I am being haunted by a culture.
It hounds me, relentless. It raps at my windows in the middle of the night and says “Don’t forget me!” It lurks in the shadows and whispers my name. Long before I even step foot in China, long after I leave it. It will haunt me, as it has done since I was 10 — back when I first saw “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon;” back when I met a Chinese family. Perhaps a dragon has been hidden in me all along. Or I could be poeticizing the mundane. I have a choice: I could run away and say that China is nothing but a phase and that I need to move on, or I can lean into it and take flight. I could do it: I could hitch onto the wind, let the wide wings unfurl and soar high above my own limitations. I could also fail and be a wayward kite, forever clattering to the ground as the wind fails to catch and lift me higher. Such is the danger of dreams.
Here’s what I think: You cannot escape your passions. You should never even try to escape them.
They will haunt you for your entire life.
It is the duty of dreamers to let themselves be haunted.