Saturday, October 03, 2009

Sunset Boulevard

When BW woke up in the morning , she knew it had been too real to be a dream. That the place existed and was not just a figment of her imagination.
She had touched those flowers, their sweet fragrance wafting through her, intoxicating her sun kissed body. She had tasted the icy cold water of the brook which bubbled frothily over mossy boulders. And the fact that she had the dream, the very night she moved here, far from everyone, meant that it was a sign.
That place was here somewhere. Waiting. Especially for her.
So she set off immediately after breakfast.
The early morning light had just begun to seep in between the fronds of the trees skirting the lodge.
The proprietor said that there were many springs and brooks in that area, but if she took the straight road through the woods, she would doubtless come across the one her friend had told her about (it was the only story she could come up with) sooner or later.
She found the first one soon enough. But it was obviously not her brook. The flowers were wilted and the water too muddy.
She found a dry patch on the grass and sat down to rest for the walk had tired her out.

And she dreamt of the little girl who had played house with her friends, and who had brought up a new role for herself every time. Doctors, teachers, actors, dancers, she went through each with a comfortable assurance of her own right to them.
New roles, new possibilities and a belief that possibilities were endless and that ability was infinite.
"You can be whatever you choose darling !" and there was nothing holding her back. But it changed the day she went to school when the teacher said " You are too gauche to be a dancer" and her classmates laughed at the idea of her being an actress. "Get real", they said.
Reality was all about imposing limitations.
BW woke up with a start. The sun was in her eyes almost blinding her and she quickly resumed her walk. The next one was prettier and the flowers especially.
The same flowers he always bought for her because they were so "her". The same flowers he was carrying the day she said , " I don't want you to love me for a reason. I want you to love me for all those imperfections which anyone else would find irritating. I want you to love me because of them and not in spite of them. If these flowers remind you of me , why do you get me new ones everyday? Because you do not like them when they are wilted. I would want you to love the flower regardless of the state it is in, regardless of season, love it when it is fresh but equally when it is wilted. "
BW thought wryly that love blooming was a good analogy for a relationship. Yes it blooms. But it also wilts and fades.
The next one was almost but not quite perfect. There was a sharp nip in the air and the water was too deliciously cold for comfort.
Yes comfort, stability was what one wanted. She thought of the choices she had made.
Any risky alternative was abandoned in favor of the slightly more known. Career choices were conventional, opinions if just her own were too risky and had to be ratified by someone else.
There was comfort in letting others make decisions for your life, it was made easier in a society in which it was the "proper" thing to do.
There was comfort in treading paths once trodden by others and not making the same mistakes. In running away from the unknown and untried, in not going against the opinion of others.
When did comfort become cowardice?
Well she would not let it this time. She trudged along.
When she came to the next one she knew instinctively that it was the one. Here at last could she finally be at peace. But there was always the nagging doubt at the end of her mind. What if there was something better, something unimaginably better further on. Shouldn't she at least try?
When should one learn to be satisfied and stop being ambitious?
And the answer came to her as she watched the sun set ushering in the sudden nightfall. It was too late , too late to go further, too late to turn back , too late to change anything.