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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Always Loved

We are not the roles we assume. Roles are like jobs that can be replaced. People are not their roles of being a spouse, lover... Although the world assumes this is true and react accordingly.

Once I open myself to being intimate with someone else and grow to love them, from that point on it doesn't matter what they do next. I will always love them wherever they go. They must work hard to injure and destroy that love of mine - unintentional injury doesn't count.

If enough time has gone by, that can't be done completely - unless they intentionally and willfully work pointedly to do so. Even then, the time we spent when we were in harmony is always mine should I choose to keep it for myself. In time, I may find someone else to craft an alliance with that is more appropriate to needs, but that second person is not a "replacement" for the first. If we part, nobody can ever hold the same connection we shared because it was and is still unique. With each connection, (believing that great relationships are made and not found) I have been indissolubly changed by my experience of intimacy with them. In knowing them. It is as if I grow appendages that are uniquely shaped just for their connection of holding hands with me.

At least, that's my experience so far.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

In Another Life...

Perhaps in another life, (one I got very close to choosing,) I would have been a translator. Being born in California, the only living language that I could learn was my local dialect of Spanish. Mostly from a brilliant teacher in middle school, I learned enough to fluently play the translator between two families who had become friends without knowing each other's language. Then a full scholarship took me away from the border town where I was raised. Without use, I forgot most of what I had learned. Now I know enough to tell what someone is talking about, but I no longer know what they are saying about it!

I had stumbled on the I Ching one day in the library when I was twelve while looking for "magic books." Here was the first completely foreign universe of completely dissimilar symbolism that I could not grasp, although I could read the words. So I began to collect different translations of the I Ching and compare them as I used the book for an oracle. The ability of the I Ching to give the same reply to similar questions, even when asked years apart, this completely fascinated me. How did this synchronicity Jung talked about really work? I am still fascinated with this question. In my documentation of my experiences with the I Ching, I now have a sort of catalog of my questions about what to do with my life, what choices to make and why make them. Using the I Ching has helped me gain the benefit of being able to compensate for time of arrival of possibly related information. 

My lifelong interest in the I Ching was partly fueled by a college professor I had when I attended U.S International Uni. He was a scholar from mainland China who's affiliated institution bestowed a degree on the head of my school merely for hiring him!  Because I already knew the content of the class in the I Ching he was offering (and because I could already handle a brush as an artist,) this professor taught me Chinese for seven weeks while giving me a guaranteed "A" in his I Ching course. 

Of course I had a private teacher and no classmates to compare myself against, but it was only later that I learned we had gone at a breakneck speed of a little more than 100 characters a week. He made it simple for me, after learning about my ability to memorize song lyrics. Essentially, he showed me about how different "character families" were related to each other symbolically. He did this by taking a very complex character that had many brush strokes, and teaching it to me backwards, one stroke at a time, using a story to link the meanings together. We did probably five of these "character families" each day and they were somewhat related to a larger story. When I think back about it, this was inspired teaching.

Probably the one decision in my life that I regret was to keep my college scholarship to go to art school instead of taking advantage of an opportunity offered by this professor, Dr. Dun Fong Lee. This professor, (who I'd spent quite a bit a time with socially,) offered to set me up teaching English and to continue our lessons in Chinese - as he was returning to Taiwan when I was getting ready to transfer my credits at that school to art college. Leaving my boyfriend was unthinkable, (it didn't occur to me that perhaps he could accompany me) there was no way to stay in touch from so far away in that era except for letters that took forever to arrive - and I was an orphan who had no parents to remain interested in what happened to me. So there were many reasons to not go. Still, I wish differently. I did attempt to contact him a few years later, once I had taken advantage of my art school scholarship, but I could not find him. Perhaps he had died, because his was in his late sixties. 

But my interest in languages remained. It was another stumble during college that took me into a book about the Wharf-Sapir theory. Here was another book I couldn't understand, even though I could read the words. It suddenly made me realize that there were worlds of cultures out there containing different thinking styles that possibly could not be conveyed in English...

Later in college I designed an independent study class in "communication" to explore how many ways meaning could be conveyed. It took me from animal training, (inter-species communication) through symbolism and body language via gestalt therapy experiments and the examination of how adapting built habitual routines and contexts, into artificial intelligence, toward learning a bit of the Hopi language, back into polling surfers who were encountering dolphins to evaluate the surfers on their proprietary sense of owning their surf spot.
Eventually I finally buckled down and spent the ten thousands hours plus in learning to write in my own language. The experience of traveling to Europe encouraged me to start a "travel journal," ...and the rest you can read right here.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Hunch or Prejudice?

What is the difference between an intuitive hunch and a prejudice? This is one of my virtual questions that I enjoy asking.

It's curious to me how each and every perceptual attitude that someone can adopt seems to have alternate ways of describing it. These descriptions, definitions and interpretations seem to color how the subject and person is defined to express another bias or prejudice. Some can get quite...colorful, with pointed accusations.

For instance, students often stop themselves from asking a question of a teacher out of respect for that teacher. But from the teacher's point of view,, "why don't my students ask ANY question?" In my culture, you can have rapport or you can have respect, but not both.

Another instance, it's obvious from my posting here that I enjoy to take the time to offer the benefit of my observations to other people. I've taken the time to learn to write to do this, which has been an effort for me because my talking style isn't easily translated into the forms of writing.  But now others are coming to recognize my investment of being able to write. Whenever there is recognition of "talent" or ability, people inevitably wonder why you do such a thing. They assign a motive to your actions - sometimes these motives are not what you would answer if they had asked you. In some cases, they react as if the person who has invested value in an opinion must be a proselytizer or a salesperson.

But sometimes, people complaint that I am being "too" helpful. They seem to not appreciate my motives or my open-mindedness because I don't communicate that very well.

If I come up with creative thinking ideas on their behalf without warning them or getting their permission to do so, they react strangely. They're slightly intimidated. They don't know why I can do it or why I would do such a thing for them. Perhaps they assign nefarious motives to what I'm doing or why I'm doing it. I've been accused of "co-dependence," but I just don't have the vested interests and addictions to go along with the profile. Demonstrating my ability to think has also often gotten me defined me as "analytical," as if I am an inflexible one-trick pony.  Am of the opinion that everyone has multiple talents, often undeveloped.

I've learned to actively refuse to defend myself and instead invite participation. But sometimes it just doesn't work. People misread my communicating as being upset. They don't dare to confront or engage, fearing they might offend.

Would love to open a conversation to suggestions on how to better this state of affairs, because I think this same issue affects many, many interactions with many people. Perhaps I just need to joke about it more often.

Anyone have any suggestions or explorations...stories? Probably not. Somehow, the way that I write doesn't invite comments. Not sure what to do about that.