Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Joy and Danger of Persistent, Exhuberant, Extravagant Fantasy

Yes, a wise person lives and loves the life that is. Acceptance, embrace, gratitude, and thriving -- blooming where planted are all the right responses to one's life, the keys to being happy.

But mental wiring runs deep, and imagination boundless. Every once in a while I get slapped upside the head with a desire that just won't quit. What is it that those unfulfilled fantasies desire? Well, here are a few possibilities that unmet desires have to offer my rather mundane, routine, modest life:

I am supposed to live next to a snow covered peak in Switzerland or Colorado with a perky blonde woman whose sole purpose in life is to make me happy. We have no money worries and drive either an Audi or a brand new blue Toyota Tacoma four wheel drive pickup, depending on the conditions and the mood. We spend our days gazing out over blue lakes -- sometimes while sitting in claw-foot bathtubs on a pier -- or skiing or smiling toothy smiles as we ride our carbon bikes around a neighborhood full of like-minded, slim, perky, fun, liberal, intelligent and highly successful friends.

In this other life I have succeeded as a writer, painter, musician, athlete, father, son, partner. Sex is always good, off the charts in fact. I am a great cook, good story-teller, great and trustworthy confidant. I am a handy man capable of fixing toilets and building suspension bridges. I say exactly the right thing at the right time, especially to students and friends in crisis. Animals befriend me in the wild.

My socks don't have holes and my briefs' elastic waist band has not gone limp. Nor has anything else.

Everything is in order, like a Zen monastery. My pantry is always stocked, the larder a gourmand's dream. My knives are sharp and no one has used them as a screwdriver.

The floor is somehow magically swept, mopped, and free of smudges. I never have to wash dishes.

I wake up excited and have important work to do, but none if it is tedious, or other people take care of that.

My taxes are a breeze and the CPA compliments me on the order. He is impressed and threatened by my financial prowess.

My electronic files exist on the cloud. Not a sheet of paper is out of place anywhere in my sight.

Dust is distant memory. Criticism? Ha!

No one has Alzheimer's or anxiety or foot fungus.

My family visits and we share our deepest fears and challenges. No one is afraid to talk things through.

Death comes at a good time. Wakes remind us to live well and with clear intention to love each other.

Oblivion is just another cool place to visit sometime.

Yes, this life is not the only one possible.

At least that's what part of me keeps saying. The real life is just around the bend of some imaginary path I was supposed to take or that still waits just out of reach. These pictures of the other life keep bubbling up from deep in the psyche, often with the help of finely crafted and highly manipulative advertising. The fantasy both gets me up off my butt to do something and makes me vulnerable to persuasive suggestion. I have to be strong to see through the illusion. There is danger in "needing" desires to be real, in grasping, in mistaking longing for possession. But I just want to dwell there sometimes, especially as I age and ambitions in the the "real" life fade.

Yep, this is quite the place, one I can dream of, and realize in some small degree, soon, as soon as I round that imaginary bend while I live fully in a less than perfect here and now. 

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