I have been in all corners of my heart and back, explored the darkest parts of my psyche…I don’t think everyone can claim to have been everywhere but one thing I know for certain now..and I reached this conclusion a few days back, or rather…it struck me:
Because I am fighting, because I am alive, because I dream of beautiful things and great things and on exploring the edges of my mind…For that reason alone, everything makes sense. Life becomes worth living. For that reason alone, I have a goodness inside me. I shouldn’t question my motives; they may change but the end result I seek always remains the same and I might be stuck…i might be stagnant but just because I DREAM, just because I WANT…..just because i CHOOSE to fight, I become something more than I am. A shadow perhaps, of the dreams I behold. An aspirant and a warrior. My life is in my hands even now. Even though I may despise myself at times and wish why I can’t just hide forever or melt into the earth, inspite of it all….I needn’t despair. Because…as we move through time and space…it MIGHT be too late for something we once wanted, but there is always something more to wish for and reach and dream about…and in that dream itself, lies the beauty of our life and the beauty of our souls.
An old woman lived alone in a large house she and her husband had made for themselves when they had been young and had had many hopes and dreams. Her husband was now long dead. Her children were married and lived far, far away from her. She hadn’t heard from them for years. She had spent her life running after a dream she hadn’t been able to realise. It had been her greatest wish but she had lost it. Now life was empty because she was old, too old to travel, too old to work. She could only live patiently from day to day waiting for the end and repenting the opportunities she had missed. The walls of her empty house echoed with memories from her past; the laughs and tears, the scoldings, the disappointments, the parties and the conversations. Sweet love of a young couple, the birth of their children, sunny days of wearing short dresses and sipping iced lemonade…the things she thought of were endless.
When she had been young, she had wanted to be great cook. She was bubbling with talent but circumstances and coincidence stood in a way as a barrier she could not break. She could not let go of her pride and reduced to limiting the skills that kept her going to the kitchen of her own home. She loved every expression of joyful satisfaction on the members of her family when they devoured her meals. One day somebody offered her a chance to start off as an assistant chef at a cute little restaurant. She was fifty. She couldn’t bear the idea of working for somebody. She refused politely but haughtily. It was then that she realized, her dream was over. She would never accept starting out at the bottom of her ladder, not at this age. Not when she KNEW where she ought to be.
She let go of it and allowed the regret to peel at the inside walls of her heart. She let her body be consumed by disappointment. On the outside, she smiled and lived but slowly it began to show. She stopped going into the kitchen all together. She gave up her passion and withdrew into nothingness, choosing to spend her days reminiscing. Worst of all, she became highly critical. She lashed out at anyone who chose to cook for her. She became filled with bitterness. Nothing anyone ever cooked was good enough.
And when she was old and alone and couldn’t travel, she let a housekeeper take care of her. She forgot to fight and be bitter but became timid and her meals became ordinary. She never let the housekeeper make her anything but stew.
One day, she stepped into the kitchen. She found the housekeeper’s daughter, a young girl of sixteen, making soup. The daughter was ladling a thick potion in a large pot. Curiosity drew her closer. She began talking to the girl and found that she was fond of cooking. Something in her young, innocent face drew the old woman towards her. She could see her old life in her. She could see this girl becoming everything she hadn’t been able to. She invited her to eat with her.
As the days went past, the old woman finally began to open out to someone. Despite her age, her memory was razor sharp. She began to teach the young girl tips and tricks from her own expertise. She soon discovered that the little girl had a passion for cooking and was full of her own ideas. She made it her duty to help the girl realise her cooking dreams. She let her cook in her kitchen everyday.
Years passed and the young girl blossomed into a young woman. She became the head chef at a pretty restaurant. The old woman sold off her large house and most of her belongings and came to live with the girl in her flat above the restaurant. She knew she hadn’t long to live and her health was deteriorating. But she had realized a new dream. It gave her an inexplicable satisfaction. Whenever her young protege had time, they would sit and talk about food, both of them absorbed in their conversation and utterly unaware of how long they talked or what went on beyond their little bubble.
One day, the young woman had a surprise for her. She had written a book with all of the old woman’s original recipes and it had been approver by a publisher. It was soon to be a fast-selling cookbook. The old woman felt reverence like she had never known before.
Dreams pass through the sieve of time, becoming refined, growing with us…or perhaps reducing. But there is a dream for every moment. There is something to do no matter where in time and space we stand. There is a dream to be realised even until our verylast breath.