It is two thirty in the morning. I lay in my bed, wide awake, gazing at the ceiling. Another night ruined, adding to the countless hours of sleep already lost. It’s almost as if sleep forgets to drape me in it’s cloak every night. Thoughts begin to pour in, noting the day ahead and the challenges ahead. Soon they will drift to the days past and the moments lost. Being a man of situational conformity, I let them do whatever they want to.
I try to deduce my lack of sleep. Science has it’s answer, as do my family. None of them convince me. As of, a scary thought hits me. What if I am afraid to sleep? What if, I am afraid to dream?
Sure, I had dreams. Elaborate and vivid dreams. Dreams that were crushed, dreams that never came into fruition. The child which saw those dreams was mocked by everyone, even it’s elder self. The castles that were built in thin air, the worlds that were furnished in isolation and the experiences that were furbished conveniently; all vanished when reality stuck.
They say a dream is not something which you see at night, but something that doesn’t let you sleep. I’ve found, more often, that it’s the ghosts of the dreams dead and buried that don’t allow you to sleep. They put you in a lucid trance, where you’re neither fully awake nor fully asleep. They render you afraid to sleep, afraid to dream, afraid to take off into the pastures of your own excellence. They close the doors to the expeditious possibilities, and make you believe that flying is not for you, and tell you that risk is a damning concept of the unruly, wasted and lost. They tell you that there is a formula for everything and things are supposed to pan out in a manner. They teach you pragmatism as an inhibitor, not as an armour.
I embraced realism. I drilled it into myself that everything is planned, every action should have a definite reaction. I convinced myself that the world ran according to physics in every sense. I believed that the world was a program and each input has to have a definite output.
The world and it’s inanimate segments may function that way, but it’s soul; life and it’s animate characters, work by no rules.
I get up, prepare myself a cup of tea. Might as well delve fully into this pond of solitude. While sipping on it, my solitude angel plays another twist, drives me into the memories of someone whose dreamer within was still intact, pure and going strong.
She talked about catching the clouds, planned to sail the winds and run with the rivers. She just wanted to do things. She wanted to take jumps without fearing the falls, wanted to swim against the tide, wanted to fall in love without being afraid of heartbreak, she wanted to add up all her days into a life, and as the sun goes down on her, she wanted to raise her cup in recognition of her life. She didn’t live by any rules bar her own. And she needed no saviour.
I never really got the concept of strong women – or men, for that matter – not needing a ‘saviour’. The way I see it, we all have our demons to fight, and a little help is always welcome. A saviour can be anyone, even someone who puts in that 0.1% required when you’re exhausted totally, when you’re about to drown very close to the shore. Being independent does not mean that you don’t need help, if it means something; it means that when you do need help, it’s monstrous.
I wanted to sit with her on her journeys, hope to catch her when she eventually fell from the dizzying heights she scaled. But she never fell. She kept on scaling, she kept on dreaming, she kept on going away from the base where I was. Soon it so happened that I was losing sight of her. I tried my best, to get her back in sight and into safety. But she was beyond reach by now, and all I could do was to try and reduce our distance.
She made me lift off, taught me to cheat on my formulae and showed me how to dare to dream. She showed me how to revive the dead dreaming child within. At the cliff, at the end of her foray when I finally was in the same dream as she, I realised that it all is a matter of jumping in, and the view from the top is breathtaking. I was shown that it is worth living on the edge, for at the edge you get to experience things that are bouldered on at the center.
But the cliff wasn’t my domain. I wanted to get down. Back where I was comfortable. Back into the grasp of my formulae and programs. And I wanted her with me. I had dreamt the dreamer’s dream.
She refused to get down.
“There are dreamers and there are realists in this world. You’d think the dreamers would find the dreamers, and the realists would find the realists, but more often than not, the opposite is true.
See, the dreamers need the realists to keep them from soaring too close to the sun.
And the realists?
Well, without the dreamers, they might not ever get off the ground.”
― Modern Family