Dreams meet reality, Lady meets disappointment

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

We start out as little girls and are exposed to things that will change how we approach everything for the rest of our lives... we need to be aware of what we are accepting into our lives

My dreams were always going on somewhere, unconsciously, “up in the atmosphere, up where the air is clear… come let’s go fly a kite”… based in the wonders of the newly invented Television that arrived in South Africa in about 1975, and I was born in 1980. The speed of technological change in the last 35 years is BEYOND frightening. Especially as it took us 2000 odd years to get to inventing things, then, in a couple of decades, it has spiraled out of control, out of financial sustainability, out of moral and ethical control (this perspective being entirely dependent on the individual’s financial and moral position in life, as we all vary on this).

I have no record of what I dreamt of in my primary school years, other than a few ‘wishes/prayers’ jotted down next to pressed four-leaf clovers. Very simple things, like: ‘be happy’. Get ‘published’. Be ‘healthy’. Be financially stable. It seems that I haven’t quite managed to accomplish even those seemingly ‘simple’ things, which have now entered my awareness as not being so ‘simple’ in a country with a president who makes completely selfish decisions; a world filled with dishonest, money-grubbing people; with sexually consumed individuals who think of little else and even purchase audio visuals of sex because they are so consumed with their sex drives, lack of fulfillment and dissatisfaction; with ‘businessmen’/craftsmen/practitioners who are out to make errors and/or situations worse, so they can make more money; prioritising Television time over family time; pushing responsibility into other people’s courts, so one doesn’t have to be ‘accountable’, one can just pass blame…

In this context, how can my dreams ever be joyfully realised when the background situations are unchanging and things are not as they should be, when people set out to hurt and deprive others on purpose…? I never factored these ‘earthly’ conditions into my mind and Television observations when I was watching Mary Poppins flying with her umbrella…

Although I was very young when real-life reality hit in all its unsettling, perspective altering, life-changing, dream-warping capacities, I was still set into the escapism of Television and reading. Yet, as a pre-teen and then into my teens, I had to rely on the wisdom of those older than me… not knowing or even having the slightest hint of the fact that there may have been very little wisdom applied in actual fact. What was applied was “this is how it was for me, so it will be the same for you”, without the slightest acknowledgement or application of the fact that I was severely different in so many ways to my elders. For example: receiving ‘Mills and Boons’ to read, before I was even of the legal age to practice some of the contents therein, was absurd. Then on the flip side, other elders gave me the likes of Georgette Heyer to read, where the men were all gentlemen and the ladies all damsels, in an era when ladies and gentlemen still lived in full costume and practiced elegant conversation and public etiquette. Either way, the men were portrayed in a similar way: dashing, charming, caring, sexy and desirable. Nowhere was truth ever dealt with, or maybe it was and I never retained that part. No all day golf games with men leaving the club drunk. No men stuck to a sports game on a television set where conversation was virtually illegal. No men working from early hours until late hours. No men with umbilical cords to their cellphones, Ipads, emails and offices. No ‘reality’. Instead I had escaped to stories about gifts of roses, graceful evenings of dancing, card games and musical entertainment, long walks and ‘true love’. In my escape routes, however, there was nothing about the lust, the shag, and the purely physical satisfaction with total fear of anything beyond the surface of bodily function being dealt with. It seems that the eras I read about had no connection to the reality I would have to live with in the near future.

Reading Shakespeare, presented the idea of a love where a man would be articulate with his words, poetical, creating tangible pages to reflect what he felt inside: that she was more lovely and more temperate than a summer’s day; that his love was set in poetry to make it eternal and place it there for all to read. Then the reality hits, no-one can confirm that anything was written by “Shakespeare”. No-one has proof of his handwriting, even his plays were written down post-humusly by the actors who played the roles. Historians don’t even know if it was Shakespeare or another more influential man who came up with them in the first place, nor if Shakespeare was straight or gay, writing for a man or a woman… nothing is known, it is all made up from inference, assumption and calculated guessing…

