A few years ago, I went to a documentary film festival. The festival’s promotional clip was a two minute short film about a guy talking about his dog, about the first time he saw her, when he bought her, how he trained her, and his relationship with her. In the middle of the film, you realized that his passionate story was not about a “real” dog, but instead about a Sony robot. My first reaction to the film was laughing. But when I saw it for the second time, I realized it was not a joke. This guy was really in love with his robo-dog! I realized that his love is as “real” as someone else’s love for their “real” dog. All these years, I tried to find a difference, a real difference, between that dog and a real dog; a reason that justifies the love for a real dog, but not for a robo-dog, but I haven’t been able to find any. The slogan of the festival was: “How much reality can you handle?”

Recently I’ve been thinking about this question: how much reality can I handle? The answer seems to be very different from what I thought a few years ago. Recently, I don’t have much tolerance for reality. I’m not talking about reality as opposed to fake; I’m talking about reality versus dreaming. Real life disappoints me, real people (except for very few) disappoint me, and I have to admit that the biggest disappointment is me– myself. Dreaming seems to be the most effective way to take a break from this disappointments.

I’m too old to really believe my dreams may come true; I know this will never happen. But I refuse to grow up. Now, at the age of 35, I’m back to my Tintin world– I make imaginary friends and I spend time with them. The love that I get and give in my dreams is the only cure for this loveless life. I fantasize about the future, about how I want my life to be when I grow up. I know they will never happen, but I like this imaginary world more than the real world. Sometimes I think I’m going out of my mind and becoming crazy, but that’s only when I come back to the real world. In my dream world, no one is crazy, nothing is wrong, and nothing is bad. Just like a diver who tries to stay underwater longer and go deeper, I also try to push my dreaming to the limits and stay there longer and longer.

If I ever start a festival, I know what the slogan will be: “How much dreaming can you handle?”


-San Francisco