Sometimes, it's just harder to get things out. To receive the signals being sent to my brain (by my eye-balls), to understand the images, interpret them, and spit the information back out in some relevant manner. Right now, I really can't sort out emotions, or the reactions. Reality and truth start to shift under the lens of a new society. It is confusing, frustrating, and sometimes, painful.
My thoughts are not complete right now, but ideas are forming.
I remember a few years back, meeting up with a friend of mine at a restaurant on the 16th St. Mall. He had just returned to America, after a year in China, and so I was eager to hear about his experiences. I remember sitting across the table from him, and being so curious to see his pictures and hear his stories. He was so excited to share about his adventures.
I was surprised however, when he explained to me one of his frustrations: he told me that people frequently asked about his time in China, but that they did not really listen. I remember wondering, how many people ask just to be polite, and not to actually hear an answer. He said, people expressed some curiosity, but they quickly lost interest when he tried to tell them. Further, he told me that those who did stop to listen, didn't care to understand the way he cared to share with them.
Even now, sitting here with my laptop, in my bed (that isn't a bed at all), in my apartment, on the 13th level of my building, in my garden, in Nancheng, in Dongguan, in Guangdong, in CHINA, I know that what I am recounting above is not an accurate depiction of my thoughts, nor that person's exact words, but I am trying to explain something I don't even understand fully myself, so please be patient, and bear with me.
I remember sitting with my friend, and recognizing that he was so passionate about everything he was telling me. I could in no way understand why, but his passion mattered to me because he matters to me, and so I listened with all the passion I could offer back from my inexperienced self.
Now, I find myself reflecting on that moment because I can feel that I want to explain something, and I'm not sure .... not sure who actually wants to listen. And even if you are listening, will you understand? What is this moment like? Think of a time when you had a profound personal revelation--one so great, how can you not share? But the revelation is so intimate, who would really want to sit through what will likely come across as some kind of mad rant?
In trying to describe what it is to have a life, I automatically want to make some analogy that helps my idea form a more accurate image for you. I think, life is like a universe-- ever expanding existence. But the word "universe" is the wrong word to use, because there is so much darkness in a universe; empty space constantly growing... we can't see it all.
Life is like a cave (be quiet Plato!). We are in the cave, digging. Some dig with their hands, some with a spoon, some with a shovel. Some people dig forever in one direction, looking for something specific. Some people get bored and give up digging; they sit in what cave-space they have and are comfortable. Some people might look for a bigger spoon or other people to dig with. The more you dig out of your "cave," the more your world expands. As you dig you learn and discover-- the more you dig the more room you have to see (let's not complicate this with "light" talk).
What am I getting at? Someone just stuck some godamn dynamite in my cave, and I don't even know where to begin. I have no idea how to explain to you, all the new shapes I can feel under my feet, all the new clumps of earth I can smell, all the new shades of light that burn my eyes. Something is changing. When I grow passionate to tell you, and share, will you listen enough to understand, will you care enough to listen?
I remember so clearly, the look in his eyes, when he wanted someone to understand. His eyes were hungry for someone to listen passionately while he told about his experience.
Right now, I want to explain to you what is going on. I'm in China, and something is happening.
I don't know how to tell you, so you can really hear what I'm saying. Where I am now, things are really different from where I was before. That sentence reads so simply, but it means so much more. Until this exact moment, I don't think I was even able to admit to myself that here is different, so I couldn't see. Until now, I was not ready to see. . I am in China, and something is happening.