Creativity dreams in the desert

I am just back from Dubai. The city of superlatives in every form, towering above a sea of average Western franchises. Skyscrapers with construction crane companions. Camels, falcons, and thoroughbred racehorses. Super yachts in the harbor and abras on the Creek. Viagra for sale in the spice souks and a call to prayer from the mosques. Creativity dreams sweet dreams in the desert.

This was my second trip to Dubai, and so I purchased no souvenirs this time. This time, my most memorable moments came in my encounters with the ordinary people I met and the dreams they shared with me. I pay tribute to a handful of them here, whose names I will not forget, and to their roles in the creative unfolding of Life.

  • Ämjad, the young taxi driver from Pakistan, dreams of a landscaping business. He has a girlfriend in Dubai, whom he loves, and a fiancé in Pakistan whom his parents have chosen for him. He is hurting.
  • Tong yu, the smiling Chinese woman who served us dinner, came to Dubai three years ago to improve her business English. She wants to return to China to work, but without business experience there she cannot find a job.
  • Sampjana, the beautiful young Nepalese woman who created our omelets each morning, always added her own warmth as the final ingredient.
  • Moussa, the middle-aged Egyptian waiter here on a three-month contract, spoke with pride of his country and what he prays will come from the political changes there.
  • Nishku, our delightful young waitress from Delhi, tells us how much she misses her parents, but acknowledges her commitment to a one-year contract and says that she will see it through.
  • Lal, who has made Sous Chef after 10 years here, plans to start his own business back in Nepal, and he handed us his card with an offer to arrange our trip when we are ready.

There were many others too, who welcomed us with smiles on their faces, warmth in their hearts, and the vulnerability of a dream, a risk, and an uncertain future. Having left home myself for an uncertain dream more than once, I am touched by their courage, their passion and their determination. I am grateful for their companionship and their testimony to the many faces of creativity. I pray for their dreams to be fulfilled.

Life offered me lovely companions on the return trip as well. I spent the entire seven-hour flight in deep and heart-ful conversation with a fascinating Indian couple who invited me into their world, their lives, and even into their home, in a remote part of India bordering Lal’s Nepal. I can’t help thinking, once again, there are no accidents.

I love to travel. Though it tires me physically, it renews me spiritually. Nature loves diversity, and creativity too. Travel reminds me just how diverse a world we live in. Each of these dreamers are following their personal journeys day by day. I pray that the rivers of creativity keep flowing through them, leading them through the desert and back home again, transformed by their experiences, to share the treasures of their dreams fulfilled. The Wheel of Creativity is turning.