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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 17-Oct-08


Friday 17-Oct-08

Sweet Dreams

I just watched an episode of Ali McBeal, the slightly-surreal lawyer program, where a dying woman sues a hospital to get them to put her into a coma. The woman, without a family life of her own, has created one in her dreams, complete with an ideal dream husband. Her fulfilled nights thus compensate for her lonely days. A sweet story, indeed, that paralleled in the main story by the dreams of others and the more outlandish fantasies of Ali that are a core element of this hit TV show.

Dreaming is a strange thing, which can seem totally real. In particular, 'lucid dreaming' happens in the frontal lobes where much of our conscious thought occurs, so it is perhaps not such a surprise. Daydreaming uses the same imaginative areas to take a time-out into more pleasant realms.

We're a family of dreamers who read and watch fantasy and are sometimes thought of as 'weird' by others who don't really know us. Back when I was a fully fledged software nerd, we used to play Dungeons and Dragons each week with a bunch of friends. More dreaming other-worldliness. But, as I said, we're actually very sane. We know the difference between fantasy and reality, and are comfortable and adjusted enough to our realities that we can let go without getting lost. Our kites are well-tethered: we just enjoy the different perspective it gives.

One of the nice things about DVDs is how all of the great TV series from across the years are suddenly available again. I bought the complete series of Ali McBeal for my wife earlier in the year and we watch it now, along with such stalwarts as Babylon 5, to escape from reality and relax.

Perchance as I write this, my daughter walked in with a painting she has done of my son, in a fantasy pose with a big axe thing and all dressed in black (he's going through a Goth phase at the moment). She can't afford presents, so she is spending a lot of time painting for us all. Paintings are such a marvellous medium for capturing dreams. Unbridled by the physical world, a painting is limited only by the constraints the medium and the artist's imagination.

So dream on. Find happiness where it is. Boldly go and discover new lands in your inner world.

And then wonder how you can make it all come true.

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