The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, April 21, 2008

Wish Fulfillment

Another thought on "Forbidden Kingdom." In the history of American-made martial arts films, it is probably one of the very best. "Enter The Dragon" will always be special, showcasing a virtually superhuman performance, capturing moments of intensity onfilm that have never been seen before or since. But for all its flaws (and there are some real hoots) it is still remarkable that it got made at all. Don't blame America for not putting Chan and Li together before: hell, the Chinese film industry could have done it long ago. Whatever the problems might have been, Hollywood worked it out, not Hong Kong. Frankly, I'm tickled.


You can turn almost any activity into a "Yoga" with the proper mindfulness. If Mastery is automatically, without thought, doing the correct thing, then the door to Mastery is attention. Being able to perform an act or motion without a single break in focus. A way to do this is Coach Sonnon's "Pain at level 3, Grace 8+, Intensity 6" formula. If you concentrate on the breathing, and NEVER let your pain go above 3 on a subjective scale of 1-10, this is good. Wait until your level of "grace" gets above a 7 or 8 before you let your level of intensity rise above a 6. If you do this, you turn exercise into meditation.


Just got home from Yoga. Am surprised I made it: the water heater went bust last night, and I didn't notice it until this morning. T insisted I go to yoga anyway, and I'm glad I did. Big class, hot room, but I kept my attention on my breathing and 3rd Chakra, and came out of class feeling centered and energized. Nice.


The kid who co-stars with Jackie Chan and Jet Li in "Forbidden Kingdom" strikes me as having some actual martial arts skill. If so, what an incredible trip it must have been traveling to China to work with them both! Unreal. I asked myself: what was the greatest fantasy wish fulfillment of my life? Traveling to Tanzania? Meeting Arthur C. Clarke or Robert Heinlein? Writing for Twilight Zone or Outer Limits? Heck, writing a "Batman"? Not sure. There are probably other things. But the question for the day is: what is the greatest wish fulfillment you ever pulled off? Especially if it was connected to a childhood dream. Love to hear your thoughts!


Brian Dunbar said...

what is the greatest wish fulfillment you ever pulled off?

Two things. One was obvious to me, the other after a few minutes' thought.

Obvious: Enlisting in the Marines. Don't know why, really, that I always wanted it. Blame my parents for buying me little green army men, if you want. But I _wanted_ it.

Of course the reality was something else but .. isn't it always?

Non-obvious: The life I have right now. The house, the wife, the goofy, silly whip-smart children, even the work I do is what I really wanted, growing up.

I just took a round-a-bout way to get here, is all.

And if I'd known that it would have included Wisconsin I might have veered away. Winters here are no joke to a kid from Oklahoma.

Pagan Topologist said...

The first time I soloed an airplane was a thrilling kind of wish fulfillment which dated back to childhood.

Twice in my life I have solved famous topology problems which had eluded the rest of the mathematical community for decades. I had only been aware of these since grad school, when I was in my early twenties, but each of them was far more thrilling and exciting than my first solo flight.

There may be others, but these three stand out in my memory.

Anonymous said...

One is I have kids (silly I guess, it's easy to do) and two is I won a short story contest.


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