“I really like you,” he said.

He really likes me. That’s what he said.

He said I was beautiful.

He said I was smart and interesting.

He said he wanted to get to know me better.

He said he wanted to see me again.

And I told him I wanted to live in Asia.  And he told me he didn’t want to live in Asia.

So, that’s it.

Great listener, sweet, accommodating, chivalrous, interesting and passionate guy that I don’t want to see anymore.  He was also tall.

But I have dreams to ride the subways and bullet trains, eat food from stalls and food carts, visit the beach, sing karaoke, walk the little alley ways, shop at the street fairs, visit the temples, drink fancy teas and lattes in the eclectic coffee shops, and feel the strangeness of a world apart from ordinary.

It’s like out a movie: drying clothes on the balcony or roof on a line, walking everywhere on paved roads and sidewalks, quietness on the mountainside, clean and clear taste of green tea, the furniture and design of the homes, seeing a rural house of wood in the old design, and a crane on the river.

I miss my adventure.  I miss the excitement of the first six months in an utterly foreign environment that has the same blue sky.

So, do I want to give up the one goal I could accomplish?  Do I let my dream die to not be alone?

Or am I willing to be alone now to not give up on my dream?

I used to want to be with someone no matter how I had to change. I believed in compromise and adjustments.  But I was alone anyway.  Romantic relationships didn’t last.  The person I truly am was not loved.  I wasn’t even considered seriously.

But now, I want to hold onto myself.  I want to value my feelings, hopes, successes, failures, beliefs, and self-respect.  Joan Didion wrote, “However long we post- pone it, we eventually lie down alone in that notoriously un-comfortable bed, the one we make ourselves. Whether or not we sleep in it depends, of course, on whether or not we respect ourselves.”

And so, in the end, we are all alone in ourselves.  I have to sleep by myself at night.

When Do You Start To Live YOUR Dreams?

Life begins with infancy, grows into childhood and then blossoms into youth and finally graduates into adulthood:

“My guess is that before you know it, woomph and it’s done, that was your life.

Kids, however, impose a timeline. There are milestones aplenty: first tooth in and first tooth out: first words and first steps; going to school for the first time and leaving it for the first time.

They get report cards, and they are always momentous — can you imagine being similarly graded on how much more you know now versus last time they checked? Kids’ seasons are clearly marked with the kinds of books they carry or if they carry them at all. There are games and scores and lessons, all of which are recorded, documented, measured.

And then, adulthood. A free fall into a period when, if you’re not careful, nothing much happens at all.

All this struck me from my vantage point in the balcony of the theatre where my niece was graduating high school. It feels like only yesterday she was just a little girl who liked skipping, but, in fact, 18 years have slid by.

She did a lot in those years, but I have not changed a bit. It was a little melancholy on that balcony. The passage of time does that to me.” – 

“I realized that in spite of myself, in spite of the promises I made to myself on my own high school graduation, I am waiting for my life to begin.

I am letting time slip through my hands without grabbing for anything. I listen with wonder to friends who have decided to visit a place they’ve never been simply because they’ve never been there, or to study something that intrigues them, or to perfect a skill. My friend Margie is figuring out why leaves turn red when it’s apparently easier to turn yellow — who knew? And maybe who cares, but she does, and she’s excited about what she’s discovering.

I love my friend Helen in part because she’s always doing something — taking off to Thailand to learn to scuba dive, or learning to fly a plane. And me? Well. I’m living. But I could put more life into the effort.

Without realizing it I’ve become lethargic. I am sitting out my turn.

I am now weary of that lethargy. Afraid of it, in fact.

And so I’m writing things down, making some plans, Stan, and looking into things like courses and groups. I’m getting out there, getting busy, doing the things today that I would love to do someday.

Maybe I’ll eat a cupcake for lunch and see a matinee on a rainy day. I’m learning fluent French this year, not someday. I’m going to ski. Time won’t pass unremarked and unremarkable.

