Love in the Forgetfulness

How we’d, learned to grow old together, with as little friction as we possibly can, translated…

Back when I was younger, I had amazing memory, my memory is like a computer, I can immediately make the connections. From before I wed, my husband took me to Hsinchu to get my wedding dress, in the shopping strip, which alley takes me to which street, I’d known, after walking it once, I’d made fun of him, how he’d studied in the windy city, and needed ME to be his tourguide. And now, my originally sharp memories, started, slowly, disappearing.

My husband never had good memories, and had made fun of himself, how all the books he’d read, it’d become, brand new the next time, he can’t remember it; it’s a wonder, that the books he’d checked out of the libraries, he’d read a ton of them over three times. And now, the two of us, “I forget this, and you forget that”, too scatterbrains, living under the same roof, what sort of a spark can come flying? It’s something, that I wanted to wait and see.

Actually, the T.V. commercials already prerecorded down this segment—did you have your meds yet? I think I had, but then, so, I’d, taken another pack, and, I’d found, that discarded medicine pouch in the trash, funny, right? But I’m not laughing, because this happens a lot at my home. I’d forgotten the salt when I made the soups, so bland, so tasteless; added salt repeatedly, too salty, can’t even swallow; the steamed fish with the steam machines, kept to rancid, and I’d, recalled, hey, I’d made that a couple of days back…………we had an assortment of messy moments like these in our lives.

illustration from the papers online…圖/PPANhere they both are, pickign up each other’s slacks…

Although being forgetful is nothing so serious, but, the trials it’d caused, made us not know how to react, and we’d, felt, stressed out. And still, even AS we’d done these sorts of messed up things, we’d never gotten into an argument over it, nor would we, fight. All because we’d come to understand, and learned to tolerate one another, and the forgetfulness that stemmed from understanding, tolerate everything imperfect, and, accept that good memories are a gift, that the heavens loaned to us temporarily.

And because of it, from before when my husband forgot to lift up the toilet seat, I’d nagged him and now, I just, lift up the toilet seat covers up; I’d forgotten to wipe up the floors after my shower, he’d start mopping up the water that spilled out; I’d helped him find the glasses he’d “lost”, then, I’d found, hey, the glasses were, “resting” on his nose, and, we’d, looked at one another and smiled; when I went to the doctor’s office, I’d never remembered my health insurance card, without a word of complaint, he’d, immediately turned the car around to get it. And all of these, seemingly unimportant things in life, without the tolerance or the understandings, it can easily, be a cause of WAR!

I have more of a calculating nature, I’d kept scores, and nagged more, and my husband would often consoled with me, “We’re older now, and, being mobile is a blessing; we can do it, and we shall, and no complaints over it”, meant, that I should just, do more and complain less; and now, the two of us coped with our inevitable forgetfulness, using these words—he’d forgotten, I’d picked up the slacks for him; if I’d forgotten, and he’d, made up for it.

Love is that simple, but you’d, needed a lot of practice on it.

And so, this, is how the two of you finally, learned to appreciate one another in midlife, and, because you two are aging slowly, and becoming more and more forgetful, you two had decided to stop nagging one another, and just picked up one another’s slacks, and that made life easier for the both of you, and, it reduced a ton of tensions that you had had when you were younger too.


Break-Up: a Blessing

At the end of love’s line, when love just, faded to gray, and it’s still, nobody’s fault, translated…

We’d chosen to break up suddenly, because we’d not wanted to drag this love of ours, into the brand new year, when love became like the ribs of chicken, rather than the two of us, guarding our separate loneliness, why not start to, embrace the freedoms of one. I’d started dating my ex since college, we’d gone through the storms of our youths together, this was the reason for why we couldn’t sever the love on the surfaces, but what was really keeping us hanging on to the love, was how much youth we’d, both invested.

I knew that he didn’t cheat, but as he’d spent more time on his cell phone games than with me, no longer was he willing to, look at me anymore, I’d come to understand, that he’d no longer felt passionate about this love we once had. What’s odd was, that I’d not felt too sad either. Could it be because I got so stressed out on the job, that I simply, couldn’t have the mind to bother with it, or the pressures from reality had caused me, to redefine what happiness is to myself? Or, maybe, it’s something crueler, these past years I’d grown up and been tried, it’d helped me bid farewell to the girl who thought love was all that mattered to her.

