Tag Archives: Thoughts

Experiences Thoughts

I dream of golden autumn days

This is a slightly different type of post than I would usually make, but I felt like putting it down, even if only so that I remember it years down the line. 

I don’t usually dream. Or rather, I most likely DO dream, but very rarely remember what I dream about. Most times I just wake up completely unaware of whatever thoughts have filtered across my subconscious during the night – probably just as well since I think it’s more restful that way. (and no, I’m not counting that one morning I woke up after dreaming all night of fighting off zombies – I really shouldn’t have played “Left 4 Dead” into the wee hours of the morning that time…)

This morning though, I woke up promptly at 8AM, wide awake and completely aware of a dream that I had just experienced. It wasn’t scary, though it startled me at one point, but what surprised me was just how vivid my memory of it was. As I lay in bed I realised though that my memory of the dream was already fading and so I got and sat down in front of my laptop and started typing out everything below. I’m glad I did because I could literally feel the details of the dream getting foggier as I typed, but I think I got everything.

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I don’t know how we got there, but S and I were in a forest, it must have been in the autumn as there were trees with golden leaves everywhere – beautiful crisp fall season. I have no idea what country it was. We suddenly came upon an old wooden house, decrepit, in the gradual stages of falling down because of neglect. No one had obviously lived there for ages. Together we walked into the yard area, where I stopped and commented something like “I’ve never seen a place that looked more like a haunted house”. I had my little yellow xacti camera and stayed outside taking pictures while S decided to go inside. I joined her after a few moments and as she went to look around upstairs I continued to take pictures downstairs.

The overall atmosphere inside wasn’t too dark as the house was so run down that sunlight filtered through the holes in the roof. Suddenly, I nearly jumped out of my skin because I noticed movement in the shadows several feet ahead of me. A short man, wearing grungy clothes, face all scrunched up in a fierce scowl, stepped out of the dark and had started slowy shuffling towards me. The odd thing was he didn’t seem to be looking at me. His gaze was focused off in the distance, as if he was looking right through me and not paying any attention to me at all.

I was nonetheless freaked out and started yelling for S, telling her to get downstairs because there I didn’t know if there were more people upstairs that we weren’t aware of. I heard her start to come down while I began backing away, not wanting to get too close to the guy. I walked backwards, never taking my eyes off of him but he never once looked at me. As I backed out the gate, I turned off to the side, still walking backwards and the man kept going in a straight line past me.

He reached an old tree and started climbing up it. It was an old tree, and unlike most of the others in that it didn’t have any golden leaves, making it easy to follow his progress. When he reached the crook of the branches he paused, looking ahead of him into the forest. After a moment, he retrieved an old wooden bucket from somewhere up there and dipped it into the hollows of the branches the same way one would dunk a cup into a sink to scoop up water. After pulling it back up, he carefully made his way down the tree and proceeded to pour out the liquid onto the ground. Instead of just the bucketful of water that one would expect, the amount of liquid he was pouring out never stopped, and in moments he had poured enough water to form a small river that snaked off past the clearing and further into the forest. It was still a peaceful late sunny afternoon day by the way.

When he finished pouring, he stepped back into the house gates and for a moment was out of view. Not wanting to lose sight of him, I started to take a step forward but immediately stopped as I saw the hull of a small boat coming out the gate. The boat wasn’t too big, about as large around as a raft but about as deep as a rowboat. The boat was pushed into the stream/small river that had just been created from the contents of the bucket and the little man stepped onboard as it started to move downstream.

At this point S also came out the gate, eyes wide and questioning as she noticed the man on his boat floating away. I briefly explained what had happened and together we started to follow the boat, running along the stream and trying to keep the boat in sight. After a few moments though, we had to stop as something (I think rocks and fallen trees) blocked our path and we couldn’t go ahead any further.

I suddenly remembered that I had my camera and, telling S to wait, tried to get closer to the edge of the river by jumping from stone to stone. I powered on my camera and started filming even though the man and boat were already pulling away. I was close enough to see that the boat was passing a little dock of some sort. There were several young men (late teens/early twenties) lounging around on it and were obviously startled and taken aback when the man on the boat passed by. He passed them and faded off into the distance.

I carefully made my way back to S and together we thoughtfully headed back to… what I think was the old house again. Though now my memory of the next place we found ourselves at was of a nicer, much less decrepit structure. It was a brightly lit room, I think on the second floor. S left the room to look around and I started fiddling with my camera to take more pictures when suddenly another person walked in. A woman this time, possibly partly Asian but more western looking in terms of facial features and also dark blond in a Shibuya girl kind of way, she seemed familiar though I couldn’t place her. Looking pensive, she gazed at me and moved towards the open window in the room. And I woke up.
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And that’s that! I actually crawled back into bed after typing it out and dozed off for another hour or so and I know that had I not written it down I would have forgotten everything by now. Since this is pretty rare for me, to actually remember a dream, I thought I’d put it up ūüôā

Thoughts

Addendum to my 2009 resolution list

A couple of weeks back, I posted on a few things I wanted to get done this year, namely the following:

  • Move to a place of my own (a frustrating process this is turning out to be)
  • Get at least one IT certification (I have none to date, and should the insanity that is plaguing the economy negatively affect my employment, I’d better have SOMETHING that can vouch for my minor skills – and it’s already February – need to get cracking on this!)
  • Get better at running (this, at least, has some noticeable progress – upped my weekly run to 11km from 10km)
  • Get a drivers license (putting this on hold until I’ve moved)
  • Save (in these uncertain economic times – I think it’s important to have something saved up for a very possible rainy day)

And I think I’m going to add a couple points here, both expanding on the “Save” resolution, a subset if you will:

  • 1. Buy fewer books!!

