Don’t we all have a wish sometimes to run away from it all – from all the troubles, commitments and heartaches – to somewhere where we can just do what we want to do, be who we want to be?
To be too absorbed in that would be called escapism, but what is the in between then between realism and escapism?
I always remembered what my Lit tutor from JC told me about Salman Rushdie’s works being a mix of the magical and the real (though more often magical than real), in what is termed magic realism.
I would really like a dose of that in my life.
I read last weekend a blog of my ex-teacher who was now pursuing her dream, after having paid her dues. She was doing something she had always wanted to do, pursuing her passion, making a living and having great experiences.
Dearie and I spoke earlier this week too of our dream careers – what we always wanted to do, but knew it would be too idealistic to pursue.
I’ve always dreamt of starring in a musical, travelling the world and entertaining audiences. I’ve dreamt at times too of being a travel photographer, simply travelling the world and capturing its sights, while getting to know the people as well. Music was an integral part of my life during my schooling days, and during those times, I dreamt that I would become a world class musician (or pianist in particular), wowing audiences with the melodies that would just come effortlessly. I’ve wanted to write and produce the great Singapore movie, that will be launched in Hollywood.
Whether any of the above will be fulfilled, who knows?
These dreams give me food for thought, as I take a breather from the very real struggles that beseech me each day. We both want to run away from it all, but we can’t.
Yet I can’t say that in the past few months, I haven’t caught a glimpse of that magic realism, the world of dreams and fantasy pulled down and mingled with reality.
And that has come through two ways.
One, more vicarious way, is through the ones I teach in school. Sometimes when I look at them, I imagine what they could be, what they could achieve in the future and that moment seems both imaginary yet real. Regardless of where you teach, every single individual before you can achieve more than what you can imagine. Even imagining them go thru army (for the guys), going thru university and the phases of life you have lived through has a sense of realism to it. I had a moment like this last week, a moment where my imagination just ran wild (triggered by the music that was played) and I saw my students running ahead to the future that awaited them.
Closer to myself, and more real to me – my life of magic realism has been created and shared with my dearie.
These moments have not been easy to create, but when we capture them, they are all the more precious.
Moments we’ve shared on Mount Faber or Jurong Hill, looking into the starry night intermingled with occasional glows from docking ships, imagining our futures, sharing an intimate moment where time seems to stand-still.
Spending a day away, being pampered in a resort with no-one but us, lunching in a field of coconut trees, with just us and an (annoying) dog…
Getting lost in books and various paraphernalia in Books Actually and PolyMath in Crust for two hours, being dazzled by poster-art from the 1950s and 60s, fanciful bento box lunch sets, cartography sections, type-writers and picture books…
It seemed like we were in our own world, doing things we loved, sharing them with love to the one we love.
Magic realism, at its best – magical, with a reality that enhances that sense of splendour and wonder, because you can’t believe you’ve found it.
We may not be living the dream, but at least we are learning how to create dreams, in our reality.