What are Daydreams?

(View out my window at sunrise.)

It seems to me that daydreams are possibilities. They are ways of contemplating how the future might look. Most daydreams go off into realms of great improbability, but if I’m careful it’s possible to look down on my own daydream from above and to keep it somewhat within reason. I like to think that when I can do that my daydream becomes a better simulation of what really is possible. . . but it’s still just a simulation.

In the end, daydreaming is just a way of exploring narratives for myself. And it’s impossible to live without narratives, without stories.

People can’t live by natural laws alone, can they? We live among people, not among inanimate objects. Almost without intending to, we draw lines of causality from one event in our lives to the next. And those events are usually meetings and interactions with other people, not with things we can analyse objectively.

Just as I search for a narrative to explain my experiences, so I assume do the other people involved. Considering our different circumstances, my story is probably very different from those of other people. That idea makes me smile as I try to imagine all the different people I am in other people’s narratives. Who am I in your daydreams?

Past experiences inform how we imagine the future, but the imagined future is always different than the imagined past. The future is always changing as daydreams shift to account for different events, different causes and effects, different possibilities. The past seems to change in a similar way, too. At least I can say that my stories about the past mutate slowly with time as my perspective changes.

No matter how analytical people want to be of the world, we will always need stories. . . and daydreams.

. . . and music to daydream by:

6 thoughts on “What are Daydreams?

  1. “How are you in my day dreams”, dear Hanna:
    You are a gifted young woman sitting with a great view on a computer composing
    your thesis – once in a while you are writing for your blog, and we readers are
    beginning to think about topics we would not otherwise think about.
    I listened to the Glass Music, and remembered the great ballet by Twyla Tharpe ?
    “In the Upper Room” (to his Glass Pieces) which I absolutely loved in the 90th.
    Then I went back to my Murakami (1Q84) and I wish you will have time in the future
    for the almost 1000 pages of “daydreams”.
    Yesterday I prepared a meal from “Beyond Burgers…” and I was thinking how
    interesting life is. And how small the world has become. Thanksgiving is a good
    time for Daydreams – thinking in both directions – back and ahead.
    Happy writing !!
    Love, christiane

  2. Hanna, thinking of you, what’s going on ??
    I miss you now almost four weeks and not a single word from you.
    Hope you are busy and only good things were happening in the
    last month.
    Happy Advent !!
    Love, your fan CH

    1. Dear Christiane,

      I’m sorry I kept you waiting! I’m almost done with my master’s thesis and will hand it in this week. Then, I’m off to Germany for the holidays. I’m afraid my next post will have to wait until then, but thank you for your support. Kerstin was excited to hear someone other than family and friends was enjoying her site at “Beyond Burgers. . .” I’m looking forward to cooking together with her and the rest of the family over the holidays.

      Happy Advent to you too!


  3. Dear Hanna, this is wonderful news ! Congratulations! Now you are FREE
    to travel and enjoy the family and cook with your sister – this is what holidays
    are supposed to be about.
    Frohe Weihnacht and a wonderful time in good old Germany !
    Looking forward to news in the New Year from you two.
    Both your blogs are such a delight – they were a big part of my use of the
    macbook – something to look forward to (after the March events in Japan)
    To all of us, I hope the year 2012 will be a good and healthy one.
    And keep on blogging!!
    Travel save …..
    with love,

  4. I just came across your blog. You have a great perspective on Japan, and life. I appreciate your list(s) of links. Best regards, Matt

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