One good thing about faraway daydreams and stories is the ability to rattle off a big idea without being distracted by a mire of practical concerns. I can simply go - A thousand years from now, I’m the conductor of a deep space hyperchoochoo, plying the void to bring crucial supplies to jewel-tone moons and asteroid robo-monarchies.
Distance in time and setting blurs out the textures and bumps in lives. That's how myth works; to present a world of symbols and archetypes that expounds a truth, dragging out and elongating the big things and letting the little ones drop away.
No doubt, being conductor of a space freight train would have just as much slog and humdrum busywork as any 21st century existence, if not more. But as it is so different from my own experience, I can ignore that without my subconscious going ‘Hang on, this is great and all, but what about those long hours of paperwork for your license to burn black hole ingots in your Schrödinger furnace?’
Plus, see that? When you do decide to examine minutiae, you get to create more odd-sounding fun stuff to flesh out the world. Rather than gravelly ballast weighing down your imagination with stress, the day to day is ornamentation that adds some clever piping and sugarwork to the outside of your richly frosted story-sponge.
(Yes, I have been watching that show where English people create Atlantean cake architecture under the unblinking wolf eyes of a stony, venom-spined killer and Terminator Grandma - delightful, honey-voiced British tissue over a metal endoskeleton).
Imagination isn’t just a way to free us from the broad concerns and heavy pillars of our real lives. It’s a way to pull our feet up from the mire of a billion little worries and have the space to enjoy the big stuff. Then little things can be added in a few at a time, in such a way that they in turn can be pondered individually. They’re there to be assessed and enjoyed in a way that you can’t when you’re immersed in a bottomless soup of them, like a jelly layer that just hasn’t quite set and runs off when you cut out that first slice.
(I see the wolf eyes in my dreams, and they know.)