In the long summers of my childhood, like Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby, I was convinced that life was beginning over again with the summer. Each year. Over and again. The summers were long, in our neck of the woods, so long that they stretched out our lives. Every little possibility marched into the long shadows that our vacations threw. Games flared up suddenly; cousin sleepovers, hopscotch, the fingertips tried touching the skies, endless mirth grew louder with the crickets of August. I threw myself open to new adventures, while long days, never changing, grew heavy with endless possibilities.
I had heard tales of other voyages, out beyond the ends of the town, high up into the clouds. As a boy I had gone up so high, like a balloon that grows smaller and vanishes suddenly into the blues, beyond any sight. There were towns up there, so they said; white cloud towns, with tapering tops. Up there, beyond the blue, there were rivers and streams, birds with rainbow colored tails; cities of snow. Stories I believed in. Cities I believe existed. A world that was mine.
What happened then, eh?
Let’s say life hasn’t been so smooth lately. A major health scare, that luckily wasn’t one, got me thinking at many levels. Like many of those who bear the brunt of this capitalist lifestyle: earning, spending, earning more and spending more, forever running a race that literally seems to have no destination. I’m many times lost in the maze of it. The abject futility of the exercise had fatigued me to all ends. A sense of despair loomed at large.
While a part of me always encourages to question, yet I began wondering if these are essentially armatures for my aphorisms and philosophical aides. Free standing baubles? I carried on nevertheless, carrying the weight on my back. Unable to make any sense of it. I would wake up each morning, sluggish and heavy headed. A weariness - like sadness, I would plunge into sleep every night. I could feel darkness ripening within me; unwittingly I kept losing myself.
A good positive mind set has the powers to turn tables, let alone fortunes- that old slick lady who knocks on our doors often. While I wasn’t exactly worried about my own self, I’ve never bothered to take proper care of myself, but here I wasn’t thinking about myself. I was no longer what I was. I was a husband now. A father to a son, who believed and lived in that world, where some years back I glided.
In truth life is impossible. People deceive. Friends leave. Love fails. Job bores. Good news is all this can be changed; if we accept it.
One evening wiping the morose sweat globs from my brow, I suddenly glanced at my son. He was busy as usual in his impishness; talking endlessly to himself, creating non-existing characters in his mind, talking to them, making up stories. Trying to explain to me how his day went by. I just pulled myself from where I was trapped, and I looked at all this; this whole scene as an outsider. For few seconds, I kept looking at my son continuously. And everything cleared out. The haze cleared up. The curtains drifted apart. Walls disappeared. The sky was blue. Again. A sunny strip of road had long shadows sprawled over it, a small white cloud hang up in the middle, just when my son stood up at the window and shouted in his twisted words, ‘Baba aeroplane’, flying like a carpet. The empty sky was so blue, so richly and thick blue, that it seemed a thing I ought to feel. Like my son.
Children are best teachers, as the saying goes. On that one evening, my two year old taught me a lesson: Your mind is the sum of the whole world.
P.S: The title is inspired from a Turkish movie- My Father, My Son.