Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night.
- Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe may not have been the happiest or healthiest of men. He was orphaned at a very young age when his father abandoned the family and his mother died. He alienated his peers (famously accusing Longfellow of plagiarism), moved around in search of jobs, harder to find as he pushed people out of his life, and after the death of his wife reportedly turned to alcohol and opium to soothe his grief. His cause of death is in fact unknown, but has been attributed to everything from alcoholism to syphilis and even rabies.
Despite the struggle of his life, he gave us a vision unlike the writings that came before him. He fed us his imagination. I can see him as a daydreamer thinking, if only this could happen, getting lost in the possibility to drown out the reality. His stories were full of phobias and torment that likely reflected his inner emotion to some extent.
I can relate with a daydreamer. While I do dream at night, I rarely remember them and when I do they tend to be anxiety dreams of the common ilk, or entirely nonsensical. Daydreaming is another animal. It’s where your fears and hopes bubble up, allowing you to reflect on where you’d like to be going; what in a perfect world, you want for yourself. Waking dreams are guided by your conscious thought, conscious want. Daydreams help us gain self awareness. What were you thinking? It’s not such a bad question.
Daydreaming has it’s side effects. I failed English (my best subject) one quarter in 6th grade because I spent 90% of the time staring out the window and continually forgot to turn in assignments, even when I’d completed them. I have long since learned to temper my daydreams, using them as an escape when quiet moments allow. I can’t imagine going through life without my wishes bubbling up as stories written only for me.