You know those dreams that are vivid and beautiful. The ones you start to awaken from and you feel this terrible wrenching pain as reality returns. It's not that reality is somehow less, but you feel this longing and loss. You want to know how the story went, how the ending played out. Like a perfect movie where you feel along with every emotion, but the disk is scratched and you'll never see the ending.
So you keep your eyes closed, shutting them tight and trying to picture the story again. Maybe you can fall asleep. Maybe you can go back there and see how it ends. Maybe you don't have to leave, not yet. But it never works. You can never know the ending and never feel that moment again.
These dreams don't happen often. Maybe every few years. And you never get to hold onto them long enough.
What if it wasn't like that?
What if you had one of those dreams every night? Every moment you slept was like a perfect wonderful movie. Only better, because you could feel it all.
What if you could go back to sleep and be right there again? What if you could live in that dream for as long as it played?
Would you have the courage to wake up? Would you have the strength to let that moment go and accept one less vibrant, less perfect, less beautiful?
If life was a dream, could you wake up to reality?
This is what it's like to be a writer.
There's the dream, the idea. It comes unexpectedly and it plays before you like a shiny lure. That one scene with those characters that draw you in. You need to know them and the only way is to let yourself slip away from reality into their world.
But the thing is, that's too easy. The story is too bright. The feelings are too strong. You want to go back. You don't want to leave them. You let them play in your head, when no one knows. You escape your world and linger in theirs. You spend more and more time there until it becomes harder to wake up from the dream than it is to fall back into it.
Reality pulls you back, but it's in the dream where you want to live.
You thought this was a blessing. To be shown this other world, allowed to travel there at will. But the blessing starts to become a curse. You can't turn the story off. You can't break away. Reality slips farther from your mind and you become lost somewhere. Do you live, only witnessing these other lives? Or do you live in your reality, where things don't always shine with that light?
What if life was the dream?
What if waking was losing it all?
Until the story ends, I find myself torn between two worlds.
What can I say?
I’m a writer.