“Since I had plenty of leisure time, I usually rose early in the morning, and then with an empty mind concentrated on the beauty of the fields, trees, rivers, mountains, and clouds, and I found that I could predict the weather right 7 or 8 times out of 10. Then I realized that in quietness the universe can be observed, the inner moods felt and obtained.” (What author Yeh Meng-te wrote about quietness in 1156, https://kihm2.wordpress.com).
For me, fantasy is escape by using one’s imagination. Your imagination can take you to faraway places like the many countries explored on public television. If fantasy is controlled safely and not obsessive, it can be better than drugs.
Probably in the pioneer days, people imagined many ways they could escape the drudgery of doing anything which had no future of success. It might have taken a year just to receive a letter. Farmers, some of the hardest-working people on earth, have kept the world fed for centuries despite droughts, tornados, floods, etc. In an AARP article, I discovered that doctors suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) worrying about us among other things. I never imagined that.
We have a lot of things from which we want to escape these days. We receive “news” instantly as it happens—minute-by-minute. Whether we see or hear it broadcast in some type of medium like our smart phones or the people you meet are discussing it daily—Bam! It’s in your face or ears. We are bombarded constantly with “noise”.
“Reality tv” is not reality, but it can take you away from your situation. You can see peoples’ situations that are a lot worse or better than yours on television shows like “Jerry Springer”, “Maury”, “The Kardashians”, “Survivor”, etc. I would call these guilty pleasures because unless you are writing a thesis on them, I wouldn’t watch them more than once. However, the audiences seem to enjoy them so maybe that’s their escape from reality.
Music is another way to escape. I like to listen to Bruno Mars or the “Flower Duet” (a famous duet for soprano and mezzo-soprano from Le’o Delibes’ opera Lakme’, first performed in Paris in 1883—Wikipedia). Fantasy can relieve tiredness from working especially if you can’t get what you want in promotion or advancement. Even the government recently is trying to take away a citizen’s earned benefits like Social Security, Medicare, tax benefits, etc.– the things that past U.S. presidents and legislators secured for us.
Wikipedia lists about 20 themes (subgenres) of fantasy if you want to get deep into the types of fantasy. I don’t intend to get that deep. Erotic romance, fiction, science fiction, and autobiographies are fantasy enough for me.
I’m sure you can imagine a few things you would rather be doing. Figure out a way to have quiet and/or leisure time every day. I find that in quiet, I have a chance to think for myself, create, and listen to the sensible no matter the political party.
“The Doctor Diaries: What Physicians Wish Patients Knew”, Healthy You, AARP the magazine, June/July 2018, pp. 22-23.
Written by Rosa L. Griffin