Life of a Rooster

Memoirs of a psychiatrist, journalist and educator

My butterfly dream

on October 24, 2013

At a dinner party once, a loud guest stated that no one could remember anything from their childhood up to about 10 years of age.  Anyone who claimed to, he added, was lying.

Well, since this was a social event, I bit my tongue and smiled. Just because he had an uneventful childhood without anything worth remembering doesn’t mean that applies to everyone else. Strong memories are associated with unusual events, or extremes of emotion.

I had many of those before the age of 10.

Now, as an adult psychiatrist, I still cannot tell whether a dream I had as a 4-year-old was related in any way to my psychological status then… Every time someone mentions Zhuang Zi and his dream of the butterfly, I remember this dream.

zhuang zi, butterfly

I dreamed of a beautiful life in a different body, in a different family, in a different world. I cannot remember what race I was, what size family I had or what age I was. I only remember that I was much older and very much happier. And suddenly in the middle of this happiness, I remembered, and turned and told the people around me, “Oh, guess what, I dreamed that I was a little Chinese girl living in France, and that everyone was making fun of my eyes and nose…” Eventually, I woke up, and for quite some time, wasn’t sure which of the two was a dream.  But as time went on, and I stayed as the little Chinese girl with no sign of waking up from this life, I sadly resigned myself to trudge on with this life.


One Response to “My butterfly dream”

  1. says:

    Thanks! I’m now only concerned about writing some more before thinking of spreading the word.

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