Friday, January 10, 2014

What if it did happen?

Do you have dreams apparently entirely in another language you're trying to learn, or see yourself shine as you show off a skill you'd love to master?

Have you ever composed the perfect essay, story, song, or sentence in your head only to find it flee (or flawed) when you get a chance to write it down?

Or maybe you just imagine conversations where you connect (or conquer, as the case may be) in ways that never seem to happen in "real life." (Why not? Do you think it's just because the right circumstances didn't quite coalesce or the other person botched their lines?)

I'm wondering if the voices in our heads telling us the words could be perfect are more about confidence and not content. That feeling of getting it right, not the key to getting it right.

If that's the case, it's a beautiful dream about speaking flawless French; you didn't dream it all in French. It's the hope of writing that great song or story, it's not the one that actually came to you and somehow got away. It's wishful thinking about how you'd like to see yourself navigating relationships, probably not some kind of divine or diabolical inspiration.

Is this part of the appeal of fiction? Does it open the door for us to dream those dreams awake?

We watch a lot of action films in our house. Not my thing, really. On the one hand, I don't find them credible. I don't believe. You may see yourself as a soldier or superhero but the chances are very slim you will ever shoot anybody with a gun or run for your life or get in a car chase. Maybe the same could be said for the cheesy chick flicks for which I [sometimes] have more sympathy.

Is that desire, though, why you want to be that guy or that girl for an hour or two - maybe every night! - because it's not going to happen for you otherwise?

For me, the adventure aspect of the action films is overshadowed by the violence. When I watch violence on screen, I feel much much the same as I would if I saw it on the street. That's not what I want to feel. Even if I could suspect my disbelief, it's tough so suspend my dismay at what I'm watching.
  So the other thing about the fantasy stories of whatever type is the question, "what if it did happen?" Is that something to hope for, or a threat? Both?

Inside, do you really believe you'd have the courage, strength, or skill to come out on top? If opportunity or grand adventure really did come knocking - if your dreams began to come true - how would you respond? How would you handle it? Do you have what it takes, like that character?

Self image is a funny thing, isn't it? Maybe dreams and fantasy are where our hopes and fears come out and play.

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