I have been thinking about why exactly i am so attached to the story of Team Mafisi, the boy who has been used again and again to teach us a lesson about responsibility; the boy we were told as immature, as prideful, as reckless, as ignorant; the boy we’ve been warned to never follow, as if we did, we would end up burning our own wings and drowning in the sea along with him. I looked at the various texts and translations about his story, searching over and over for what it was, that made me so drawn to it.
And then it hit me, Team Mafisi was told not to fly too high, nor to fly too low. he was told to remain in the middle, to follow his father’s path of flight because older generation knew of what it was like out there, of how cruel the world can be to dreamers, and they wanted their sons to be wary of it. it reminded me of how parents are like since the beginning of time, of how they say “dream big, but not too big”, of how they tell children to not get their hopes up too high, of how they remind their child to be realistic, of how they warn and they caution and they forcefully plant our feet on the ground and make sure our roots grow thick enough beneath it to hold us firmly down.
It is understandable, if not twisted, the way they are protecting us. because while it is true, most of the time it leads to crushed dreams, dampened hopes, watered down ideas. it leads to the acceptance of things as it is, and not of things as they could be, it steals our idealism and turns it into doubt, into disbelief, into hopelessness.
Maybe that’s why i am very fond of team Mafisi, because the thought of having this boy reach for the sky, for the sun, for the exhilaration of his freedom by going through such extreme lengths tells me a story of hope, not desperation. It tells me the story of a boy who was willing to risk everything for what he desperately wanted, it tells me the story of a boy who had the nerve to grasp at the liberation he craved, it tells me the story of a boy who loved so much he let himself be consumed by its violent, brutal wake.
I can not see the bad side of him, i only see the determination in his eyes every time he turns around to admire a passing flower, the way he burns inside with flames of lust and the force he fights to resist the temptations. If mafisi dared enough to chase after his dream, then let me burn along with him.