Only as I’d stared at my reflection in the mirrors, seeing my fading youth, would that thought of stubbornness persist, the magic mirror surely has a way, of making people look. I’d gone past age thirty now, and now, I’d, worked up the courage to break up, not just for the sake of letting go, but also, my way of bidding farewell to my youth, hoped, that I can, really march toward my fortieth, and have no more doubts on life itself.

And so, this man saw breaking up as a lesson of his own life, he’d needed to break up with someone whom he’d dated since college, and, that’s what usually happens, the two of you were together in college, and, as you both started working after college, you’d matured, into separate human beings, and finally realized, how far apart your values were from the very start, and thus, the two of you decided to, break up…

Mr. Fried Shrimp Seals on Hide-and-Seek

Stepping out of one’s own comfort zones, you might discover something about yourselves, translated…

From when I was younger, I’d loved playing hide-and-seek, I’d especially enjoyed hiding in that spot but not get found by those who’d passed me by, with that mixture of sense of achievement of not being caught, and with the sense of lost, of not being found. The hiding place for me was, the weirder, the better.

White is my protective color, and so, I’d hidden in cream and butter the most, but because I got so good at hiding, every time I’d played the games, I’d needed to, wait a very long time to get found, and so, I’d stopped, hiding out in the pile of butter.

like this???  查看來源圖片image from online…

Recently, because I wore my knitted orange striped socks, I was mistaken for fried shrimp, and started getting out of the comfort zone of white, and attempted to mask myself as a burger with fried shrimp.

At first, that was quite exciting, after all, it was, a semi-open hiding space, and it’d worked out quite well too, half of the people just thought that I was drizzled in white sauce, which allowed me a better angle, to observe everybody’s expressions, so very interesting.

I blame myself for getting comfortable, hiding in white from before.

This is on the importance of stepping out of our comfort zones, yeah, it would feel a bit dangerous, sure, but, if we don’t venture out of those zones of comfort we are staying in, how the HECK can we know what sort of wonderful things await us out there?





The Builder of Bridges

The job of a translator here, translated…

Translations are nitrogen, I’d first, swallowed it, then, gotten to know it better.

The very first time I’d had translated materials was “Doraemon”, back then, it was called, “the mechanical cat”, the main character, Nozomu Oya, lived in Taiwan. Because of the setting, as I was younger, I’d believed that the comics were Taiwanese, until my teens, and I’d found out, that a lot of the things I’d thumbed through earlier were, “translated”, before it came in our language for us to understand.

The translators are the selectors, also, the transporters, the original texts that were selected by this group of people, are good enough, for the rest of the public’s eyes—I’d once believed, and set my goal of becoming a translator myself, and later, I’d realized, that the translators didn’t have the right to choose what they translate, sometimes, they don’t even have the rights to turn down a job.

The translators aren’t filters, and those with the decisions of whether or not the work lives or dies are up to the market economy, and the readers. The translators were merely a bridge that helps people cross the barriers, but, there are, more than one bridge, as there were, many who chose to swim across instead of trekking across the bridges. All I can do, is to NOT lead the readers into the realms of darkness, where the original writers don’t intend their readers to go.

illustration from the papers online…圖/Silvia

The Conversations without Names

I’d once translated a Japanese webpage game, the contents were about how the generals of the Japanese warring era were turned into cards, and entering the cards into a game of duel with other players (on another note: all these general characters were all made into females). These sorts of games, you only needed the basic knowledge of the Japanese warring era, and, it’s not that hard to work with, but, I was responsible for the dialogues between the characters, and the original text provided to me, I couldn’t see the speakers, just long lines of conversations.

This was hard, the characters in the games wouldn’t take turns talking like they were well-behaved, instead, they’d chimed in into one another’s conversations, talked at the exact same time. But, without the clear instructions, it was too risky, to deduct who the speaker was. Thinking on it, I’d, just, downloaded the game to play it myself, played it to the place where I was supposed to translate, to see who is talking with whom, then, I’d, found my peace of mind, and started translating.

