Just the other day, while driving my car, I noticed to the right of me a cyclist on the cycling path. It was a man. He was in the midst of a lively conversation and laughed happily from time to time. Apparently it was an interesting and animated conversation. What really pleased me about it was the fact he was having this conversation with himself. Yes, you understand me correctly, he was all alone talking to himself. It was very clear to me that this went a lot further than just talking. He was entirely wrapped up in it. It wasn't a play, not a fake. And I smiled, just because I recognised this process. Way before I already wondered whether I would be the only one talking to myself. But no, that really is a weak reflection of what's going on. I mean, it is not just talking. It's fantasising. Aloud. Or daydreaming if you like. (Is it called daydreaming too when you're doing it aloud?) I often do this in my car, but it works even better when there is no need to be careful, so to me the best opportunity is when walking my dog. I sometimes have complete discussions then. When I encounter another walker, I sometimes notice them when they're just a couple of steps away from me, that much I can be engaged in my dreaming, so it is very well possible that people have seen me talking busily to myself. It may be looked upon as a bit weird. But to me, to tell you the truth, this is very convenient. I like the idea of being denominated as a weirdo. I am allergic to monotony, so let me be the Fool, card number 0 in the Tarot deck. But whilst seeing the cyclist, I realised that of course I was not the only one with an active imagination. Is daydreaming the same thing as fantasising? It sure looks like it. Let me give you an example, one that won't surprise you, coming from a fool. When I was young, about fourteen, I was a big fan of a French singer named Julien Clerc, you may well understand that logically I fantasized bumping into him completely by accident. Then I would have a conversation with him, in my, at the time rather poor, French. Nowadays I don't have that kind of idols anymore, but my imagination is as active as ever! So now I can wander and play a wonderful movie in my mind of what may happen to me. I usually play all the parts. So I talk and answer back for the other persons involved. This is very uplifting and highly recommendable. I can tell you as much, because nobody argues with you, and so you feel fulfilled and contented.
What about reality? Well I must confess that the things I imagine do not always take shape in 'reality', but I must add too that sometimes I live things in real life that go far beyond my own imagination, just miraculous. I couldn't have imagined them. So that's fine. And of course I also sometimes 'practice' difficult conversations with people I happen to have a bit of a disagreement with. Sometimes I am about to undertake something new I am a bit nervous about, so I tend to practice that with myself as well. Those conversations tend to turn out easier for me, so that's ok.
I think daydreaming is very beneficial for us human beings. I'm pretty sure that everyone does it. You know, everyone has been in love at least once in their life, and has fantasised bumping suddenly into the object of our adoration.
And if you haven't been daydreaming for some time now, don't worry. You can take it up again any time you like, how about starting right now?! While walking, cycling, vacuuming, washing dishes, there are so many moments you can use during the day. It is kind of like meditating, a moment utterly and completely for yourself. You may imagine the craziest things, noone will ever know. Maybe some of you may think this is sheer nonsense, because 'one cannot retreat from reality'. But first of all we all sometimes retreat from reality, because what else are you doing when reading a book or watching a movie? And that is just so wonderful. A moment away from the worries of everyday life, to get caught up in this lovely book or movie. And secondly? Secondly next week ;-))
Martine Clausen, S.D.D. (silly daydreamer)