Doing Cartwheels in the Sky

Daydreams—call them fantasies if you like—keep a person fresh. Those reveries paint pictures in our minds of an environment in which we exercise control of the world around us. They allow us to be bold, daring, adventuresome; without fear of the consequences we might face in the “real world.” But daydreams are the real world. They simply hide from everyone but the dreamer. Yet they lack the danger that’s present in the real world. Yet they have the potential of making us believe the potential dangers are surmountable. And so they can push us to do or say things we ought not do or say. And therein lies the peril of “harmless” self-induced hallucination. When we begin to merge the real with the imagined, when we blend experience with delusion, that’s when our worlds begin to fall apart.

Now, it sounds like I’m describing a mental breakdown, a psychotic break. But I’m not. I’m describing a wishful state in which the desires and armors that surround us in our fantasies interfere with our ability to suppress our emotions and avoid emotional collisions.

In fact, I’m pretending to understand and present a state of emotional pairing about which I know almost nothing. But I’m writing as if I understand this pairing, if it exists, as deeply as one possibly can. Why would I do this? The reasons are too numerous and too complex for me to explain in the time I have given myself to write this bogus diatribe. Suffice it to say I am imitating the style of charlatans and other swindlers and fakes who present themselves as highly knowledgeable of a subject, with the objective of conning and convincing others to believe them; to come around to their bigoted, jaundiced point of view.

Daydreams can be useful outlets of emotions. For example, when thinking about the charlatans whose style I said I was imitating, I might imagine hacking them to death with a blunt axe. Imagining the act might satisfy my lust for revenge against someone who cheats and cons others. Without that emotional outlet, I might make it my mission to find a blunt axe and put it to use. On the other hand, as I suggested above, my imagination might trigger the very act by convincing me that I would not face consequences for my action. Again, I am making this up as I go. I don’t have a clue what I’m writing about. I’m just writing.

Back to my original point. Daydreams keep a person fresh. Whether true or not, I believe it to be a fact. We create experience by daydreaming/fantasizing/hallucinating/imagining. Daydreaming bends our minds just enough to flex them, but not so much as to break them. Well, usually not so much as to break them. Charles Manson may be the exception that proves the rule. Or maybe not. I know virtually nothing of Charles Manson’s mental state, though I surmise that he was as crazy as they come. I had forgotten (assuming I ever knew) that he died in prison in 2017 at the age of 83. Manson was not fresh, in my opinion. He was stale and rotten; his brain was a container filled with putrid, fetid, rancid ideas gone bad.

Somehow, my original point has been lost or derailed. I think derailed is a better term. My point now resembles a damaged locomotive, switched to the wrong track and pushed to its maximum speed as it approaches a section of vandalized track, the rails bent and deformed, with pieces missing. When the heavy engine reaches the broken track, it lurches to the right and comes off the rails, ripping through dense forest, splintering huge trees and setting the woodlands ablaze. I don’t think my original point has the capacity to inflict such damage, actually. So maybe the simile was a bit overblown. More than a bit, actually.

While I’m writing, I might as well mention that my deck remains unfinished. And it will until the weather cooperates. The weather must be suitable for more sanding and, following that, painting. Also, I need to get some more pieces of lumber, but that can wait. I do wish I knew a dependable handyman who could and would come help when the time is right. Wish in one hand, spit in the other, and see which one fills up fastest.  I daydream about the deck being finished and the wood railing being replaced with horizontal wire railing. See? I did manage to get daydreams back into this flight of fancy. This flight of fancy is much like the flight of a large soaring bird, high on LSD and cocaine, doing cartwheels in the sky. I swear I remember that “doing cartwheels in the sky” were among the lyrics to a song I heard in the 1960s or 1970s, but Mother Google will neither confirm nor deny it. Enough of this. I need to go sit on the deck and imagine it complete and serving as a setting for an evening gathering over drinks and hors d’ouvres.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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