Do you ever wonder what a stranger’s thinking, why they do something, what their story is? Scenario: You’re sitting in a garage waiting for the mechanic to repair your car. The chap next to you is reading the newspaper. You look up and, for longer than a second, take in the whole person. His hair is freshly cut. He’s clean shaven. His clothes fashionable, expensive. He fits the image of someone you’d find where you are which is in the service department at Mercedes. Just as you’re about to look away he, without looking up, brushes his hand on his trouser leg, then up threw his hair, then casually back to his paper. You’re left wondering mostly about the trouser rub. Itchy palm? Maybe. Who knows?
Everyday I notice odd things like that. I suppose I should keep my nosey parker nose to myself. But I truly love watching people. Sometimes – true confession time – I even mimic a move, a voice. I. Know! Despicable me.
Early on I started concocting stories about folks who caught my eye. I’d write (mostly in my head) lives filled with intrigue, love, tragedy and joy. It took me out of my own reality and would, for a time, lift me out of my depression even when imagining a stranger’s suicidal malaise. It wasn’t me, after all. It was fiction even though painted with a familiar brush.
I still do a bit of that. I’ll gaze off, lost in some obscure image that’s caught my eye. It’s a de-stressor. It relaxes my mind, slows my pulse. Occasionally someone will notice, ask me where I am, where I went. Away, I’ll reply. I went away and it was beautiful if only for a split second.
It was one of the ways I held on, fought back, when deep in despair. I believe, when struggling to climb out of the hole depression can toss you in, you have to do whatever you need do to take a step up. Daydream, hold your own hand, close your eyes, or just sit and stare. As long as for a second or hopefully three, you find your way to a place of serenity, then do it. And know this: in time you’ll find your way back to sanity. Believe and keep pretending it is so in the meantime.
My wish tonight is for imagination. Thankfully, P. L. Travers, J. K. Rowling (love it, but what is it with initials as first names?), Walt Disney and Carl Sagan to name but a very few, shared their stunning imaginations with us. These persistent, stubborn, profoundly passionate dreamers show us without a shadow of a doubt how important it is to let the mind pretend. It’s supercalifragilsticexpialdocious!