The Stuff of Dreams.
We are such stuff as dreams are made on, says Shakespeare’s Prospero in “The Tempest”. It is amazing how many phrases are in our everyday speech thanks to the Bard’s genius. Many words are marked in any good dictionary as first used in literature by Shakespeare; lots of the lines from his plays, poems and sonnets are instantly recognizable as part and parcel of daily communication. What is the stuff of our dreams then? It depends on the person. In this season we may hear “dreaming of the white Christmas”. But I don’t like snow, any hint of winter makes my soul shrivel. And I got my heart’s desire this year, it’s very warm, with a light drizzle outside, my idea of bliss.
I often dream of being a talented writer, though I know it is not within my grasp. But how wonderful it would be if I could write a story which would be read, quoted and recognized by millions! What if I manage to come up with some Gems of Wisdom which will move hearts and give food for thought to my contemporaries, what if my accumulated life experience and knowledge could help humanity! It’s not a bad dream; in fact it’s a very good dream. In pedagogy, there is this solid principle: if you deliver a lecture to a thousand people and manage to influence at least one of them, you have achieved success. So I talk to my children and try to help many other young people and come up with some answers to their questions. “What is wrong with me?” My young colleague is 30 years old and not only single, she has never been in a relationship. She is pretty, smart, successful in her chosen career. Yet she cannot seem to find what she wants so much, a young man to be her companion, her partner in life. Maybe there are not many available men of similar age in her sphere of work, maybe she works too much and does not have any time for personal stuff. But she dreams of the same good things as anybody else. And I tell her truthfully, “Nothing is wrong with you”. I believe it is important to maintain hope and good cheer. If a man or a woman goes out into the world with a kind open face, they are looked at in the same way. It is only when they present a dour grim expression to the world that the world does not wish to look at them.
All my life I have been an early riser. The family joke is, I work when the whole,planet sleeps. My best hours are 6-8am, that’s when I usually write a new article, do a complicated translation, or continue some complex research. The ability to concentrate at this really early hour served me well when the kids were small. I needed to work a lot to be able to constantly put some food into those waiting little mouths, to buy clothes and shoes, to get books and toys. Raising three little humans is never easy for two working adults. This time has always been mine to use to the full. I learned to search effectively, to type really fast, to think and write on the fly, and to exist in what I mentally dubbed “steeplechasing modus”. Whenever our kids needed attention, or came up with a question, or asked for help, I was always able to drop everything and attend to their needs, the return back to the exact same spot in my ongoing work.
Ah, but the peace and quiet of an early morning! I float up from my sleep which is usually full of dreams, some of them so vivid I remember them for years. I know it is useless to try and stay in bed longer, never could loll around. Besides, here’s my very own day dream, or rather morning dream, my very special 6am stick: an imaginary cup of coffee starts to float around my head. If I try to ignore it, it bumps me repeatedly on the nose. Time to get up. Any family woman knows the indescribable pleasure, the total bliss of quietly stealing away to the kitchen, brewing that coffee and enjoying that cup in the very temporary peace and quiet, even with hair unclimbed, face unwashed, in a robe, before everybody descends on you and the day really begins.
The Stuff of Dreams.