You see, I have never felt the need to invent a world beyond this world, for this world has always seemed large and beautiful enough for me. I have wondered why it is not large and beautiful enough for others –why they must dream up new and marvelous spheres, or long to live elsewhere, beyond this dominion… but that is not my business. We are all different, I suppose. — Alma Whittaker, p. 605 (The Signature of All Things)
Indeed, Ms. Whittaker, we are different. Unlike other endings, epilogues, or aftermaths, the character silently moves on to bid farewell. In most of my readings, I have noticed how swift the reminder comes for me: it’s his or her story; not yours. But with Ms. Whittaker or simply Alma, I failed to take heed. She brought me into her kind of world, her majestic era and beyond. No wonder, by the end of her journey, I share her amazing liberation. …
Going back to the quoted lines, I think I know why — “why they must dream up.” On a personal case, I believe I’ve been dreaming things up as a means of escape. Much as I’d like to face truth in the fore, it’s almost always too difficult to endure. Hence, when things don’t go my way, I put my head in the clouds and think of something else. In most of these internal travails, I tend to see myself playing an important part. I used to think it had something to do with that vain love for creating good impressions. In other words, I saw myself looking impressive, acting cool. A peek back at my reality, you will see that I am far from such unfazed dispositions. I am clumsy. I bow like a bamboo and leave my mind to its protestations.
Sometimes, I imagine talking to real people. By the time I actually face that person, I won’t talk much anymore, contented with the imaginary conversations (or one-sided chat). It sounds funny, I know. It might probably work as a kind of mechanism — the sort that creates strong links between my fantasy and reality. I think I have sufficient reason to believe that this ‘dreaming up’ mechanism works, since some of my fantasies had become real, i.e., becoming a professional writer, pursuing a master’s program, as well as, gaining recognition within my (work) organization! You? Do you dream up too?