A Dream Within A Dream

What is Real, Anyway?

 Leaving aside the central premise of Buddhism, that the world which we call “reality” is in fact an illusion, let’s consider our senses. First of all, they are subjective, and something that tastes pleasing to me might seem disgusting to someone else. Likewise, our conception of beauty changes from culture to culture and even depending upon which era you live in. I love music, but have yet to learn to appreciate the aesthetics of some Eastern forms of singing and musical composition.

In addition to this, our senses are limited. Two prime examples being the facts that our eyes are only able to perceive .0035% of the spectrum of visible light, while dogs can perceive a wider range of sounds and smells and yet see the world in black and white. I could go on and on with examples like these.

What’s your point?

So why do I mention all this? Well, if you’ve been following my posts, then you’re certainly aware of the strong feelings I have for someone I have never met. In my first post, I described how we met online, as so many others have done since the dawn of the internet, a trend which I am sure has only accelerated since the pandemic forced us to take shelter in our homes. I feel “love” for someone whom I only know through her exceptional ability to communicate her thoughts and character through writing. Is what I feel for her real? I don’t know…it feels real enough to me. My heart expands and contracts like an accordion to every word we share with each other.

 He Lives in His Own World

But I am aware that the whole world might not share my opinion. In fact, my best friend thinks I’m hopelessly naive. And it started me thinking of a story line: what if it really is “all in my head”? What if what I see as my normal behavior has been remarked upon by those around me with mounting concern? My weight loss and irritability. My total lack of patience with my wife and our failed marriage. My obsession with my phone, where I hallucinate that my imaginary lover resides. It reminds me of the lyrics from that John Lennon song:

People say I’m crazy
Doing what I’m doing
Well, they give me all kinds of warnings
To save me from ruin

Hahaha! It’s a great little thought experiment for a writer. I guess we won’t know the truth until Canada’s pandemic restrictions relax and I can go and meet her for the first time.

Michael Wray

Hi, My name's Michael. I'm a writer/illustrator working as a primary ESL teacher in Istanbul. I love art, music, literature, and traveling.

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