“Daydream” is a slightly lesser played jazz standard by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. But if you go to YouTube and enter Daydream, you get a wide range of songs from multiple genres and performers ostensibly on that theme. A Google search quickly reveals that the idea of a daydream seems like a good marketing tool to industries from hotels to digital asset management. Daydreams are appealing. They represent someplace we want to go, something we want to do, something so relatable about being alive that artists in every medium have immortalized them multiple times.
Actors, athletes, musicians, scientists talk about mental rehearsal, and visualizing the winning stroke, the great solution, the words and the shape of the monologue. We call some of our greatest leaders and thinkers ‘visionaries.’
And then we talk out of the other side of our mouths, disparaging daydreaming, interpreting it as evidence of entrenched laziness, always trying to get a person to ‘snap out of it.’
Listen to the musicians and luminaries. Ignore everything else. Daydreaming is vital.
I daydream. Like a mofo. I take time and energy away from friends and family to do so. I reflect on my daydreams because sometimes there’s something in there I didn’t know about myself. Something that helps me take a step forward, or ask a better question.
My fantasias help me pick the best route across town, choose what I really want for dinner, or develop a character, write a chapter, poem, scene, or post. And sometimes it just feels dang good to leave reality behind and pretend something else is important.
I am not very fond of winter and this has been a particularly daydreamy period for me. For a while there I was daytripping (on my own brainwaves) so often and with such intensity that I was a little concerned. I thought about why I was reworking the same scenarios with the same people so many times, and came to understand I am trying to work out something I do or don’t believe about love. Not such a bad thing to spend one’s time on.
So if you haven’t yet today, launch a daydream. Push the little boat of your id out onto the open seas of what if and see where the currents take you. And pay attention, you might just find something you’ve been looking for.