Archive for 'daydreams'



How Daydreamers Save The World
by Our Guest on July 2nd, 2009

Idleness is the devil’s workshop — or so the Puritan’s believed. In school, kids were always getting yelled at to stop daydreaming and pay attention. “You’re wasting time, you’ll never amount to anything…”

Really? IMHO, it’s daydreams that inspire us to try new things, go new places and be more than we already are. Some people call it “visualizing success.” Semantics. However you term it, daydreams spark the excitement in life.

But even more than that, throughout history it’s been the daydreamers who have saved us from stagnation, hardship, hunger and, yes, even tyranny.

jonathan-trumbull-signing-of-the-declaration-of-independence-large

Daydreamers are the mothers of invention. When life gets tough, daydreamers retreat — into a personal wilderness of fanciful discontent, a seemingly disordered hodgepodge of imaginings that spawn inspiration, aspiration, and so many of the things the rest of us will eventually take for granted.

Where would we be if some daydreamer, grown sick and tired of lugging stuff around the forest, hadn’t daydreamed the wheel? What if, 233 years ago this Saturday, a bunch of malcontents hadn’t daydreamed what life would be like if they didn’t have to answer to Mad King George, or any king for that matter? What if the Wright Brothers hadn’t daydreamed about that funny thing birds do?

kitty-hawk

From our first primal ancestors who looked at fire and thought, “Gee, maybe we shouldn’t scream and run away. Maybe we should try cooking some of that dead mastodon instead,” to Stephen Hawking who taught the world new ways of looking at space and time, it’s been the dreamers who have explored the impossible and made it plausible. Like the universe, the mind is an infinite place. It’s filled with infinite possibilities, from romance to rocket ships, and sitting quietly in a comfortable place and letting your thoughts wander is a lot like strapping on survival gear and setting out like, Sir Edmund Hillary, to scale life’s loftiest heights.

everest

Well, almost. :smile:

Happy Almost Birthday, America!

Diving Into Other Worlds
by Annette McCleave on June 30th, 2009

As a writer, the bulk of my daydreams are about the worlds I weave for my books. Some of my most relaxing moments are just sitting in my La-Z-Boy, immersing myself completely in the sights and sound and smells of that magical place, where ever it might be. Even if the real world is ratcheting up the tension, I can de-stress in an instant simply by closing my eyes and following my characters into their adventures.

As a reader, all it takes is a skilled wordsmith with a flair for storytelling and I’m off visiting far-off lands and ancient times. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen into a great book only emerge hours later wondering how much time has passed. Unless I then discover I’m late for something, LOL, that’s a blissful moment. To be transported. Sigh. That’s what my book budget is really for.

I don’t do much spontaneous daydreaming. To be honest, I feel like I’m living my dream. But I do tend to surround myself with paintings and pictures of peaceful places I’d love to dive into.

painting

Calendars of Scottish castles, paintings of houses in the autumn, pictures of winding country roads. A few images of the stars… And yes, some clear blue water and white sand scenes. They have the power to make me forget, just for a second, the phone bill and the laundry pile. Some days, that’s exactly what I need.

Do you have a favorite place to daydream? Inside? Outside? At the office, LOL?

The power of daydreams
by Jessa Slade on June 29th, 2009

When I was a teen, I had the opportunity to spend a week in Vail, Colorado, babysitting my cousins on a ski vacation.  It was awesome.  I’d never been downhill skiing before, and I got to take classes and accompany my aunt and uncle and the kids (who were waaaay better than me) on some of the easier runs.

If you’ve ever been skiing in Colorado, I don’t need to describe it, but for the rest of you, I will just say: Heaven. Celestial blue skies. The softest, whitest, downy snow. An intense and all-encompassing feeling of floating and joy. (When I wasn’t yard sale-ing — or we could say sailing — across half the slope.)

vail{This photo of a $2800/night mountain-side chalet is NOT where we stayed; but the beauty is the same, free, and everywhere.}

One night near the end of our stay, my aunt and uncle had gone for a nice dinner and the kids were asleep. I stepped out onto the balcony.  Our room faced a walkway through the pines, with the pale bulk of the mountain beyond.  It was late, but the reflection of hotel lights off the snow made the night glow.  Drifting snowflakes (like the rain in the fairy world of Summerland, I swear it only snowed at night in Vail) glimmered like falling stars in the dark.

I thought, This is where I want to be.

Fast forward, oh, about seven years. 

That last serene image of Vail had stayed with me over time and distances. I would conjure it up in my head when I was stressed about finals in college, when I was studying abroad, and at my first less than inspiring full-time job.

One day, looking through want-ads, I saw an opening at a newspaper in Vail, Colorado.  And I made my daydream a reality.

Later, I read books about manifesting your reality. I read how your brain — trapped in a cage of bone and goo — has no way to experience the “real” world except through your senses. If you can imagine something clearly enough — see it, hear it, smell it, touch it, taste it — as far as your brain is concerned, that’s reality.  Eventually, your imagination can become reality.

Run amok, this process leads to mental illness, true.  But since we’re using our powers for good…

Daydream + Action plan + Perserverance = Your shiny new reality

Daydreams without the other two elements are perfectly lovely, of course.  A few minute’s mental vacation on a snowy mountain night is entirely enough.  Not everybody wants to turn that into living in a ski bum town for two years, paying $700 a month to sleep in a heated shed (no bathroom) between two single-wide trailers for the honor of coming up with another sudden illness every time the fresh powder falls.  Sometimes even shiny new realities aren’t quite the same as the daydream.

But I think the power of a daydream to relax and revive and delight us is the knowledge that it could become so much more, given the right circumstances and impetus.

After all, writing started as a daydream for me.

caribbean-vacationMy new daydreaming escape is also based on an old family vacation.  When I was young, my parents took my sister and me to St. Johns in the Virgin Islands.  (And, yes, what my sheltered suburban upbringing sadly lacked in future source material for lurid angsty tell-alls, it more than made up for in loving, generous family members who believed new experiences were more important than stuff.)  The Caribbean was, to my imagination, as epic as Vail in its own way.  I’d never been snorkeling before, but oddly, the ocean was the same color as the Colorado sky.

One evening, we walked through town on one of the islands. The sky had turned a peachy red fading to blue, the colors echoed in the hanging baskets of flowers.  The air was as perfectly warm as the water, at once decadent and pure. 

I could as easily have been a beach bum as a ski bum.  Just sayin.’

One of these days, I’ll make it back to that island, and then I’ll need a new, new daydream. But for now, I’m savoring every minute in paradise.

When you daydream, is it about old places, or places you’ve never been?