next.

Sometimes, though, I’ll shift into this mode only to realize someone is trying to talk to me. It’s much like when I was a kid in school and the teacher suddenly pulls me back into reality with a question. The thing is, life lived only in reality is an extremely dull life indeed. Without dreams and imagination, it’s not really possible to life a full life. Our inner thoughts are just as important as everything that’s happening around us. So, I live my life with a healthy dose of dreaming. It’s fun to think of interesting new concepts to try next and to wonder if those fledgling concepts can make the trip from dreams to reality. There are definitely some changes that happen along the way, but those raw ideas are always so wonderful. That’s why I tend to be so childlike and hopeful most of the time. While it’s good to be on a specific path and trying to achieve goals, it’s equally good to enjoy time with no path at all, when you’re simply drifting away.

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Mouse Riding On Paper Boat In Water Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook

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12 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 2 weeks ago

    I think American culture focuses so much on productivity that many people feel guilty if they can’t show they are doing something productive at any given time. They don’t stop to just think or process because it doesn’t look productive. Your daydreaming mode is probably your most productive time of the day!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      So true!! Daydreaming is one of the best ways to be creatively productive! 😃💕

  2. scrittoralinda 2 weeks ago

    Charlie, yes I used to get the teachers all in a snit for having a wild imagination. That wild imagination ended up writing stories, a book, and a novel. That was before teachers got smart and realized imagination is a necesssary tool. Keep up the excellence!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Linda! 😃💕 Yay for a wild imagination… it’s truly the greatest gift we could hope to have!

  3. Mary Roff 2 weeks ago

    That little mouse looks like he’s enjoying his adventure! Putting “Time to Dream” on a daily calendar sounds like a perfectly wonderful idea to me!!!

  4. Karen Sliwinski 2 weeks ago

    I agree with you and love the illustration!

  5. Gary Middleton 2 weeks ago

    I love your little mouse going on an adventure. I remember doing the same with sticks in a stream near our house.

  6. Mugdha 2 weeks ago

    Hello Charlie,

    The mouse looks like he has spotted his destination and is now trying to pick one of the 100 things on his mind, to do as soon as he reaches land. I wonder what he’ll end up doing first! He really ought to pick the thing that makes him smile as he daydreams. 🙂 What say?

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Indeed!! hehe… I think he’ll most definitely pick the thing that makes him smile most! Much love to you my friend! 😃💕

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