Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hold Fast to Dreams

"Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow."
~Langston Hughes

By Kerry Schafer

"Ring, ring -"

"Hi, may I speak to Kerry Schafer, please?"
"That would be me."
"Kerry, this is Ms. Dream Agent. I just read your query and sample pages and I have to tell you I am blown away by your writing. In fact, it is so brilliant I don't even need to read the rest to know I want to sign you at once."
"Um -"
"In fact, I shared your pages with my best friend who is an editor at one of the big 5, and she's prepared to offer you a contract immediately..."

What? It's my daydream, leave me alone.

I can't remember a time when I didn't daydream. The content has changed over the years, sure, but the practice is pretty much the same. Once upon a time it was fairy princesses and knights in shining armor. And then amazingly cute boys who for some reason found me much more interesting than their real life counterparts at school seemed to do. These boys turned into men, intelligent and attractive and mysterious.

All daydreams are not about lovely men, however. I have, in my mind, played brilliant piano solos on stage, talked to famous people, written complex and fascinating novels, and fallen in and out of love. There was a period of time when magnificent horses lived in my humble little barn, and I rode them at night, through the dark and wind beneath the moon.

In my mind I have endless conversations with people that I would never dare to have in real life. When I'm angry I can say what I am really thinking without seriously damaging a relationship I care about. I can quite a job, or start a new one and see how it feels. I discuss issues at length with friend and foe, solve the problems of the world, create a brighter future. If I don't like the ending of a book or a movie, I just make a new one up.

Once, when I was a teenager, a well meaning camp counselor drew me aside. She told me that daydreaming was unhealthy, a bad habit that I needed to curb. I chose to listen to Langston Hughes instead.

Hold fast to dreams, indeed. Daydreams keep me going. They provide hope when things are dark, and sometimes the insight and courage to solve a problem that seemed insurmountable. They also lead to writing. How could anybody ever write a story or a novel without extensive daydream time around the characters and how they live their lives?

Reality is highly overrated. As I often say - "nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there."

To all of the other dreamers out there I say - keep on dreaming! You never know when we might just dream ourselves into a whole new reality.


  1. Love this post. And I like the way you daydream.

    You WILL get that call from an agent one day. Okay, maybe not precisely that version of it (though wouldn't that be cool? *grin*), but one with an offer. How do I know this? Because I'm a tiny bit psychic. :)

  2. Ooh, I love the way you psychic, Linda. :)

  3. I think the ones who want to exert religious control over us discourage daydreaming exactly because it does liberate us.

  4. This is a fantastic post and more of what we need in the world. Good luck to you and your might be the next Twilight or Harry Potter series...those were built around dreams as well.In the meantime, lets lift a glass and CHEERS your imagination and ability to daydream! *clink*

  5. Jeffe - anybody who wants to exert control over us, I think. I'd think even Scientific breakthroughs involve some sort of daydreaming process.

    Christina - thank you! Cheers to you as well!