I want to take my turn after all.” – 

Embracing life, believing in dreams, working towards goals and achieving all take effort.  When you grow up and are an adult, you don’t have to just work, raise a family, enjoy ordinary, mundane, easy-to-procure pleasures.  Childhood could be the best time of life to teach small ones how to be adults and adults who still grow, achieve, learn, and experience life with an eye for it’s newness.

Murderous Dream

I had a murderous dream where to attain success up the corporate ladder, I needed to eliminate some obstacles in the form of people: a former lover, a familial relative (lil’ bro), and some Asian woman.  I snapped their necks (yes, in the dream world, my lack of physical strength isn’t a concern), except for the Asian woman’s.  She was too fast and got away.  But I had planned on still killing her.

I think I feel like I am struggling against forces that inhibit me.  I might not need to literally snap their necks and thankfully, I couldn’t even begin to accomplish such a feat.

The Word for World is Forest: Ursula K. Le Guin

Le Guin’s amazing sci-fi masterpiece, The Word for World is Forest, explores what it means to be human.

In a future where humans have met outer space humanoids or beings of intelligence, culture, community, and language.  In other words, beings that are more like us than we are like animals or plants.

The novel explores community, military, hierarchy, power, slavery, war, murder, gender, identity, transcendence, dreams, and culture change.

Le Guin introduces us to a world named New Tahiti that humans are colonizing … and where the local humanoid race isn’t accepted as fully human.  Culture differences make negotiation and discussion difficult for the radically dissimilar peoples.  Humans enslave the rather submissive people of Athshe, mistaking their docility for ignorance and simplistic thinking.

The goal of humans on New Tahiti is to set up a imperialistic colony that will become a permanent human settlement and provide resources, the most common being lumber, back to Earth.

The story is told in several chapters with each chapter being narrated by one of three characters, a human military commander named Captain Davidson, a researcher of the native inhabitants employed by the military named Raj Lyubov, and a recently widowed, native Athshean named Selver who becomes a god to his people.

Le Guin’s book has many similarities to James Cameron’s famous movie, Avatar.  In both Avatar and The Word for World is Forest humans are taking resources from a planet and thereby destroying the native people’s habitat, scientists and military officers have conflicting agendas, important neurological or mind connections between beings, and the costs of war.

However, my opinion is that The Word for World is Forest is more sophisticated, realistic, and demanding for it’s readers.  It is a book that questions what being an outsider and different really means, whether we are talking about men and women, Caucasians and Asians, or humans and humanoid aliens.

The Word for World is Forest: Ursula K. Le Guin: 9780765324641: Amazon.com: Books.

Dreaming of Teeth

I had a dream last night in which my teeth started falling out.  They just loosened completely and fell right out on my upper front right-hand side …  Pretty anxiety-producing.  And then it was the weekend or night or some other time I couldn’t go see a dentist and I tried to put them back in but they kept falling out.

Grieving 2

Dreams can be very revealing.

In sleep, we process our lives.  So of course, in our sleep, we deal with death or loss as well.  But dreams about people gone from our lives can be strange when one wakes up.  I have had several dreams, where in my sleep, a person has been impacting or affecting my life.  Then I wake up, only to remember that this person can never physically enter my life again.

I can dream a person is hurting me and I am very frustrated or afraid.  Waking up from this dream, there is always a painful thought, “He is gone” when I remember reality.  That is slightly relieving but also very sad.  The sorrow comes from me obviously still needing to process my hurt and pain.  Even if the person that hurt me is dead, I am still alive and I was hurt.  And there was never an apology.

But sometimes, the dream is happy.  I am happy with this person in my dream, but upon waking, I remember I will never see this person again.  That is much sadder, because all the good memories and all the memories I wanted to create in the future are over.

But what is most painful about dreams is how reality and the dream are so different.  It feels like I was lying to myself in my sleep, whether I was still afraid, angry, or hopeful.  My beliefs and reality didn’t match up.