We cheerfully assume that in some mystic way,
love conquers all,
that good outweighs evil in the just balances of the universe,
And at the 11th hour,
something gloriously triumphant will
prevent the worst before it happens.
Justin Brooks Atkinson
Years ago, during a drive through Pretoria, as it was, I watched, fascinated, as throngs of people braved inclement weather to file into the nearest corner store, to buy lottery tickets for what was at the time, a record jackpot. Inside the car, meanwhile, my uncle and aunt speculated merrily on what they would do with such a loot. I listened, intently, not contributing, until my uncle noticed my silence, and mistaking me for being disapproving, said, ‘It’s dreams that keep people sane, it’s what keeps us all going’.
His words have stayed with me, perhaps mainly, as I later realised, for it being an insight into who I am.
Dream life and Real life, the title of an Olive Schreiner short story, that I studied in high school, resonates with me. I sometimes feel that my dreams amount to a second life, almost, but I know as well, that it is the dream life that makes this grind mill of a real life easier to negotiate.
More than the light at the end of the tunnel, it is the hope for the light, the sheer want for it, that forces us to trudge through the dark.