查看來源圖片a man, working as a translator…photo from online…

This form of giving the translators fragmented documents to work with, is quite common in the gaming industries, and maybe, it’s more efficient, but without the needed items, it can easily be troublesome. Not each and every time I have enough time, to successfully find the original texts, and if the translators translated based off of what they thought the story lines were about, then, things may get mixed up, and, became the guilty one who’d, destroyed the original intents of the writers, and, needed to carry all the blames. What’s tragic is, this is still an ongoing situation now. If the industries don’t change their ways, then, the only thing that’s hurt would be the conscience of the translators.

The Real Existence of “Hard to Verbalize”

“Hard-to-verbalize” actually exists in reality.

To be more precise, it’s “how difficult it is, to describe it in this particular language”. Language is the starting point of culture, and culture helped shape the languages, and the two are closely tied together, if you’re NOT living in this culture, then, certain terms, phrases couldn’t have meaning for you. And because of this, translations for me, wasn’t “transferring”, but instead, it’s, “mimicking”. Culture was like the materials, and, without the same materials of shared language, the translators would have it hard, recreating the same product, and we can only use what we have, to create something that’s closely resembling to it.

First person in Japanese is a classic headache. Based off of the differences of gender, age, location, or era, there would be, various way of forms of expression. In the works of Japanese language, usually, the first-person perspective is used, to shape up the characters, or using this way, to find out who the speakers were. In a comic I’d translated before, there was a character, with what seemed to be multiple personality disorder, and would use two separate terms to refer to the self under two different circumstances. And naturally, there’s just the “I” for it in Chinese. At first, I’d, used the subtext method, to show how the character was shifting from one personality to the next, but later, the personalities changed more often, I’d, needed to change the tone of the speakers, and hoped, that the readers can note the differences.

The more I’d worked in translation, the more I’d felt, that I can find materials in my own culture, to resemble the foreign works, but, there’s just, NO way of duplicating the picturesque or the colors of the original. And because of that, translation is merely a bridge, not the end. The translators built the multiple bridges, and tell readers that there are better things that they can expect after they’d crossed over the bridges, but, in order to know what’s in the “unknown realms”, only the readers can venture to find out.

If there’s one day that you get the chance, to swim across this bridge yourself, then, you will find there to be, many shiny treasures, hidden, on the opposite of the shore where there are no bridges to cross from.

And so, the job of the translators, is to make materials easily accessible for those who don’t speak the language, to get the wonderful texts out, so people who don’t speak the language the works were written in can read it, and yet, there may be things that gets lost in translation, because, a word or expression in this language, you may not be able to find the words that closely describe what the original writers meant.

Don’t Walk into People’s Lives at Random

If you’re not ready to take the responsibilities for another life, then, don’t take it home with you, otherwise, you will, live with the guilt on your conscience for a very long time! Translated…

I loved animals dearly, I’d had dogs, cats, ants, crabs, squirrels, fish, turtle, shrimps, chickens, ducks, rabbits, silkworms, birds, as well as insects too………I’d not had enough allowances, never went into a pet shop, the pets I had, I’d either picked them up at the sides of the roads, caught them in the creeks, or it’s the ones that someone had disposed of.

One day in sixth grade, when I got off at school, I saw a yellow fluffy puppy at the side of the road, about eight weeks of age, very cute, it kept following me and barked, like it was trying to get my attention. I’d turned around, extended my arms, then, the furry little guy kept wagging its tail, and rushed into my arms, I’d carried this furry little guy in my arms. And, I couldn’t, put him back down again, like there was, an emotional attachment that was, so suddenly established, in that split second of a moment in time, I’d felt that it’d needed me, and so, I’d, taken the puppy home.

