Saturday, July 26, 2003

The Lives we Lead

Sitting at dinner on a Friday night, I met the owner of a restaurant who wandered through the major Asian cultures - Chinese, born in Korea, married to a Korean that was born in Japan, ultimately finding her way to Chicago and now running a successful Chinese-sushi place in Lincoln Park. Her grandfather fled to avoid the Japanese occupation of China. Her father fled the communist take-over of North Korea. Her ex-husband, the Korean who is Japanese by culture, emerged from a coma last month in Osaka after heading there to make his way out a mid-life crisis. He will most likely return to the US to live with his ex-wife, being that his brain hemorrhage has erased memory of the last three years or difficulties with her - as far as he knows, they are still happily married - and her compassion carries past the present into all those years of memories and three kids.
In the midst of the storytelling, I realized again that this restauranteur was just another person in the big city with a fantastic life's story. We all have stories to tell if we let our lives follow themselves as they wander through the world. Interesting enough that it is happening all around us, all the time. If we can take a moment to open our perspective and bask in the living around us - our friends, neighbors, even passers-by - we can better appreciate the human experience and wander in fascination.
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