A thousand years

On a magazine cover a well known actor says “the most important thing in life is to dream”and I tend to agree.

As I read this Christina Perri is singing ” A thousand years” on my iPad, a beautiful song about one love spanning several lifetimes (uncoincidentally, included in the soundtrack of the Twilight saga, that introduced the concept of “good” and romantic vampires).

The lyrics of the song remind me of a most romantic (and interesting) book I read some twenty years ago: “Only love is real”, by Brian Weiss.

Dr. Brian Weiss is a psychiatrist whose patients under hypnosis described events happened in previous lives. At first, as a true cientist, he was highly skeptical, but then evidence became too strong and he changed his mind and went on to write several books on reincarnation and how regression through hypnosis may help people heal traumas acquired in past lives.

I found this idea of living several lives in search of perfection quite appealing, but no more than that. However, curious as I am, I decided to order this book, then unavailable in Portugal. And I loved it.

The books tells the very romantic story of two of his patients who described previous lives where they had lived an overwhelming love, and who were deeply unhappy in their present ones. Throughout the book, we begin to understand they had something in common, only to find they were soul mates and longtime companions, finally reunited in the end.

This is a romantic book if ever there was one. Who has not dreamt of looking into the eyes of someone and feel a sudden emotion and an inner voice whispering”Don’t I know you from somewhere?”. Sometimes people go so far as to ask ” Have we met before?”, when they haven’t, but still they go on believing that in some distant past they have been together. I must confess this is a very appealing idea, closely entwined with the one we get from the fairytale stories of our early years, that inevitably “program” us to expect to one day meet the love of our life and live happily ever after.

So we can see how most of us are in for a great desillusion, as very rarely, and less and less, are there loves that last a lifetime, let alone several lifetimes – as we all know too well, at least after having left our dreamy youthful years behind.

Some of us will go on tirelessly in search of that perfect union of souls, so rare and thus so precious; while some will sadly recognize this is probably nothing but a beautiful dream and reconcile ourselves to whatever unsatisfying relationships we are in. Or simply accept that what we have – however imperfect – is good and real, and no more can be asked of life.

Still, as someone says, there’s no harm in dreaming. I would not go as far as to say dreaming is the most important thing in life, but it is definitely something that keeps you alive. Dreaming is always allowed, it does not cost anything, it is always within reach: you just have to close your eyes and think of what might have been or may still be. You may call all your fantasies and crazy thoughts and they may include a love that has lasted for a thousand years and will last another. Why not? After all, even when life has disappointed you, if you go on dreaming it means deep down you still hope, and that hope can flourish and, who knows, your dreams, whatever they are, may still come true.

Christina Perri song tells us about the agony of waiting every day for someone special to come into our life, a love that has lasted for a thousand years;  about being certain that love would one day arrive; a love so strong and true that, when it comes, it will  last for another thousand years. The kind of love we read and dream about, but never find.


Yet…sometimes, when I look at a pair of beloved eyes, I wonder if I’m recognizing them from another time, from another place, and I think who knows, maybe we have known each other for a thousand years.