It’s difficult to breathe some days
when all you see are walls going up
isolating you from everything you hold dear –
freedom, the truth…
there’s nothing left to hold the lies back
but the will to keep on fighting
even as the walls start closing in
till you’re left with nothing but flimsy hope
just before your world grows dim
what’s the world coming to?
what’s happening to everything we worked for?
every freedom we thought we had, eroded
right after precious right,
can we truly take any more?
when the few are blinded by greed
and power and scorn
the walls are rising, closing in…
and, in fear, the world is reborn
The above line is a quote from Baz Luhrman’s 1992 movie, Strictly Ballroom, and it’s one of my all-time favorite movies. It’s also the first thing I thought of when I read the Daily Prompt this morning, and no matter how hard I tried to talk about my fearless fantasy, this was the only thing that would come out of me.
Anyway, back to the movie. I love Fran (Tara Morice), the way she blossoms from the ugly duckling to the swan and as much as I loved Scott Hastings (Paul Mercurio), it’s Fran who shows true courage for she never wavers from what she wants – at least what her heart wants – while Scott was all over the place.
To me, the red dress that Fran wears (which is absolutely gorgeous) at the competition represents not just her own courage, but Scott’s, for it’s through her courage that he finally begins to live the life he wants, which begins by dancing the way he wants to dance.
I don’t even care that my post doesn’t really talk about my fearless fantasy, but let’s say that if I had one, the red dress would probably be part of it – and the paso doble.
For this week’s writing challenge, we’re asking you to explore what age means to you. Is the the loss of youth, or the cultivation of wisdom? Do things get better as you grow older, or worse? There are many ways to interpret age, often depending on your relationship with the passing of time.
Age is a double-edged sword. Just this week, my client told me about Noah, and how he lived to be 900 years old. She said that he also preached to the people for 150 years about how a flood was coming, even though they all laughed at him and thought him crazy. I tolerate such talk in my sessions sometimes, because I know that in an hour or two, I’d forget about it.
Then tonight, I learned that someone I knew from high school, and who I probably rubbed elbows with during the last ‘reunion’ party I attended two years ago, passed away suddenly last month. They held her memorial in a city just an hour away from me, but since I’ve been away from FB and haven’t really been in touch with high school friends, I never knew about it. And while I may not have been close to her at all, the knowledge of her loss jarred me with its raw power.
It was like a poison, seeping through my bones, seeking permanent residence after waiting for a way in for so long. And that’s when the reality hit me – even though my father died last year and I should have been thinking such thoughts then, but didn’t.
We’re all going to die. The only question is when.
I may not live to be 900 years old like Noah, and regardless of my general optimism about such things, neither would I probably live as long as I’d really want to – which would be till my 4-year old is grown up and I know that he will be alright. Once upon a time, I thought I was invincible, and that I had nothing to lose, and that I could do anything I wanted. But things changed the moment my son was diagnosed with autism, even if it was downgraded to a mild case, or at best “autistic-like”.
Suddenly that idea that we all know about – that we are mortal – became more real than anything else in the world. Suddenly it had power – so much power that it has made everything I do tainted with that dreaded thought that I could die any time – even in my sleep.
And what would happen to my little prince then? Who would take care of him? Most of all, would he even remember me? Would he even know that once upon a time he loved me or that I loved him with every fiber of my being?
Then I ask myself why I had a child so late in life – because having a child at 40 is late in life, no matter how much I sugar coat it and say it’s not. I ask myself why I didn’t think far ahead enough – that when he’d turn 20, I’ll be in my 60’s. But I just never did think about it then. I was probably too immature to think things through the way I think and worry about them now, simply because age, when paired with mortality, is no longer just a number.