the first dream was a good one. i don’t actually remember the details of dream itself, but i awoke knowing something, feeling certain that it was true. at the time, i was living in the suburbs of Seoul with a Korean family, a recently married couple from whom i rented a room. what i awoke knowing was that my “host mother” was pregnant. when i told her at breakfast what i’d dreamt, a look of wonder passed over her face, and then she broke out into a huge smile. her husband had apparently had a dream that night, too, the kind of dream that is known as tae-mong.
there’s no one word in English that can convey all of the meaning contained in the word tae-mong. “tae” is related to birth and “mong” means dream, so in a general sense it is a dream about birth and/or pregnancy. a dream that a member of the family or someone close to the expectant couple has. i learned that these kinds of dreams are supposed to tell about the unborn baby’s personality and fortune, and i don’t think i ever met someone there who didn’t believe in them.
my host father and i both turned out to be right: my host mother was pregnant. Continue reading →
there’s nothing left. just sadness and rage and grinding isolation. it’s been one year, one month and five days since i said goodbye to the little boy i’d only just said hello to. his loss and his absence are killing me. that eternally optimistic, hopelessly naive girl i once was is gone forever. she died in that same sci-fi hospital room where my son took his last breaths. i know the score. life owes me nothing…not a child who lives, not friends who stick around and weather the storm, not the even a tiny sliver of happiness. hope feels like a word i once heard but no longer understand the meaning of. once a week, i have to pay someone to talk to me in my own language. otherwise it’s just me, alone in my head fighting the despair, the anger, the desire to just give up. friends, family…nearly everyone has disappeared from my life or simply forgotten.
my shrink lives in the Marais, the gayest area of gay Paris, in the Jewish quarter where you can get the best falafel in town (just ask Lenny Kravitz.) i’ve been going every Monday for the last few weeks, and it forces me to get out of bed before late afternoon and go out to be a part of the living. i no longer spend the entire métro ride hiding tears beneath a lowered head, and i have even come to enjoy being in a charming part of Paris where i can wander undisturbed among the queers and the jews and the starry-eyed tourists.
sometimes i walk all the way home, crossing the Seine, skirting the limits of the Latin Quarter and then drifting down the small side streets where Continue reading →