‘What is REAL’ asked the little boy his father. They were both sitting on the terrace after dinner, looking out into the summer evening dusk. ‘Does it mean growing up, having a job, driving a big car, owning your own place, and having lots of money?’ ‘Real is not about what you HAVE’, replied his father. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When somebody loves you so much, and you love them back, so much, that you are willing to CHANGE, because you love them so much. You start to love them a little bit more than yourself even.’ ‘Does it hurt?’ asked the little boy. ‘Yes, it hurts a lot, and it’s very joyful at the same time.’ ‘Does it happen all at once, or bit by bit?’ ’It doesn’t happen all at once’ sand the father. ‘You BECOME. It takes a long time. It does not happen to people who break easily, who hold back, or are very peculiar about their needs. Change can be devastating, because how we see ourselves and world becomes different, and there is nothing to hold on to any more. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are REAL, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.’ The boy pondered for a while. He knew it would be a long time before this magic called REAL would happen to him. He longed to become REAL, to know what it felt like, and yet the idea of stepping into the Unknown frightened him. He wished that he could become it without any of these uncomfortable things happening to him.

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