Peddler of Dreams

She’s peddling, peddling dreams
By the seashore
She’s showing you, showing you things
You’d always suspected
But never known for sure
Saying the words you’d only heard in your mind.
She’s a wanderer,
Simple dreamer,
A soul led on a whim
She’ll be gone before the day breaks
Leaving only your dreams in her wake.
But she’s infected you to the core,
From just a look your way,
You don’t remember anything from before.
Because she’s peddling, peddling dreams
By the seashore
She’s showing you, showing you things
You’d always suspected
But never known for sure.
Saying the words you’d only heard in your mind.
She’s a wanderer
Simple dreamer
A soul led on a whim
She’ll never tell you what it takes
To keep her
But she’s a whim away

When you need her.

-AJ Sandhu

Disconnect

There is refuge in unwritten words still draped in the golden glow of magical possibility. A story in the mind is perfection, untainted by the imperfect words needed to craft reality.
How many wonderful worlds become contaminated by the disconnect between mind and hand? I can regale you with a dozen or more imaginings perfect and pure, until tested by the litmus of reality.
I’ve written before of ideas that ravage through like aches; stories that so thoroughly disconnected me from reality, I awoke weeping over the banal mundanities of a world without magic.
I create so I can escape from what I cannot control.
Finding release in my mind from what I cannot yet be free of in reality.
So consumed by the worlds over which I reign, I forget to paint them with the brush of truth. Falling to traps of perfect heroes without consequence. Heroes always in the right place at the right time with the right words. Never a moment, or even days, too late. Never human.
Doing so would acknowledge the faults I see in reality.
Sometimes words aren’t enough. No apologies or validation strong enough to ease the hurt. Sometimes you can be and are too late. If I refuse to show such human error in what I write, how can I expect to change reality?
It complicates the narrative, but I’ve been running from complication all of my life. If my escapes don’t teach me to cope, nothing will.
My characters, like myself and the people I’ve chosen to surround myself with, cannot put out all of the fires; cannot contain all of the damage. But we can learn to repair that which is in our power.

So can the people in my mind, if I would just give them the chance. 


Stay good and keep transmitting.

Cosmic Perspective

Everything we know about anything has been discovered on this giant rocky space bucket. It orbits a massive ball of fire; located on one of the outer arms of a galaxy filled with them. All held together by a point of density so great even light cannot escape.

But it isn’t the only one.

We are one of many, lighting the infinite void of SpaceTime. And we know all of this because a speck of dust dared to defy gravity and look up.

Our first act was that of defiance.

Utopia

Star Trek Into Darkness is by all means a great film in a wonderfully vast and diverse universe marred by the outcry against the “Whitewashing,” of certain iconic characters (One iconic character).

Like many science fiction writers, Gene Roddenberry and his team created a character with all of the great advantages that evolution had to offer humans. The result was a man given the impressive sounding name of Khan Noonien Singh. And like a great many science fiction characters, the description fit a man of color. Ricardo Montalbán brought the character to life first in Space Seed and most popularly in The Wrath of Khan.

The casting of Benedict Cumberbatch into the fold of Khan isn’t an issue of the character’s ethnicity. Khan has no ethnicity. Nor is it an issue of his being classified as Sikh, thanks to his very telling last name.Sikhism is a religion in Northern India, practiced almost exclusively by the people in Punjab. I would know, I grew up in a Sikh family. Actively practiced the religion for many years. My grandfathers were both Singhs. Singh is a title given to you when you take vows to follow the faith. When you become a warrior for god. It preaches goodness and kindness, giving when you can, protecting those that need to be protected.

It is also one of the most inclusive religions. At least on paper. Anyone can become a Sikh, anyone can become a Singh. Or not. Sikhism is all about finding your way to the one true being. And because the aim is to return from where you came, it is held that all people have a different path. Be it Sikhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, ect. You make your own way to the same central place, with your own guide.So a man with Cumberbatch’s face can be called Khan Noonien Singh.

It is disappointing on a different grounds.

As a child, seeing a man of color on the screen with the name Khan Noonien Singh was a godsend. He was incredible, intelligent, different. In a time when everyone that looked like me played a bumbling terrorist, Khan was evil incarnate. And that was okay. Because he was a villain you identified with. He was(is) a badass. IN SPACE.

I’m not angry that the character is now portrayed by Cumberbatch. Hell, I’m even a member of the CumberCollective, he’s phenomenal. But he doesn’t look like me. I will root for the character, because I love villains (my heroes are just good villains), but I won’t want to be him. If I was a child watching this character, I wouldn’t be inspired. That is the issue.

So no, it isn’t wrong, but it’s disappointing and I will get over it.

This isn’t about ‘whitewashing.’ It is about how we present the world, how we see the future, and what we want to inspire in people.

Khan Noonien Singh influenced the type of person I am in some ways. Not quite so powerfully as Ursula LeGuin’s red skinned, Ged from EarthSea. He and characters like him, helped make me the type of writer I am. Not afraid to make a woman of color my main character.