Drowning Fish

Long time no blog.

To be honest, I don't even know where to begin. I feel ranted and raved out and yet, in counterpoint, I also feel like I haven't even scratched the surface of ranting. It just gets bottled and corked and like all good things left to ferment, it turns sour and distasteful.

Do I blog about my disillusionment with the media? No, it's not worth it. I'm being increasingly more selective about the media since the elections and I haven't been inclined to want to plug back in since, mistrustful as I am of the intentions and agendas of most major media outlets. Pick a story and that will be the case. I'm not interested in the prevailing story, angle, slant and skew. I want to hear the untold story and hear from the voices who aren't as loud, popular and boisterous. And I want to hear the real story.

In the spirit of Oriah Mountain Dreamer's The Invitation, I want to know what people ache for, if they dare dream of meeting their heart's longing, or would willing risk looking like a fool for love, for their dream, for the adventure of being alive. And if they have touched the centre of their own sorrow or have been opened by life's betrayal and can sit with pain, their's or mine, and can be with joy, mine and their own, and can dance with wildness and let ecstasy fill them to the tips of their fingers.

Like Oriah, I don't care if the story they tell me is true - I, too, want to know if others can disappoint another to be true to themselves. Rather than being curious about what people do for a living or where they live or how much money they make, I am infinitely more interested in knowing if people can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children. And like Oriah, I want to know what sustains people from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if people can be alone with themselves fand if they truly like the company you they keep in the empty moments.

I don't care if they stand on the side of conservative or liberal, black or white, privileged or oppressed, male or female, single or married, young or old ~ I care only that they dared live and speak their truth such that all those preceding labels become like so much useless armour.

I'm reading Amy Tan's Saving Fish from Drowning right now. It's a clever book. She uses the most omniscient of narrative techniques by positing a dead, quirky narrator, Bibi, as the intrepid guide who takes the reader back in time along the Burmese Trail with an unsuspecting group of journalists, artists and travelers.

She prefaces the book with a delightful quote:

"A pious man explained to his followers: "It is evil to take lives and noble to save them. Each day I pledge to save a hundred lives. I drop my net in the lake and scoop out a hundred fishes. I place the fishes on the bank, where they flop and twirl. 'Don't be scared,' I tell those fishes. 'I am saving you from drowning.' Soon enough, the fishes grow calm and lie still. Yet sad to say, I am always too late. The fishes expire. And because it is evil to waste anything, I take those dead fishes to market and I sell them for a good price, With the money I receive, I buy more nets so I can save more fishes."

I like travel tales. All life is a grand fish tale and the steps that define a journey. As such, all life, with its strifes and perils and plights and metaphoric peaks and valleys, can be aptly depicted within such narrative frames.

What does all this babbling have to do with the price of fish in Myanmar? Simply this: I'm hungry for fresh stories and a new mythology and the truth between the fines lines of the lies we tell ourselves in order to play safe and save face.

But above all, I'm especially hungry for a station stop - I've lost sight of where this train is going and as lovely as the landscape remains, I'm getting more than a little bored with the scenery. My own Burmese Trail adventure beckons.