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A Dreamer and a Planner

February 7, 2012

I want to give the North Korea film project a rest for a while, but I will come back to it.

In the meantime, I have been thinking about dreaming and planning, as I force myself to gather tax information for my accountant.

Every January, Don would say, “Dai Sil, it is that time of the year and you know what that means.” He would prod for my film-related information for him to include with the rest of our financial stuff. I made him wait for a few days, sometimes a week, but he was patient–never irritated or angry. Instead, he told a lot of jokes and made me laugh. He knew how to put up with me. Even this detested task became fun with Don. Now in his absence, I have to do the whole thing, and it is not fun.

Don was a superb manager. He invariably needed planning prowess in order to manage/administer. He carried a list of things to do every day. For that matter, so did I–and I still do.

But was he just a planner? I ask myself. If he were, he would have bored me stiff. Actually, when I was teaching, I used to walk around with a huge horn on my arse that administrators were highly-paid errand people and we, professors, were creative because we were scholars. I carried that attitude even when I worked as a program officer (administrator!) at the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Then I met Don and watched him work.  Slowly but steadily I recognized that as he carried plans in his pocket, he carried a dream in his head and heart. He managed with a vision, the task not yet actualized, but envisioned. He was a dreamer with plans. That’s why he was never bogged down with logistics and details. He just used them to realize his dreams.

Don at the Peak of His Career (by DSK-G)

Now, gathering the tax information, I think of Don and dream of actually making my NK film, and a few other tasks I need to accomplish for both of us, Don and me. Dreaming, I could even imagine, with glorious arrogance, that I would navigate the course of the rest of my life to reach the essentials that will make me feel elated and glow, floating with invigorating energy. That will make Don proud of me.

As long as I allow myself to get lost in my dreams, I can hack the job of gathering tax information.


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  1. Grace permalink

    I love that painting of Don

    • Thanks.

      I tried to paint Don at his peak of his career. He was really a brilliant manager.

      Dai Sil

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