Then, watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, with their dancing, the ‘singing in the rain’, the moving, the romance; the building of dreams and ideas around dancing with someone like they do in the movies, was added to the mix of escapism founded notions. The reality – it is a movie. Fred and Ginger probably had moments where they had had enough of each other. Their rehearsal times were probably grueling and it must have taken hours and hours and hours to get that ‘one move’ ‘right’. Yet, as an audience, we just see them ‘getting it right’; and that is not truth, it is a moment of climax, not the journey to get there. ‘Dirty Dancing’: “no-one puts Baby in the corner”, followed by a public announcement of how: “Miss Francis Houseman taught me about who I want to be”. One moment, after one and a half hours of movie, and bam we have the perfect dance. Yet, off stage, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, so I have read, did not get on and he didn’t want to work with her at all. Yet, “I’ve had the time of my life … and I owe it all to you” became the theme song, the theme dream for thousands of women around the world; and it was all based on an act, two actors creating a different story from their truth. What took dozens and dozens of takes to create on film, became a ‘that’s it’, ‘that’s what I want’ moment in the movie for all the lost, lonely, dreaming, hopeful single people in the audience. Their brains downloaded that moment and programmed it to believe it was that simple: A man can love a woman like that; and a woman can love a man like that. Now, in my real-life reality: I’ve experienced men being more nervous, more closed lipped, more unsure, more insecure and more scared than I ever expected them to be. In fact, I’ve been overwhelmed in some circumstances, and beyond confused, at how inaccurate all the movies I was shown have been when placed next to my observations. Although, I must admit, it may be all me, because I hear the learners I teach are scared of me too ;-), but they are young girls, not ‘strapping men’.

Then there were the musical films: the Vonn Trapp family, coming through hell singing. Singing as a happy family, finding song in their joy and troubles. Finding love in the midst of turmoil and escaping into the Alps to live on the love they have for each other. Dreams to sing with your family too. Dreams to be that blessed as to have a whole choir in one family; even typing the words now makes me think: “Seriously?”! Yet, there it was, and I know at least one person who rated ‘The Sound of Music’ as her favourite movie of all time. Listening to the stories of the cast years later, it wasn’t all plain sailing, they even shot the film in different locations so that it looked like the gates, the inside house and ballroom, the outside lake and dancing gazebo were all part of one house, they weren’t. As I recall, there was even a problem with the “I am sixteen going on seventeen” dance as Liezel had sprained her ankle…

Then reading Jane Austen and all the romance of Mr Darcy and Captain Wentworth; ‘Emma’, ‘Persuasions’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and any of her novels, so much love, with so much insight into relationships and humanity, also added to my unrealistic notions. Yet, when I visited Jane Austen’s last home and learnt about her spinster life, her disease and ailments, her fighting in a male-dominated world and her challenges, I realised that the novels were the dreams, the observations, her self-expression in a fallen world, they weren’t the reality.

The brain takes in what it sees, assimilates it, attaches it to the network of thoughts and makes it part of the internal goings-on of that human being. Somewhat like a computer only using the software that it has been programmed with. Five seconds of seeing something and it becomes a permanent part of that human being; an indestructible part. Yet many people are so blasé about what they see, what they go to, what they take in… whilst absolutely every one of those things will have an effect. Everything becomes permanently lodged inside the eyes that took it in.

I can’t change my childhood intake of poetry, dancing, singing and romantic ‘happy endings’. I also can’t get that to merge with a guy’s intake of pornography, sport and chauvinism. I can’t give up the hope in goodness and love, and I can’t take on society’s ‘masculine’ acceptance of brutality, male dominance and belittling of other human beings due to biology and self-entitlement…

As I look around my school social circle and see how many of us are still spinsters, and it is the majority, it seems to be becoming an accepted social norm, cheaper than marriage and divorce; no, it is not desirable to be alone either; but is it worth giving up all the love of good things to accept such unacceptable things?

Is it better not to have been exposed to the realities that I have seen and thus blindly jump into the legally binding contract of marriage only to learn of those inescapable realities afterwards?

Or is it better to know beforehand that you can’t change him; you can’t force him to give up what he has been brought up on and believes is ‘right’, be it having many girlfriends, smoking/drug/alcohol addiction/reliance, pornography, work addiction and/or the like… and just let him go and be the human being he has chosen to be on his own?

Dreams and reality: Can they ever meet? Has reality kicked out dreams and being ‘better’ altogether? Is reality slowly and completely abolishing hope? What a horrible thought…

Will the cycle of people choosing this broken world over a better way last forever, even with so much knowledge, proof, information and works that show it doesn’t have to be so?

Oh dear Lord, I hope that dreams and heart-yearnings do not end up lost to this degenerating, temporary world… all of those stories, poems and movies had to come from somewhere good… “nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could…”

Submitted: February 06, 2016

© Copyright 2021 Miss Lea. All rights reserved.

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Criss Sole

I really liked some of the points you made and I completely agree with you. I've always wondered about Shakespeare. I studied his work back in University and there was always talk about how he was in fact several different people. And now I have "Singing in the Rain" stuck in my head :) If only life was actually like that.

Wed, August 23rd, 2017 6:22am


I'm singing in the rain; just singing in the rain; what a glorious feeling; I am happy again. . . Maybe it's still possible to find that in real life. Holding thumbs. Thanks for commenting Chris. Keep smiling :-)

Thu, August 24th, 2017 11:44am

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