And, as my family saw how I’d, picked up, yet another creature, they’d gotten used to it, and, nagged a bit, then, left me alone. That very evening, I’d, named it, “Dong-Dong”, found a bowl, and got it its food, we’d enjoyed two hours’ worth of happy time together. Then, Dong-Dong crapped, I’d tried to pick up his soft stool with the newspaper, then, mopped up the floors. Then, he’d, pooped again, I’d cleaned that up again too. At that very moment, I’d lost any enthusiasm for playing with the puppy, and, Dong-Dong’s cuteness was, completely, destroyed by his poop. The very next day, I’d, attempted to train it to go on the newspapers, I’d even picked up a piece of chicken to encourage him, but, being just eight weeks of age, he couldn’t learn yet, just, ate the chicken, and, pooped away from the papers. I’d felt so defeated, felt, that having a dog is so bothersome. On third day, I’d, carried Dong-Dong downstairs, put him out on the road, quickly turned around, closed the door, walked upstairs alone, and ended this relationship I had with him, of no more than forty-eight hours. I stood on the lanai, watched him scratch the door hard, and he’d started, whining too, I’d felt so guilty, I couldn’t even, look into his eyes. Being only twelve, I can only tell myself, that he was naturally a stray, I’d only taken him home to play for three days, and now, I’d just, gave him back to the streets where I’d, found him.

But is it really so? Dong-Dong cried through the night outside, and didn’t leave until early the following morn, I knew that he was crying, not because of how cold it was out, nor was he crying from the hunger, but because of how I’d, abandoned him so heartlessly. Many years later, I’d often wondered, where had life taken Dong-Dong? I really do hope, that he was taken home by someone who truly, loved him who’s responsible, but there’s, that higher possibility of him, becoming a stray without an owner, living on an empty stomach, and, getting caught and euthanized by the animal squad at the end.

This made me think of the Fox’s reminder to the little prince in “Le Petit Prince”, “Always have that responsibility for something you’d, domesticated”. Could it be, that Dong-Dong never really needed me at all, for him, I was like all those who’d passed him by, without any scent of attachment. That I was feeling this from my own guilt, thought that he’d, needed me, and started up a relationship with him, named him, and attempted to, “domesticate” him. And, my meaning to Dong-Dong became, different, as he’d made me into his owner, I’d, needed to hold up the burdens of his life, and, there’s that, invisible sort of a contract between us then, and this invisible contract was “responsibility”.

After that, there’s a long time that I’d not had any more pets. I’d told myself, if I wasn’t ready, don’t enter into someone else’s life, and don’t let anybody enter into mine either.

And so, this, is a lesson, taught by your GUILT, on responsibilities, and, I’m sure, that this experience in your younger years had, impacted you very much, because now, you’ll always be wondering, where is that dog that I’d, taken home once, is he okay? Did he end up finding another better owner than me?

Mom’s Book of Stories

The legacy you’re, leaving for your children, the most priceless of all possessions, and it still wasn’t measured by those dollars or cents! Translated…

As I learned that I could go to Taipei to attend the Mobile Creations Awards ceremonies, I’d invited my youngest son who is studying in Chiayi to come along. My youngest also took his leave of absence from his work in the cram schools to accompany me. Other than being proud as his mother, mostly, he’d wanted to see who the judges are. Seeing how excited I was, he’d asked, “Did you sort through your articles? If you’re gone, then, the articles would be gone too!”

I’m already used to my son’s insulting ways, and hearing how he was concerned, I was, glad over that; finally someone had, thought about this, I’d replied, “All my articles are, classified, and I’d placed them all inside the cabinets.”

Many years ago, I’d told my son, “I can’t leave you any money when I’m gone, I’d only written the stories from when you guys were little, after you read them, you would know, how trying it was, for me, to raise you guys up.” As I’d spoken these words, my son let them pass through his ears, but today, he’d, mentioned it without me asking!

Back when I’d started to write, I’d wanted to capture my son’s aging processes, and, I’d wanted to earn a little more money for food on the tables. As I wrote, I’d added in the encounters I had at the local marketplaces, and the interesting things that’s happened in my parents as well as my in-law’s homes, and the fool I’d made of myself from work back when, and naturally, something stupid my husband had done as well.

And, my family took the “quieter approach to what I put down”, and there was only one faithful fan, who got all excited about everything I’d written, my dear old mom—every time I’d read my writings to her, she’d always laughed hard, commented, “Such wonderful proses!”

Last year I’d started working again, and entered in the line of workers in the nursing homes, and wrote down my stories with the elderly folks I’d worked with at the home, and my classmate, “Bull” read, left the message, “You now have more stories to write on.”

