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Four Rainbows for a Lifetime


Alice C. Bateman

Wow! The Stage! Once, when asked about my stage experience, I borrowed Shakespeare's words and replied that "all the world's a stage." I firmly believe this. Often, I have felt that there are video cameras just following me around. Inside, I am just a quiet and shy person, not much liking attention.... but my life has been a continual play, ongoing drama, little comedy relief.

The comedy relief will arrive soon, I can feel it. Happiness, that elusive and misunderstood word, is perhaps coming to me finally, after forty-four years on this planet.

I have learned two very important things. PATIENCE: What it boils down to for me, I think, is this: I don't have to worry about every person, every thing, every penny, all the time. I am not fully responsible for all things. Being an empath makes me feel for all, but I don't have to ponder endlessly all the details. This takes a huge, enormous weight from my shoulders.

Also, I have learned that each day is a 'separate reality,’ a 'different box,’ so I have told myself each day for the last few, since I have learned this. It makes life so much easier to cope with. When the worries from yesterday or the plans for tomorrow begin to come into my head, I push them back with the thought that this day is a box unto itself. It cannot affect yesterday, and tomorrow is but a whim of the Gods, the one God and all old and new, lesser and greater gods and goddesses of myth and legend.

Yes, we must still plan and budget and anticipate tomorrow, but when our plans are abruptly altered, we must look to God for the reason, not to who is at fault on this plane.

Can we learn to control our automatic anger that immediately follows disappointment? I have no idea. I will have to see through the eyes of the new insights I have gained. I feel so dense, like everyone else knew these lessons long ago, and I am just a babe in the woods, finally learning what has always been obvious to everyone else.

And Love - I think I have finally learned what this little word Love means. How to describe this? A new smile... someone who now constantly flows through your thought stream, on a separate channel all his own. Never ceasing, his voice, his words on a screen, his everything. Until life throws one too many curves in a row, and we forget all this and put a damn in the thought stream he inhabits, and go on autopilot for a while. And end up walking around with Mystic on our shoulder.

Dreams and Rainbows. The Drama and the Rain. For every time it has rained in your life, how many rainbows have you seen? But every time it rains, there is a little pocket of our selves that waits expectantly for that rainbow. About four in my life that I truly remember, one because it came when I lived high on a mountain, in a ski village in British Columbia. My fourth-floor condo apartment was surrounded by Ponderosa Pines, with one lone young pine tree centred in front of my apartment, only about four or five feet tall.

Suddenly, after the rain one day, the end of a rainbow appeared, enveloping this young tree, the tree itself seeming to shimmer and glow with these brilliant and beautiful pulsing lights. Awesome. Incredible. A moment from God.

Are not our dream-fulfillment moments, such as opening an envelope and having a cheque fall to the floor, similar to this shimmering rainbow? Four rainbows in a lifetime of woes. Sounds like a line from a poem, but I haven't written this one yet.

I am trying to think of four 'rainbow' moments in my life, and the first two that came to mind are writing-related. The first one, Grade Five, ten years old, and the Superintendent of Schools or someone entering the classroom and announcing that me, I, little Alice Bateman, had won a county-wide weed essay contest. My first writing reward - indigenous weeds! Five dollars and a banquet with the county level of government.

The other one I thought of was when I first saw a script that I had written {a modern-day adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde} playing on TV. Only a very local Toronto channel, but Other People Were Watching. My heart almost pounded out of my chest! It was then that I knew for sure that Writing is what I want to be known for, nothing else, no other profession interests me enough to pursue it totally. I can do many other things, but writing is who I am, what I do.

The two other 'rainbow' moments? I'm not sure. There is always so much pain mixed in with any pleasure, even when I worked with the Nylons, a Canadian ACapella group, there was too much pain; the death of one member and of another member's lover. The dark balanced the light so well that there could not have been a rainbow. I will have to think of the others, or perhaps they are still to come. Four rainbows for a lifetime. Sounds like another line - what was the first one?

Four rainbows

In a lifetime of woes

Four rainbows

For a lifetime?


If that is all

Then that's enough

Their beauty can't compare

To all the death and tragedy

To all the guilt we share


For if there is such beauty

To make up for the bad

Then this world's not such a bad place...

Even when we’re sad

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