As I was driving home yesterday after another long and draining day at work, I tuned into one of my favorite Sirius classical radio stations. There in my car, in the middle of traffic, I found myself transported.
I was at the symphony, in the same theatre that my husband and I used to attend on occasion. The orchestra looked so grand dressed in their finest formal clothes. I remembered the coziness of being in that theatre on a cold winter evening, I could picture the unique walls that were constructed to allow the best possible sound to be heard, I saw the burgundy seats, remembered the ushers in their black and white clothes. It was grand!
Suddenly, I found myself back in my car, my attention required as I changed lanes. Once I was back on track, my mind wandered again.
Listening to Mozart, this time I was in an English country home, in another time, listening to a young woman playing the harpsichord. There were no cell phones, no email, no TV new programs with bad news, just the pure pleasure of listening to music well played.
It’s an amazing thing that when you have travelled the same roads often, your mind is able to slip into neutral in a sense, and you’re able to take these journeys in your imagination. It used to concern me when I arrived at my destination with little recollection of chunks of the journey, but I’ve heard that it’s a common experience.
It doesn’t concern me any longer, I enjoy the opportunity to use my imagination to escape to a quieter place for a while.
Sweet escape! Engaging part of the mind in another activity (like mundane chore stuff or great music or saying the rosary or a string of prayers) often lets the other side of the brain come out for a walk.
I call that switching to right-brain mode. I used to have a long commute to work in Houston, but learned to appreciate it because that’s where I got my very best ideas. Now, when I am struggling with a writing block or creative problem, I sometimes get up on a congested freeway on purpose! There’s just one problem with going right-brained. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come out of my reverie, only to discover that I have driven miles past my exit!
Nice use of your imagination. My mind usually races to the next thing I have to do, the things that I have left undone and I often arrive at my destination all worn out. I like the symphony better–I will try it.