12 July 2010

Of Fears and Dreams

Somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness is your heart's truest fears and deepest desires.  If you stay still enough and peaceful enough, you will know what it is you truly want in your life. It is the single moment that can be shared only by you and the voice inside your head.  Some think that that voice is that of a higher being, one that encompasses and orchestrates all that is and is to come.  Others think of it more along the lines of an invisible evil twin,  a mere intellectual discussion or altercation between you and yourself.  But no matter what you believe is to be true, it is an all too important conversation to ignore.

I, myself, try very hard not to think of my fears right when I'm about to sleep for the obvious reason that that will keep me awake the entire night.  But when I do think about them, I realize that I have very few fears and most of them are of the tangible or inanimate kind.  I have no fear of dying, though I do worry about those I will leave behind.  I do not  fear growing old or growing old alone, I've been that way most of my life (alone that is--not old, though am certainly getting there).   I have no fear of getting  sick or terminally ill because frankly, I would immensely prefer that as opposed to dying instantaneously because at least then, I could get things in order, ask for forgiveness from those I've hurt, and say my fare-thee-wells accordingly.  I have no fear of being forgotten because I know that those who matter won't , and those who will forget me, in the end, don't matter.  

On a much lighter but freaky note, I do have a fear so tangible and real it is multi-sensory.  It's the fear of cockroaches scientifically known as Katsaridaphobia.  I can smell them when they are in the room and I especially let out a shrilly scream at the sight of flying ones.  Our Yaya does a very accurate and irritating impression of it which is usually followed by her thundering, mocking laughter.  I  imagine their prickly little, brittle legs and instantly my skin crawls and there... I did the shrilly scream again.  I hear the fluttering of their amber, translucent wings and I  could bolt from lying to running position in all of 2 seconds like an animal whose predator it can sense miles away.   In fact, my idea of hell is a room full of cockroaches of every permutation, color and size and me strapped on a bed right in the middle with a spotlight slowly fading into absolute darkness as the creatures begin to crawl and fly towards me. Vivid, I know.  If I'm to sleep in a room other than my own and the windows are open and there is no screen, I will ask that the windows be shut tight like heaven's gate for Ted Bundy. Never mind if I die of suffocation.  Anyway, I think I would die faster with the thought of cockroaches in the dark, hovering above my head.  

On the other side of the monochromatic rainbow of fear, I do have fears that involve my children, like them being rejected or having their hearts broken to a million pieces. But I am trying my darndest to train myself to own these fears (as in they are MINE and not THEIRS) because I know that if I don't do that, I will end up forcing them  to live their lives from my perspective instead of  a fresh one such as their own.  I don't know how to explain it but it's  much more difficult for mothers to let go.  Maybe it's because there's nothing quite like the bond between mother and child which is probably why it's not easy to even theoretically watch our children jump off a cliff not knowing what the landing looks like.  But as my kids grow I know that I should let them have their own dreams, fears and visions and not just replicate my own by letting them make decisions based on MY experiences to avoid the mistakes I'VE made and the pitfalls I'VE fallen into. Surely I don't want a duplicate of my life, I wish for a better one for them.  I wish to share the wisdom of the years to them, however,  I've learned  that in this life this much is true: Wisdom is nothing we can pass on to our children. It just  all comes with time and shoving the truths down their throats only make them resent us.   Sure we can try.  But they'll never learn it anyway and I know because I never learned it until I made the mistakes myself.  

Obviously, everything here must be taken with the context of time.  I mean, I wouldn't let my twelve year old write the story of his life on his own as of yet.  But eventually, the pen will be his for the taking.  After all, to live a scripted life, written, produced and edited by Mum, is not living after all.

My dreams too have all been connected to my children. Perhaps, the only dreams I  really have for myself are to someday put up Le Pirouette, the cafe and eventually write my recipes and memories in a cookbook. Other than that, everything else is connected one way or another to them.  But like my fears, I acknowledge them as mine and mine alone.  They are not necessarily the same dreams of the kids.   I may suggest, but certainly I will try my very best not to force it upon them.   I dream that one day, not too soon I hope, I will prepare the wedding dinner of the kids.   Or breakfast. Just whatever theme they want, wherever in the world they wish to have it. I'll be there for them.  I dream of long tables filled with endless stories and even more endless laughter. Of barbecues and picnics in the summer, and soup and hide and seek when it rains.  I dream that the kids will find the one thing they are truly passionate about and build a life around it.  I dream a life of sky-blazing fireworks, strolls into sunsets and walks under starlit skies.  I know theirs will probably  be a life less than perfect but I wish for them a life less-ordinary just the same.  It is my most hopeful dream and  most fervent prayer that they will find their happily ever after in this lifetime.  But should clouds gather anywhere along their journey to find it, I will be in my kitchen waiting to hear their stories, cooking up a storm and egging them to carry back on.