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I’ve just realised that I’ve bought 17 books from Amazon since the year has started. ¬†SEVENTEEN. ¬†In just over a month. ¬†Not only (as you can see from the picture) are the space constraints in my current 5.5 jo room being stretched far beyond their limits (yes, those books are on top of a bookshelf, almost hitting the ceiling, and 3 deep – and this is but one bookshelf out of 3) but books are also fairly expensive. ¬†I do love reading… but I think I should at least try to make an effort to limit my book purchases to a more reasonable… 2? 3? a month.

Last year I bought a total of 56 books from Amazon Japan (where I do most of my book buying) – 49 for myself, 7 for various friends and family. ¬†¬†It does not take into account books I’ve purchased off Amazon US or books I bought in brick-and-mortar shops – easily at least another handful apiece at each. ¬†All in all, I probably bought anywhere between 65-75 books last year. ¬†Yipes!

  • 2. Cook!

This is a resolution that, once again, will have to wait until after I find a place of my own. ¬†The reasoning behind this is that by cooking I can save on the costs of eating out, which, together with book buying, probably consists of the bulk of my expenses. ¬†Whether or not this will actually be the case, i.e. whether or not this will actually save me money, remains to be seen, but at least it will be a good hobby/skill to brush up on. ¬†I don’t think I’ve cooked in any way seriously since my family left Japan (even while they were here I didn’t do much cooking!) ¬†For some reason I’ve been having a hankering to start cooking, whether it be baking cakes and cookies, or regular meals.

Alot hinges on my ultimately finding a place of my own. ¬†It’s been a lifesaver staying at my current location in the past for cost-cutting reasons, but now… I really REALLY am ready to have a place of my own. ¬†There are just little things that are gradually coming up in regards to how comfortable I feel where I’m living now and sometimes I feel that I may be wearing out my welcome. ¬†But heck, after 3+ years here… it’s really about time for me to move on.

Wish me luck that I find a decent place in the coming weeks!

Politics

Good Luck, Mr. Obama

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As I type this, there are about 2 hours left before President-elect Obama steps up to take the oath office, becoming the 44th president of the United States.

I’ve never been one for politics, but the infectious excitement present on the internet (don’t own a TV ūüėČ ) is catching. It is indeed a momentous occasion – the first Africa-American president of the US. ¬†However, the progress of racial equality almost takes second stage to the the tasks that Obama will need to take on as soon as he steps into the Oval Office.

Possibly the most pressing task he faces is that of guiding the country through what is the worst economic crisis in decades, one whose fallout is not only limited to American shores, but has spread to affect global economic market worldwide. Over 11,000,000 people are unemployed¬†in the US (or roughly 7.2% of the population); banks, enterprises, and businesses of all kinds that haven’t already failed are struggling to stay afloat. ¬†He also has to deal with ongoing war in Iraq (something by the way, that is being estimated to cost the United States around $3 trillion – that is 3,000,000,000,000), fixing the Social Security and Medicare systems, and much more. ¬†Frankly, the weight of the expectations surrounding this man scares me. ¬†The American public hope and expect so much from him that I don’t know how he can NOT be experiencing some trepidation at the work that lies before him. ¬†

It’s a safe bet to say that most people will be glad to see the current administration on its way out. ¬†However, it is hard for me to quantifiably judge George W. Bush’s legacy. ¬†I don’t think that the chaos he leaves behind is entirely his fault; certainly I feel that the blame for the financial fiasco lies more on the heads of the greedy bankers and executives that chose to pursue the ever-inflating trail of dollars rather than practice common sense. ¬†On the other hand, his constant persuit of the “War on Terror” has cost the US taxpayer trillions of dollars and thousands of lives. ¬†As one who is not well-versed on the ins and outs of politics (at least, beyond the news bites and articles I stumble across), I feel it is not for me to pass down judgement on GWB’s actions. ¬†I believe that he came to the office with good intentions, but likely succumbed in many ways to the arrogance that came from the power offered by his position – something I hope that Obama will better resist. ¬†

Hindsight of course is twenty-twenty, and I recall 4 years ago how enthusiastically the American populace embraced GWB’s re-election, seeking a strong leader in the wake of the 9-11 attacks. ¬†Today, most people are happy to see him go. ¬†I personally think that we won’t be able to judge GWB’s legacy for a while yet – it remains to be seen what the state of Iraq is like in, say, the next 5-6 years. ¬†Should that country be a strong, stable, and independent nation, I believe history will look a little more kindly on GWB’s decision to initiate the “War on Terror” – or not. ¬† ¬†But back to Obama.

Barack Obama faces a long and difficult road ahead of him, and I hope that he will be able to accomplish even half of what everyone expects from him. ¬†I worry that if Americans don’t see a “quick fix” forthcoming, that fear and uncertainty will cause further tremors in an already unstable economy, bringing about more downturns. ¬†I worry that the enormous stimulus plan (all $775 BILLION of it) that Obama is pushing for is merely going to devalue the dollar and push the American nation further into debt. ¬†I worry… well, I worry a lot. ¬†I just feel that the expectations that Americans have of Obama are too high and unrealistic.

I do admire his bravery and his apparent steadiness though.  In the face of so much pressure and expectations, not only from the American people but from governments and nations around the world, he seems remarkably calm.  He will undoubtedly face many challenges, both on a professional and personal level (another thing that worries me is that there are too many crackpots out there who will try to attack him or his family simply because of race) and I sincerely hope that he is up to taking on those challenges.  

Good luck Mr. Obama РAmerica is in your care for the next 4 years.  I hope and pray you are up to the task.

 

-NJ