my heart is in the highlands

I spend a lot of my time dreaming.  In your dreams you are free, not confined to a body and a bed. Right now I’m building a house in Puli.  Puli is a town among the high mountains of Taiwan.  It’s famous for its mild weather, its delicious water and its beautiful women.  Puli also has many Buddhist temples and retreats.

I just bought a large piece of green pasture here and I’m building a Chinese-style teahouse.  Everything is calm, clean and beautiful.  My children are biking around, flying kites, and I’ve bought two small yappy dogs.  I meditate in the nearby temple every morning and talk to the old monk. We buy broccoli and spinach at the market.  Diane is teaching English at the local university, and I make the two-hour trip down to Hsinchu twice a week.

With the help of the internet, I invite people into my dream.  I contact contractors in Indonesia who assure me they can build a nice wooden structure for us; I contact a professor at Puli university about coming to give a lecture; I’ve found a Buddhist elementary school for our two youngest daughters.  Checking web pages and writing emails takes most of the day.  I’m very happy.

There is a great Bo Dylan song on this theme — “Highlands,” from 1997:

Well my heart’s in the Highlands wherever I roam
That’s where I’ll be when I get called home
The wind, it whispers to the buckeyed trees in rhyme
Well my heart’s in the Highland,
I can only get there one step at a time.

Well, my heart’s in the Highlands at the break of day
Over the hills and far away
There’s a way to get there, and I’ll figure it out somehow
But I’m already there in my mind
And that’s good enough for now

In 2007 Dylan eventually bought a house in the Scottish highlands.  I’ll buy my Puli house in the spring next year.  “But I’m already there in my mind/ And that’s good enough for now.”


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