DOUG LEWANDOWSKI: Heads up: Giving voice to the fantastic in our minds
The door swings open. The low-slung, wine-colored Tesla is at rest deep in the shadows of the garage. The soft, supple leather welcomes my posterior by starting a fan underneath my derriere, cooling it on a warm summer day. The car knows I'm here. It positions my arms and legs in a way that ensures appropriate accommodation, it's memory flawless. The glass roof slides back effortlessly, the headrest rises to cradle my head. I push the stalk on the column to engage drive, glide from the darkened garage and spring down the driveway, a subtle awareness has come to life.
Sprinting down old 71, acceleration is seamless. Trees blur and the city vanishes in the rear view mirror. I am cruising at 120—then I remember to put the old Ford 150 into fourth gear. Imagination got the best of me.
Most of the time we stand somewhere between being stuck in the mud or trying to get our motors started, not even thinking about racing down a road. Where some have a solid base in reality, others don't seem to touch the ground. Those with hyperactive bodies fidget and roam, while other have minds that race.
Meetings or seminars are fertile ground for an overactive consciousness. Fantasy engages when the mind has little to do or is bored. If you've cleaned out your billfold and sorted out ancient donut and gas cards with ragged, punched holes, and looked at the pictures of your kids when they were seven years old, then it's time to slip into another realm.
Long car trips make the dive into one's imagination a worthwhile survival technique. There's not a whole lot of distraction on an interstate, especially when it's in eastern Montana or western North Dakota. After all, how many Country Western stations can you listen to in one day!
The, "what if I win the lottery" fantasy is fun. Sure, $500 million could go a long way toward paying off the credit cards I suppose, but then VISA or Mastercard would just extend the limits. More chances to go in the hole.
Escape themes in fantasy are routine. They get us away from the daily grind and for a few minutes we are in another place or time; think "Walter Mitty." Peak moments in life can be re-lived and enjoyed again. Or we can prep for things to come. I will catch another trophy lake trout, or I will make it to the top of Sunnyside at Buena Vista cross country skiing without dying!
Fantasy is functional. In talented people, the blending of personal history and archetypal themes merge into conscious expression in a creative act. This expression is not limited to the arts, but happens in everyday life, too. The well-designed water faucet, the efficient accounting procedure or the sweep of a curve on a superhighway are end products of someone's fantasy. When this happens, the castles built in the air by the imagination become reality.
Life would be difficult for many of us without the chance to roam around unchecked inside our head. The vigorous mind needs to expend it's energies just like the body of a restless person. The dark side of existence and the seemingly ridiculous aspects of human temperament are given voice in fantasy. Owning a Tesla, let alone driving one, may be something dreams are made of, but our reveries give voice to the vitality of an inner life.
More of Doug's writings can be seen at www.douglewandowski.com