dream x reality

So grateful for these moments of quiet. When I can just be alone with my thoughts and reflect on things that have happened in the past week. I crave these more and more now. Whenever things happen in quick succession, I always wonder when will the time come when I’ll be able to sit down and process these things that have happened. No doubt, this feeling of wanting to sit still in order to make sense of life has been encouraged by the words of Pico Iyer, who talked about turning the sights on his travels into ‘lasting insights’. He always seems to have that way with words that makes it so easy to be ingrained in my mind. In a great interview with Krista Tippett which I’ve listened to at least more than 10 times now because I always tend to play the downloaded version when I’m traveling on the plane, he says:

“Now, I just want to sit still for years on end, really, charting that inner landscape because I think anybody who travels knows that you’re not really doing so in order to move around — you’re travelling in order to be moved.”

And in a way, his words give legitimacy to my desire to simply sit still after travel. I remember a few years ago after starting work and being so pressed for time to travel, I would plan my trip such that I would arrive late at night the night before I had to go back to work in order to maximise the time spent overseas. I could never do that now, because for one, I can feel that age has certainly come along (though the big 3-0 is still a while more to go thankfully! XD) and I would not be able to easily hit the ground running as I had done before… in those youthful days of near boundless energy after working hours. Now, what I crave most, is time to be alone with my thoughts. To savour and contemplate the last vestiges of the journey in my mind before it slips away into the noise and movement of day to day life.

On the plane this time it occurred to me that the perfect analogy to my feelings is that of waking up from a dream. There are some dreams that are so wonderful to be in, that when you can sense the conscious mind taking over, peeling off those dream layers to emerge back into ‘reality’, a sudden ache washes over. It’s an ache of impending loss. Of grief. Knowing that within a few seconds, I won’t be able to go back into this same dream again no matter how hard I try. And even though when we awaken and arise, those layers of dream slip easily off our shoulders like a silken robe, and we forget soon enough, that we ever walked another universe in that robe, there is always that ache. Of knowing that with every second that passes, I will not be able to recall details of this dream with such accuracy and ease and for that, I cannot help but grieve.

And then seconds later, as we emerge into full consciousness with a yawn and stretch and start the day, new moments come along for us to experience and enjoy.

Why the big fuss in the first place then hmm?

In the end, I can’t help but love that idea though. Of travel or experiences in general feeling like dreams. When we’re fully immersed it in, there comes a time when it has to end and we move on to something else. With each step forward, there is inherent grief at the loss of that experience. And though it might seem to carry with it such intensity, in the end, we move on to something else. And we’re ok.

That’s life, isn’t it? When one thinks too much. But with these thoughts, my world is created.


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