But, I’m, aged, and, as I’d gotten home from work, I’d become, way too fatigued, to start writing, but I’d wanted to leave the markings, and so, I’d written few lines on FB, thought, that I’ll sort through them eventually sometime in the future!

But, because I had a closed fracture of my femur last month, I can only take my leave of absence and stay home and rest, and now, I get to have the time, to pass in front of the computer screens, now, the inheritance for my son had the “elderly and mom” stories filed in.

And so, this woman documented her own life with her writings, and, she will keep on writing, and leave this legacy of her own memories to her own children to have after she is dead and gone, and, I’m sure, that in the futures, as her children read their mother’s writing, they will discover a side of their mother they never knew existed.

The Gifts of Love, an Accidental Hobby

Something so small, that can give you, so much joy, translated…

Some people chase after the maple leaves, the snow, the Pokémon, while I’m in love with chasing the beans (the peacock beans).

Another name for the peacock beans are red beans, the heart-shaped seeds are translucent, and I loved it so.

Perhaps, I was, influenced by the poet, Wei Wang’s beliefs about the beans, or maybe, I got infected by the character’s emotions, I’d felt especially close, to these, heart-shaped, red beans, and, as I’d seen the jewelries made from the beans by my friend, it’d, sparked my desire to collect them.

I’d hated the cold and loved the sun from before, but now, I’d, looked forward to the rain and the strong winds, because, those high red beans will only fall when there’s strong wind and rain. I’d walked around, as I hunted for treasures, didn’t fear the cold to say the least, since I’d become a solid fan of “Chasing the beans”, I’d finally understood those who’d gone all over the places to hunt for their Pokémons.

I remember when I first started, it was a windy afternoon. I was walking in the park, saw a lot of people, old and young, circling around a tree, as I was curious, and stopped to look, then, “SMACK!”, something hit my head, I’d focused, there were, several, heart-shaped, shiny beans that’s, rolled to my feet. As a reflex, I’d, bent over, picked them up, like the bean fans I’d come into contact with in the park.

illustration from the papers online…圖/陳完玲

Suddenly, I was, enchanted, I’d started, walking around the trees like everybody else. And, as I’d picked up a bean, it was like I’d gained some priceless treasures, especially when the entire pod fell before me, in the spirally pods, there were, over ten bright colored red beans, I’d become so excited, so ecstatic I couldn’t say a word, I was happy for the rest of the day.

After that day, I’d gone to that same place, to wait for the beans to fall, and after I’d become “bean friends” with the locals and those who’d come especially for the occasions. We’d, first observed the tips of the tree, to find the pods, then, we’d, found our separate places, then, waited, for the wind, then, we’d, bent over, start picking up the beans, it was, very interesting.

“There are two here…three behind you! And over there too………”, the rustling sound of the leaves sounded like a symphony, with the excited hollers of the bean pickers, the sounds became so harmonious.

Remembered how I’d met an elderly man, who entered into the line of looking too, but, he’d kept calling out from behind me, turns out, he’d used the bending down to pick up the beans to stretch his muscles, and, gave the beans he’d found at random away, to those around him.

here is the pendant made from the beans, photo from online…查看來源圖片

“You need to look carefully, it would hide in the grasses, the piles of leaves, or you may need to tear apart the pods to find them.”

“Grandpa, you have great eyes, thanks, be healthy, and live long!”

He was smiling so radiantly, that kind smile infected me too. A small red bean had, the enormous powers of healing, so amazing!

Looking at the small red beans inside the jars, and as I shook the jars, they’d made the clinking noises, I felt so blessed. Although I’m not as handy as my friend, couldn’t make them into decorations or bracelets or necklaces, but, prepare a small glass jar, drop the beans in, with some paper stars as company, a small gift with all the blessings had appeared.

The gifts of love, I shall, give to those I love, hope, that they get to share, that bliss that’s, filled with joy from me.

And, this, is what you’d found by accident, and, you’d, joined in the line, and, found something fun to do, and, you were able to, share that scent of bliss you’d found from picking up the beans with those you love, with these, special, handmade gifts.