Monthly Archives: March 2014

Can You Find A God of Mercy In The Book of Job?

 

God could have left Job alone.

Simply one of the most powerful video messages I’ve ever seen. My eyes start to water each and every time I watch this.

 

 

 

 

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Is There A Story In Your Dream?

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For the past couple of months I’ve been exploring a lot on the meanings and symbols of the dreams we see at night. I even wrote two essays about dreams and it seemed that they just got stranger and more like fiction each night.

Call it fate or even luck, but I was fortunate enough to think that maybe these dreams have stories. Sometimes I’d be the protagonist, talking to an old acquaintance or often times I’d just be a casual observer. Nonetheless, I’ve decided to write stories based on my dreams. These are inspired by a lot of things including my own life, the life of the people around me, and the life I see everyday. And of course, the stories will be sparked by my dreams.

I’d like to introduce my new blog – http://wakinglifestories.wordpress.com/.

If you’ve enjoyed Pending Questions in the past couple of months, I’m hoping you’ll also enjoy the stories that I have to tell. (But don’t worry, of course I’ll still write here! )

For instance, the first story in the blog, When Mrs. Cloud Walked Up To Mr. Tornado, is a story I developed through my constant dreams of a tornado. Yes, I do realize that it’s strange for me, or for anyone for that matter, to dream about a twisting behemoth, but for as long as I can remember, dreams about tornadoes kept coming up. Maybe I’ve watched too much Wizard of Oz or even Twister but I just see them in my sleep. I don’t know what they mean but maybe there’s no real meaning. Maybe I’m just meant to write a story about it.

I remember watching a documentary about the legendary filmmaker James Cameron. He said that he got the inspiration for Avatar when he was just a teenager and he dreamed of blue human-like creatures. The guy freakin’ dreamed about this strange world that he was going to make decades later. He said he didn’t even try to understand the creatures or symbols in his head, but instead he drew and sketched the images that would eventually become the hit movie.

I don’t know what kind of stories I’ll write. I’m thinking (well hoping honestly) that these short stories will be a tender mix of Aesop’s Fables, stories of Oscar Wilde, and even a taste of David Sedaris’.

I’m excited to write. I’m excited to tell stories. And I’m finally excited to dream.

***

 Below is from the Waking Life Stories About page:

Waking Life Stories is a collection of fiction short stories loosely based on everyday experiences, memories, and most importantly dreams. Dreams have their own stories to tell in our sleep. Sometimes we can control their outcome while in other cases we are just observers on how a story unfolds in our heads. Whether they are based on your life’s journey like a talk with your friend or as bizarre and random as two dogs having a cup of coffee, all dreams have stories. They don’t necessarily have to mean anything, but finding meaning in them is not necessarily the point. We are to watch, listen, and observe what they have to tell.

Some of the stories here have a moral lesson speaking about the beauty and tragedy of life while some are simply stories with no specific lesson to teach other than your own understanding of the characters.

Come dream with me.

 

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Have You Got Everything Figured Out?

As we all age, we all slowly realize the dreams we have failed to achieve, dreams that we have already achieved, and the dreams that we have yet to achieve. Life’s gravity pull has weighed down on us more than anything else and we just want to find that sense of peace. It’s nice to think you’ve gotten everything figured out right? I bet that would be an awesome feeling. It’s that fleeting moment when you think that you’ve got one step ahead. Even for just a breather, you’d like to think everything is pretty okay. There’s no shame in looking for that moment or realize that you’ve never had that moment in your life.

We always want to look at something or someone who seems to have life on the reigns, someone who exemplifies who we want to be someday. But do they really have everything figured out? You can look at celebrities, politicians, your parents, your significant other, or whoever and maybe they do have everything figured out. Maybe they understand life a little bit better than anyone. Maybe it’s age, experience, or whatnot, but it seems they’re ahead of the game. Just maybe. 

Then you look at your own life. Whether you’re a teenager going through life with all your angst and rage, a young fellow who doesn’t really know what kind of person you want to be, a middle-aged man who’s undergoing a midlife crisis, or an old man who’s now looking back on life, we are all on different stages and these stages give us the perception of what life ought to be or what it should be. Somehow in whatever point in our life we just want to get it – to finally understand everything that’s going on.

We want to understand why a brother died. Why your mom got sick. Why a lover chose one over the other. Why you got fired from your job. Why you’re having trouble all the time to pay rent. Why a prayer may seem just words fleeting our mouths. Why a single mom is struggling just to make ends meet. Why we never did that thing we said we’d do years ago. Will it ever end?

Probably not. I’ve realized that as much as I know everything happens for a reason, I know there are certain things that happen with no specific reason. Oddly enough, maybe having no reason is a reason in itself. And we all know that life has all those moments that seem to have no reason.

So what if you haven’t figured out life? Who has really? Young or old, we may never truly understand why some things are the way they are in our lives. We think that by a certain age when you’re 30, 40, 50, or 60 that the hurting will stop or the questions will stop coming. But it really doesn’t, right? And that’s okay.

We’re all just looking for that moment when everything makes sense and that life isn’t that hard after all. Even for just a moment, then we can all say, yes, we’ve got everything figured out.

 

 

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What Do You Pray For?

Jamal noticed how William was putting on his socks inside and out.

Curious as to why someone would do such a thing, he asks William what he’s doing.

William says that in some cultures they believed wearing your socks inside and out would bring luck.

Jamal blurts out, “and you believe that shit?”

And to that William replies, “No… But it’s like prayer, what’s the risk?”

 ***

Lately I’ve been struggling to pray. The feeling is similar to going into a swimming pool and your feet are just testing the water. Sometimes I take a deep breath, ready to jump, then I just chicken out. That’s the thing with prayer or anything else for that matter. You may be doing something all your life but when you stop doing it, you get a little rusty. The words were already in my head; it was just a matter of saying them out loud or at least saying them out loud in my head. But no matter how hard I try, I just couldn’t. I didn’t want to because I think I already know what the big guy upstairs is going to say. I know the things that I want and I’m pretty those are the things that He doesn’t want. It’s like asking something from your parents and you already know that the answer would be no. So I just shut up and do something else.

A few days later, it occurred to me however that instead of praying for myself, why don’t I pray for other people? That wouldn’t be all that bad would it? Like instead of praying that my clients will pay me already, what if I pray for my old officemates who are struggling while getting crappy pay? Instead of praying that things will be better here at home, what if I focus on my friend’s family where they can’t even secure a home because of financial reasons? Instead of drowning in my writing problems, maybe I can think about my friend and how she’s having a difficult time with her grades? Will God listen to me then?

I don’t want to sound too selfless, condescending, or even a martyr but I’m just tired about thinking about my own shit that I just want to think about other people’s shit. I know things won’t be better for me for at least a couple of more months (or even years, gulp!) so why not reach out to others who have a better chance than me? I’m just tired of disappointing and pressuring myself that I’ll amount to something big one day.

This is a very weird feeling and I’m not even sure if the big guy will listen, but hey, what’s the risk right?

 

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