I keep spiral notebooks and steno pads filled with a mishmash of topics, little threads of my life, just for me. I’ve done so off and on for as long as I can remember. Notes, to-do lists, budgets, plans, and little bits of writing find their way into the pages.
Especially prominent are brainstorming sessions about whatever is important to me at the time, usually taking form as hard-to-decipher scrawling with underlines or stars in different colored pens, page after page. When I get into a free-flow rapid-thought mode, ideas can fire off so quickly they become difficult to retain, just like the memory of a dream starts to dissolve upon sitting up in bed. So I take notes to help me capture some of that, just in case it’s as brilliant as it feels at the time.
Sometimes, these ideas find their way into my personal reality; other times, not. But either way, I’m certain the process is useful.
The Four of Cups is a daydreamy, sometimes dissatisfied but always disconnected-in-time energy. The focus may be on the past or more often, the future, but it’s never in the now. Shadowscapes rendition isn’t as sad as some, which often convey a sense of longing or regret. Here, the feeling I get is more of just being somewhere else.
It reminds me of my notebook sessions.
When we’re in a dream state untethered to present reality constraints, we can access past for perspective or future for visualization. Reflections and aspirations can educate, direct and inspire present and future paths, serving much the same functions as my notebooks. Avoiding self-pity or aimless pining, excursions to the not-now can be enormously fruitful. I wouldn’t advise permanently taking up residence in the not-now, but it’s a solid vacation destination.
Do you travel to the not-now?
by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law