Pipe Dream

Making Time to Dream

One of the points Dave made in our workshop was to make sure we leave ourselves time to dream big, crazy, audacious dreams. For some people that's over a glass of wine, or a cup of coffee, or in the shower, or while working out.

It varies for me. Some dreams come from solitude. Some come from observing someone else's journey. Sometimes it just comes out on the page as I write. The one I'm about to write about comes from listening to chill music, and scrolling through Jonna Jinton's blog from the very beginning of it.

Jonna Jinton

Jonna is an artist from Sweden. She was in university in the city and grew to dislike it more and more, longing for freedom. She dropped out of school in 2010, and moved, alone, to a village of 10 people in Northern Sweden. She has generations of family roots there, but I don't know if any relatives lived there when she moved (correction: I think her mum lived in the village as well). She lived alone in a cottage (correction: schoolhouse) with no heat, no hot water, and very unreliable internet, for a year. That first winter there was days where it was -38C. Imagine how cold it got inside a house heated only by a barrel woodstove. She did get a dog early on, so she wasn't alone for all of the time. As far as I know, she still lives in the same cottage, though she's been progressively renovating and modernizing it (Incorrect, she does not live in the original building anymore).

What started me looking at her blog is that earlier this week a friend of mine sent me a link to this video that Jonna did recently called The Story of My Life.

My friend said it reminded her of me. Now, that should be a compliment. And in hindsight, I really do appreciate it as such. But I was having a tough day, and my gut reaction was "There's no way I can ever be as amazing of an artist as Jonna is. She's magic or something." I've followed Jonna's work for a few years now, and I support her on Patreon. She's an amazing photographer, filmmaker, jewellery designer, singer, and just an amazing person.

So, since I knew I was in having a bad day, I decided to go back to the very beginning of Jonna's blog. She started it in 2010. I had to go back over 350 pages on her website. I generally find that doing this, going back to the very beginning of someones creative work, will help me feel better about my creative journey. This time is no exception.

While scrolling through the pages of Jonna's blog I got to her first blog post, where she talked about having lived in Grundtjarn for a complete year. She talked a lot about the different seasons (no, I can't read Swedish, thank god for Google Translate). Then there is also another blog post about having lived there for one year. It reminded me of this dream I've had for a long time. I forget about it for a while, but it always comes back.

Pipe Dream

I have this vision, of sitting in a small house, or cottage, or cabin. With big windows facing a body of water. It is in a very small village, or out of town in the countryside. I'm sitting there, at my writing desk, which has a big window I can look out, and just beside the desk is a set of french patio doors. The cottage is all white inside, and fairly minimalist. The walls that face the water are almost all window. On the wall behind me is full bookcases. To my right, there is a couple of white sheepskin rugs on the floor, like the IKEA ones. There are two whippets asleep on them. Behind the rugs is a small grey couch, and just beside that is an IKEA Poang chair. You can walk between the couch and the bookshelves. Beyond the living room area to the right is a bedroom and bathroom. To my left is a small, bright kitchen.

And what I do is sit at that writing desk every day, and write about my experiences living in this area, exploring the environment around me, taking photographs, watching the wildlife, observing the seasonal changes. And I get paid to do this. So the location changes every year or two. I live somewhere for a year or two and observe, photograph, and write about that place for an entire year. Over time I compile a book, or maybe a series of books about all the places I've lived. The cottage space changes, but is always fairly small and minimalist. I also have a partner in this pipe dream, but that person works out of the house. I don't know if that's actually like driving into the nearest town to work in an office or perhaps in a workshop on the property, being creative in their own way. I'm leaning more to the creative alternative.

That's my big dream. To get paid to document my life, through words and photographs, while living in different places for a minimum of 1 full set of seasons, with my dogs and partner.