Sunday, May 1, 2011


Passion - if it doesn’t have an environment to burn in, it’ll burn you instead. Will you put it out?

I won’t


Slightly random, but I’ll share anyway. I think dreams are fascinating. I did some reading on sleep and what not a while ago when I was getting sick repeatedly, and thinking sleep might be part of my issue. Evidently the layers of sleep are quite different. The one in which you most often dream, also called the REM cycle, is restorative for one’s mind. The layer people refer to as “deep sleep” is usually a non-dreaming layer, but is restorative to the body.

The cue for that little tid-bit is my nap-taking habits. I am a proud, card-carrying member of the cat-nappers guild. I usually set my alarm for 20 minutes, fall asleep and wake up before my alarm goes off. Sometimes I even dream. Actually - fairly frequently. I think it is interesting, because REM sleep is generally a layer of sleep that takes a while to get to. I have gone through phases where I dont think I spend hardly any time in the REM phase and I wake up psychologically stagnant. I dunno if these naps are jumping straight into the REM layer like an infant (from my brief reading, infants evidently spend most of their time in the REM layer, whereas adults usually only spend about 20-25% of their sleep time in this layer), of if I just have some quirk where I frequently dream outside of the REM layer. I think the earlier explanation is more likely... I always was a weird one. That would also explain why I take such short naps and wake up ready to take on the world after 10 minutes or less of semi-to-un-conciousness. Anything longer than 30 minutes just destroys the rest of my day.

Food for thought...

I love thinking... my students dont...


The point of that whole interlude was a lead into vision/passion.

Passion is something that we love to talk about in the West right? Everyone is looking for “theirs.” To not have one is in many ways looked down on. Here in China, Passion can go both ways. If it leads you to becoming rich and/or famous (preferably “and”) then its great. But without the function, passion is viewed as a socially destructive element. Shoot, you should hear some of the views on video games. They even put my mother’s fervor to shame. :D

But my focus for this letter is in many ways a question, which i’ll be getting to in a moment. I think its another piece in one of the lines of reasoning I was looking into earlier.

In my point of view, I think passion is a lot like fire. It has the same creative and destructive potential. Think of all the glorious range of experiences we are afforded because of fire: which do you prefer - golden-brown recently roasted cheese on top of pizza or room temperature sweaty cheese on top of cold bread. Bread itself... does it even stand to the question of which is better? Fresh from the oven, or a day later? hmmm.

Then there’s the family that is forced to rearrange their lives because of fire, possibly even coping with the loss of a member if circumstances are unfortunate enough. The years of history and artifacts that people lived with, all gone and tossed to the wind. Forest fires: decades of growth erased, ecosystems completely rearranged if not erased, and aside from the pine-tree/pine cone that thrives on such depressing affairs, there isn’t a whole lot of hope from the events themselves.

But it is necessary to an extent.

I’ll look for a reference for you if you want, but when I was reading Ecclesiastes I read something that went to the effect of: sadness is good for the heart. I’ve always agreed with that for myself, and I generally agree with that in many applications. So long as it ends up turning around at some point. Sadness makes you appreciate the good so much more. A little bitterness helps you to appreciate love. Rain helps you appreciate the sun. Being sick causes you to reevaluate how important health is....and forever on down the road from there.

In an earlier blog I asked for your opinion on whether or not everyone had some sort of drive. Are people doomed to what some of us consider the mundane, or do they have the drive beaten out of them?

Let me add something else into the mix:

Since I was young I’ve asked God to give me something that I could pursue and burn for. I catch glimpses of it here and there, but much less than what it IS, I know a lot more that it is in fact there.

The way I know there is something else for me, is that it hurts not to have it.

My sister has a degree in psychology, so I hear all sorts of interesting terms like “self-fulfilling prophesy.” I don’t know if I understand it, but I think it means something that happens because you MADE it happen, and then you claim it as being something bestowed upon you by the environment. Basically you pretend to give yourself a divine mandate (like ALL the English Kings of history.... retards.)

So to be honest, I do have times when I worry about creating my own self-fulfilling prophesy, at which point I might be chasing clouds for the entirety of my life. But not chasing those clouds sounds much worse. Who wants to leave the matrix? If outside that dream chasing is only a cold truth with no way out? Why should we find it? Screw that, thank you very much. I have to believe in hope. It wouldn’t be worth it otherwise.

But, and theres always one (or two) of those, as I said earlier there is a destructive end to passion. Without something to feed passion, I think the passion itself burns those who have it. SHOOT! Have you ever seen West Side Story?!!

So it hurts, its socially destructive, and CERTAINLY destabilizing (no wonder China dislikes it). Is it worth it? Some say no, at which point you have to put out the fire so it stops burning you.

And then there’s me. I wouldn’t last without my fire. It hurts, but I need it. Its part of what defines me.

PS - dont watch “Sucker Punch”. Its hopeless. OR it tries at hope and leaves you dejected, because their concept of hope is everyone is either dead or empty, aside from a side character... Hopeless. Made me terribly angry for the rest of the day, until the blood of the vine and some good conversation got to me that is.


OH and let me fill you in on the current work situation, because thats obviously a permanent fixture in my “goings ons” here.

Boss threw a tantrum, so I got free advertising for our company each time I go on TV. Informed her and instead of replying to me, she sent an intermediary to get more information... what kind of advertising... are you getting paid?!! etc.

nonsense... and then afterwords, filling out an official report form related to meeting, I was told that the company is very happy for me...

Oh really... I have foul things to say about that. Oh wait - i’ve said them ^_^.

I’ve also been told by my friend, the boss of the teacher’s division at the IELTS center, that he was asked to translate into English an application form regarding foreign teachers extracurricular activities... and that the form involves something about my company saying I need to collect any pay recieved from the TV station... through our accounting department. The only reason I can see that that would have any use is that the company wants to siphon off a part... again... horse sh**.

Im not enjoying being tossed around like a 3 foot horse-jockey. Am I Italian?! I think not - now sod off.

That sort of operation has nothing to do with the negotiations I had at the contract signing four-and a half months ago.

Trying my patience... and my concept of tolerance is getting rather flexible... which is not always a favourable thing for flippant and ill-managed infidels.

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