I love fairy tales. Cinderella and her glass slippers; Beauty and her enchanted Beast; Rapunzel, captive in her towering fortress; Snow White, saved by the dwarfs from an Evil Queen and from eternal sleep by love’s first kiss.
I sometimes think life is a fairy tale, or, perhaps, as Edgar Allan Poe said, “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” That’s what it feels like in retrospect: a rambling story of a wonderful dream that has ‘’kaleidoscoped” in my mind’s eye to a series of remembrances.
When I was about 5 years old, my grandmother told me she believed life was a dream. I questioned her and said, “If that’s true, how do I know I’m not an old lady now dreaming about my life?”...and here I am, a seasoned citizen looking back (or is it dreaming?).
If life is a dream within a dream, which is real–the outer one or the inner one? Which actually is true–what we see or what we perceive? I have always thought of us as living on “spaceship Earth.” I never look up; I look out and feel us spinning among the stars, traveling to an elusive destination.
In fairy tales, glass slippers do not break; Beauty’s Beast becomes human and is able to feel joy; Rapunzel’s long braid is strong enough to support her rescuer and Snow White teaches us that evil can always be overcome by kindness and love.
Are they really fairy tales or just a magical take on living? This mystery called LIFE is perplexing. Perhaps instead of a dream within a dream, it’s really a play within a play. We speak our “lines,” do our “business” on cue and exit, stage right, still seeking answers to unanswerable questions.