I woke up this morning thinking about daydreams and the part they’ve played in my life. As a child I was in a constant reverie with elaborate fantasies within my mind that played out like a movie. I was so in-tune with it that I used it whenever in school we were in a subject I didn’t care for; mainly math since it was dry and rigidly taught. But I saw poems in alphabet soup and outdoors was my wonder land where I saw shapes in clouds and spotted every penny dropped on the sidewalk as a good omen, but could walk straight into a lamp post and fire hydrant. By adolescence, I turned it off when I met skepticism. In my early late 20’s I reconnected with it again as the sensitivity of my heart heightened through romantic relationships. I began to question if my vegetarian diet would allow me to fly or at the very least I could throw glitter on the top of my head. But I also experienced dizziness and a chest pain that felt like a heavy weight pressed against my heart.
So what has this got to do with now? Three things rekindled this memory; first a film, then a book, followed by music.
Last night I watched the last hour of 1976 film adaptation The Last Tycoon. I thought Robert De Niro gave a stellar performance as a film executive (Irving Thalberg) who had the ability to make anyone’s dreams come true. Although he was ruthless with writers his softer side was evident with women and the chemistry between his character Monroe Stahr and character Kathleen Moore played by Ingrid Boulting had them yearning to be together, as a fantasy, even if their romance was doomed.
Now for the book: I’ve been asked about how I could write Dust Unto Shadow and portray such a vivid place and time, if I have never been there and the events took place long ago. The power to imagine and letting my mind wander by daydreaming can create a world. Even in non-fiction one has to put themselves in another’s shoes to understand their perspective, their motives, their strengths and attributes and what makes them tick. With that, you establish a voice and dialogue moves a story along. And that’s what I did.
For the music segment of this post: Someone once told me that I reminded him of character Holly Go Lightly. He did not express it in words but I believe it was because she won’t commit (won’t let anybody put her in a cage) and she tells it like it is (the mean reds). She’s spontaneous and that gives her a dreamlike quality. The music for Breakfast at Tiffany’s was composed by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini, it won an Academy Award and was later recorded by other artists, and is about two friends chasing a dream down a river.
Do you chase after dreams, rivers or rainbows? I invite you to share.