At one point, my in-laws gave their daughter (my wife) a sum of money, intended as start-up capital for me to open a Chinese restaurant – hoping that a business would help support my family. But my wife refused the money. When I found out about this exchange, I stayed up several nights and finally decided: This dream of mine is not meant to be. I must face reality.Maybe because I’m in the late-winter doldrums, imaginatively and financially, the quote above kind of choked me up. The writer is film director Ang Lee, and he’s writing about a time before his film career took off. I seem to identify with the sense of failure he felt at the time.
Afterward (and with a heavy heart), I enrolled in a computer course at a nearby community college.
|Pi struggling to build a raft at sea|
As you might expect, Ang Lee’s essay has a golden ending (you can read the whole piece here), and more power to him.
Ang Lee’s experience does lead me to wonder: what would it be like to have a dream that was honored by reality? Reality, in this case, in its monetary aspect—the only aspect that counts in America.
But then we can’t choose our dreams, can we….