How Dalí Helps Me Create

Dali quote, art and dreaming
Salvador Dalí quote on Dreaming

Yesterday I searched for a gift for my son whose birthday is coming up. He’s an artist who favors surrealists and abstract expressionism.

I came upon some Salvador Dalí paintings which made me remember a trip to London with my son where we visited “Dalí Universe.”

I read that much of his artwork came to him in the few seconds between sleep and wakefulness. I imagined Dalí dipping into his dreams while creating his artwork. He referred to his art as “hand-painted dream photographs.”

Dali called this “method” his “secret of sleeping while awake,” or the hypnagogic state.

This captured my attention since I frequently find that dawn is when I feel most creative. 

Today during those seconds between waking and leaving my dreams I found a poem. 


Sleep State

 In the depths of the morning

I touch heaven,

the dawn rises

in ribbons of blue, 

in the quiet

before the hum

of living.



In the depths of the morning,

when light creeps through

a flutter of lashes,

I reach back into a dream

to salvage a memory

relive a feeling.


In the depths of the morning,

in the silence

where there is only me,

I breath life 

through a yawn

and decide

to try another day.

Luckily, I have my cell phone on my nightstand and use it to record notes, including this poem. I find if I turn on my lamp to use my pen and jot words down on paper, the bright light distracts me.

Maybe this technique of “sleeping while awake” will help you as a writer, artist, or poet.

Or you can try sleeping more, 😴

What prompts your creativity?

Encouragement, Inspiration, Writing

Obituary and Passion

From Birmingham H.S. Project-flickr.com
From Birmingham High St. Art Project-flickr.com

You know, the Greeks didn’t write obituaries. They only
asked one question after a man died: “Did he have
passion?” – Serendipity, the movie


Whether the Greeks wrote or didn’t write obituaries isn’t as important as the question.

Passion is a zeal, a fervor, a barely controllable emotion towards a subject or person.

Do you have that feeling for something? Art, writing, cooking, service…

a feeling that if you did not do this ‘thing,’ your spirit would dampen, keep you in regret, have you say ‘what if?’

For me, if I’m not writing, I’m not truly living. My body and spirit often feel like a container of thoughts, waiting for my hands to hold a pen or hover over a keyboard ready to dive in and release those thoughts into a journal or on a keyboard.

To not set free those thoughts, is to keep everything in a container until it’s in danger of imploding, or worse, create a slow burn from the inside out.

The word passion comes from the Latin verb patere meaning to suffer.

Sometimes we suffer when working towards that passion. We always suffer if we don’t even make the attempt.

I say this only to give an example of what can happen when not heeding your enthusiasm.

Sometimes we do this to ourselves. Other times we allow someone else, through their criticism, to reduce our conviction for a subject.

It’s not their fault, it’s up to you to fulfill your own dream. To crave it so much that you hear their words and work on your passion anyway.

Critics can either wrap your passion in words of doubt until your light goes out or you can decide to follow your dreams and see where they lead. 

Your art, writing, cooking, ‘fill in the blank,’may not lead you to fame or fortune. You may need to work hard to fulfill your dream, and this might takes years…

but your family or friends could affirmingly answer the obituary question;

better, yet, you would know the answer before anyone wrote your obituary.