During My Operation
Two months ago, I saw this as I was wheeled into the operating room. I was dazzled.
Several things overwhelmed me. Everything was white except for the monitors and the part of the floor. Another thing was that it was cold…really cold. Someone asked me how I was feeling, and I responded that I was freezing. The person told me not to worry as several people took white linens from a heater and covered me within seconds. Then a person started the intravenous anesthetic in my arm and mentioned that it would feel warm. It did within a couple of seconds, and then I was in my dreamland.
Looking back on my operation, I can’t determine whether my dreamland experience was during the 45-minute procedure or while I was in recovery. However, it took a long time for the anesthesia to wear off, as in a couple of hours. This is the first thing that I recall of my dreamland journey.
Regardless of whether my dreamland experience occurred during or after the surgery, either way, it was a vivid journey. I remember some doctor interrupting my dream two or three times while in the recovery room. He wanted to get me up. I recall opening my eyes. However, I tried to get up but to no avail. I just couldn’t move. A nanosecond later, I was back in my dreamland journey.
When I finally did wake up, I jotted down as many parts of my journey that were still fresh in my mind. I’m aware that many dreams last only several minutes while some could go on for a half-hour. Nonetheless, my dream seemed like several hours due to the litany of places where my mind traveled.
I know that my dream reflected much of what drives me in life. My dreamland journey was a paradigm about what runs through my mind daily. Granted, my drive in life while awake is less colorful than my dreamland experience was.
What makes me tick are goals, some partly realized and others far from obtained. They were the distinctions that I saw during my dreamland journey. The first of a long litany of thoughts floating in my mind related to my family in Myanmar. I have on my webpage a link to My Dream. Bobby Kennedy said, “Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not.” That is me. My central dream or reason for my being is my family.
A decade ago, I met my tour guide at Inle Lake. Moh Moh was her name. I have written many articles about Moh Moh having to pick up my itinerary after leaving Inle Lake. She apologized for wasting fifteen minutes one day to pick it up at her home.
When Hollywood does a movie about me, there will be a scene of me walking into her living room and finding Ti Ti, her nine-year-old daughter, greeting me. “Do you want to play some games?”
Moh Moh’s concern about wasting fifteen minutes turned into an hour of sheer joy and laughter, which changed my life. I realized that I met my granddaughter in Myanmar. During that week at Inle Lake, I met Ti Ti’s two younger sisters, my granddaughters, and their father.
I returned to Myanmar four years ago, and my most recent trip was two years ago. I should have been there during winter break several weeks ago.
However, COVID and the military coup delayed my fourth trip. I remember wondering, during my dream, when I would be able to return.
I must have moved into a brighter location of my dreamland experience. I thought about Moh Moh applying for the Diversity Visa, which our State Department offers. It is a lottery for people wishing to come to America. If my family won, they would get green cards and move to America. Finally, our family would be reunited and live in my home on a lake.
However, my dreamland journey had moved to an unknown area with dark and foreboding colors. My previous article was about Loikaw. It was one of the places we went to on our family tour two years ago. This is a picture of my granddaughters at the Taung Kwe Pagoda in Loikaw.
My dreamland journey became worrisome due to the military attacking Loikaw. The fear of death caused 60% of the population of Loikaw to leave their homes and flee for their lives. Loikaw is less than a hundred miles from my family. My family was half a world away and in danger, and I can’t do anything.
I don’t know how long it was before my dreamland journey became brighter. I love Moh Moh; she is my daughter. Nevertheless, Moh Moh and I have a long-running argument. I have helped my family over our time together, and she is always thanking me. What? Moh Moh is thanking me for helping them? My retort is that I am the real beneficiary. I don’t enjoy worrying about them…we are family. I invented a saying, “It is in giving that we get.”
Now, Moh Moh and Ko Ko have also given me things over our time together. After returning home from my operation, I spent a month using a walker to hobble around my home. She wrote that she wished she was there to help me. Being family is a reciprocal relationship.
Another part of my dreamland experience had to do with our federal government. We have a country so polarized that it can’t function. One of the significant issues that the Republicans won’t address, along with two Senate Democrats, is maintaining the filibuster. Fifty-two Senators insist upon maintaining that arcane rule at the cost of not addressing racism. Besides, the filibuster has been used to discriminate against communities of color for decades.
At the state and local levels, new rules have been passed to inhibit minorities from voting or determining which votes Republicans want to accept and which they want to reject. So, we have white men attempting to control minorities. It is obvious. The darkness of my journey reflected this issue and got worse.
I don’t get this issue or accept it. It is called many terms, including racism, white supremacy, hegemony, discrimination, etc. Additionally, I don’t see any substantive difference between racism and sexism. People are born into their group…the better and the lesser group. And who determines which is the best group? White males. I’m a white male and can see the obvious. Many people in America want white males to keep control of our country, which rattles me.
I have written about some of the destinations in my dreamland journey. I am happy about my family and am protective of them. I’m in my twilight years and have done the dance with death twice. I know that my clock is ticking. In a year, I’ll be eighty. I don’t know any white males as driven as I am. Most retired white males aren’t obsessed with addressing racism or sexism. But why am I so driven by other people?
Communities of color and women are suffering.
Here is another problem. When I don’t grasp things, I’ll try to find out. A year ago, I came across an interview Oprah did with Meghan and Harry…the former royals. Being Scottish, English royalty isn’t one of 1001 essential things in my world. Therefore, I don’t really know why I watched it. Fortunately, I did.
It was an eye-opening chat that Oprah had with the former royals. Surprisingly, it dealt and racism and sexism.
Of equal importance, what fascinated me was Oprah’s ability to press both of them for more clarity about something that they said. She can tell them that she understood part of what they said but forced them to articulate more clearly their mindset.
It was then that I thought, that is what I need. I want to have Oprah make me explain things to her about my mindset. I have a list of reasons for my Weltanschauung about life. I have written articles about moving to Mt. Lebanon at the end of my elementary school years. I have written as many essays about dancing with death. However, there must be something more. Additionally, how will I use my remaining twilight years to help those facing discrimination? I don’t want to be on my deathbed and realize that I could have said or done this but didn’t.
I have written letters, emailed, and called places connected to Oprah for several months. And I have failed. Therefore, I am reaching out to you. If you can send me additional addresses and/or phone numbers, I will try your suggestions. Or you could send links to the article to friends of yours who might know how to get ahold of Oprah.I look forward to calling Oprah and talking to her. I’d love to have her parrot her interview style with Meagan and Harry. “Yes, but…. You need to flesh out that thought; it doesn’t add up to me.”
Until I grasp my modus operandi, I will be haunted.________________________________________________________________________________________
This is of Oprah’s interview with Meagan and Harry.