Friday, January 9, 2015

What Day Dreams May Come

Do you ever feel like adulthood is vastly overrated? I mean, when you were a kid, there was all this empty time and space inside your head. You could entertain all kinds of internal, unlikely scenarios in your daydreams. Then you made the mistake of growing up and bang. Your brain is crammed with bills to pay, groceries to buy, places to go, people to see, phone calls to make - and you wonder where the hell you're supposed to find any kind of mental silence. And then someone asks you about daydreams. Sure. I daydream. About having the capacity for long stretches of mental silence in which to spin out grandiose tales of true love and high adventure. May the other way around.

You had to work pretty hard to get my attention when I was a kid. Some worlds are more real than others, and frankly, if this world expected to hold my attention, it should have come up with something better than me stuck in the backseat of a car for days on end while the family drove to my military father's next post. I suspect there are vast stretches on interstate in these United States that I've never seen despite the fact that I traveled them. I was too busy riding the huge, far too sentient black horse I didn't actually have and expertly fencing the pirates and cutthroats we ran across. Also. I had a pet black panther named Scott. Yeah. Dunno. I was 10. Apparently, Goth was my aesthetic. We won't talk about how long ago that was.

 I was a good kid - one of those kids who so rarely got into trouble that all of the other kids looked at me sideways. But. When I did get yelled at - it was for daydreaming. Or not putting my book down to do whatever chore my mother had tasked me with doing. But honestly, reading is just hitching a ride on someone else's daydream.

So these photos? They're the Pacific Northwest. I show them to you to justify the fuzzy, far-off look in my eyes (yes, even now, after the lament about adulthood). Anything could be out there in that fog and in those trees. Anything. Aliens. Monsters. Bad guys. Adventure. Seriously. Are there people who don't daydream? I think the only weird part is that I started writing my daydreams down so I wouldn't forget them and somehow parlayed that into a way to let other people in on those daydreams, too. Which is my way of saying that daydreams and night time dreams both play a huge roll in my writing. They're tools and they're gifts. I try to treat them nicely. Even when my friends and family have to reach across a dinner table and smack me to get my attention. A few of them shook their heads when I first got published and muttered something about 'great, just encouraging her'.

Psychology Today printed up an article that's a daydreaming trouble-shooting kind of guide.
It actually has a few pointers for those of us lost in adult-brain. I think I'm going to practice a few silencing exercises. I'll catch you in the dreamtime. I'll be the one on the black horse being shadowed by the black panther.

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