The unseen

Egyptian cotton (EC)
Handpainted by Paradisaea
Spring 2017

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"Come with me
where dreams are born
and time
is never planned.”

- J.M. Barrie: Peter Pan

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Why do we need to dream?

I wonder if you still remember the fairytales you used to love as a child?
I think I still can catch the scent of them, the light in them -

the dim light under the trees of Lothlórien
the snowfall in the forests of Lantern Waste
the sunshine of the mallorn in the Shire
the sunshine of the first new morning of Narnia.

And yes, all the sleeping princesses, all the enchanted apples, all the magical forests, all the flying horses, all the waterfalls of rainbow, all the lands of dream and wonder.

Why do we need dreams? Why do we need dreamlands? Why do we need stories in the first place?

That question has been in my mind as I’ve worked with this new colourway. Why do we long for stories? Why is there… a longing in us for something that the eyes can’t see?

It takes so many forms. I’d say most of us have loved storybooks and fairytales as kids. As we grow up, the fairytales change, but I’d still dare say that most of us adults love stories too. Action movies, romantic comedies, classical novels, chick lit, song lyrics, computer games, magazines, blogs. It seems we humans just instinctively seek the world of imagination, the realm of “something more”, the land of fairytales. There’s just a longing for something more than what is around us.

Stories have such power. They sweep us off the mundane, capture us and fly us to the world of possibilities. Granted, not all stories are just fairy dust and happiness. And still somehow the tragedy and the suspense are important too, even the darker shades. They help us understand life. They may even transform life.

It could be said that we just need recreation. That stories help us to escape life for a moment, and that they’re mostly for fun. I’m curious to ask whether there’s more to it than just that, though. I have a hunch that there’s something more profound in us that simply needs stories, imagination and dreams.

We need to dream to be healthy and alive. It’s a tragedy if a person loses all dreams altogether. It might be that deep depression does that, and then we’d have lost too much of life already. I mean, we dream even if we wouldn’t want to: at night our brains tell us stories when we sleep. We just cannot escape our imagination. We need to dream of something, long for something.

Why did God give us this ability in the first place? Wouldn’t a rational, practical approach to life be easier than living in dream castles?

Maybe - if reality and practicality was all there is.
But what if there’s more?

What if there is something that we instinctively long for - what if our souls remember that there’s more to life than what we see? What if we remember something good that there used to be, something we used to have, something that was the stuff of dreams? What if we somehow remember the Unseen and, like homesick travellers, just can’t help longing for it?

Psychology might claim that it’s the grown up’s longing for the safety of childhood again. But not all of us had a safe childhoods, and still we dream.

My thoughts take me back to the question of the Paradise. Of how world was supposed to be. The world is a beautiful place in many ways, and it’s true that there are so many marvellous true stories in it, but the world is also very much a broken place. But what if it wasn’t meant to be so, and something in us still remembers?

The dim light under the trees of the first morning
the snowfall in the world that was still pure and true
the sunshine of the golden trees
the beauty of a world still unbroken.

The Unseen is for all the stories we love. For the imagination we cherish. For the beloved childhood stories, and for the stories we’ve come to love as adults. For everything that gives us hope of something more beautiful, something stronger, fuller, truer. It’s for the power that keeps us in connection with life, breathing, believing for the good, hoping for the better. For the paradise that lives still in our hearts.

Dreams are what hope is made of. So, let this be for hope.

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I wish to thank the wonderful Lea for all the conversations we've had about this topic; all the shared enthusiasm about stories and why they're so important. Those conversations have greatly contributed to these thoughts while I've been searching for the right colours for the warp. <3

The Unseen is hand painted Egyptian cotton, dyed with some of the colours I've loved for long and some I've found myself crushing on lately: purples, pinks, oranges and yellows, a bit of rose and peach, flash of warm gold here and there, and intense blues on the other end. Something from every part of the rainbow, as is fitting for fairytales; a bit of gold for golden crowns, roses for romance, blues for wistfulness. Reds for the thrill of imagination.