About Me

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Yilan, Taiwan
I'm a Social Studies teacher and single mom from Colorado and have lived here for 9 years. Taiwan is an excellent base for us explore Asia, while living in relative (gun free) safety, while benefiting from a cheap and efficient national health care system. The people are amazing too. I have friendships that are 14 years old and I'm always making new ones.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dreams in the Sky

Finally the Yilan rains stopped, and just in time. What a relief to see a blue sky. Z had been looking forward to this day as it was a holiday devoted entirely to kids.

We spent Saturday by the beach  for Rising Sun Surf Inn's hosting the "Kids' Dreams In The Sky Charity 鯉想啟程 2015 神戸スイミープロジェク", celebrating the Japanese holiday of Koinobori.

We (the kids and some of us adults) wrote our hopes and dreams on 3 enormous koinobori kites that were later hoisted into the sky. There was theater, aboriginal dancing, a magician. It was a mellow way to celebrate a long awaited blue sky.

I saw new friends we made at last month's beach clean up. I also ran into Paul whose Bed and Breakfast we stayed at when my folks were in Taiwan (see Waterfalls and Dolphins). He like a few of the surfers I met, kindly offered to teach us surfing anytime, just send him a text, so I intend to do just that. I might of written on my carp streamer, "to really nail surfing down this summer" but I didn't.

I wrote something about the restoration of a dream, some dream of mine left on the back burner for so long I don't even know what it is anymore. It's faded into fantasy, wishful thinking- a trivial pursuit. I think I had lots of those once-dreams. But lately I've realized dreams aren't so inconsequential and I am dead serious about finding them again. As far as I am concerned having a dream bigger than myself is a matter of life or death.

 As for my daughter, I asked her what she wrote, assuming it would be trivial (obviously because I was at that moment trite) and quickly regretted asking when she gave me her blunt answer. The same old wound, knife in my belly, bruise in her heart. "I wrote I wish I had a Dad." Oh! My airy fairy balloon burst for a moment. And then we were both united in this instant of intense significant, silent Truth. Kids certainly 'keep it real'. But unlike previous times when that old grief, her archetypal distress of fatherlessness needed to be held and rocked and soothed, this time she was clear eyed, matter of fact, resolute with her hope and poised with this enigmatic smile.  I wish I could have some of her unwavering hope. The one thing she desperately wants is something I could not of my own control, begin to secure for her, let alone seek out.

 She also told me of what she saw written by another child whose tender message of hope and fear tugged at her heart. Some sweet child had written, "Please don't let my Mom and Dad get a divorce." Seems common place or sadly ordinary right? Not to me, the moment was by now, charged with meaning.These kids are a million times more articulate and emotionally exposed and just in touch with themselves than I am. It was an unexpected schooling to be thrust in front of this kind of mirror and see my lost and hazy reflection. I'm so out of touch with my own inner kid who essentially is a dreamer. How did I get so all around utterly inaccessible? How could I stop dreaming?

Z was thoroughly enjoying herself at today's "kids dreams in the sky" Koinobori activities.

Posted by Kathy Benavides on Saturday, March 28, 2015

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