Reason Why I Quit Smoking

For the sake of your own health, for the health of your loved ones???  What ELSE, huh???  Translated…

Why I’d begun smoking?  It was, too long ago, I can no longer recall.  But, in the current atmosphere of banning smoking, all the reasons went out the windows; I’d Googled the saying, “a cigarette after meal, happy as an angel”, I’d wanted to find some proofs that made my behaviors acceptable, only to find, that the phrases got altered to, “a cigarette after each meal, sends you to heaven sooner!”

I was born in the 1950s, with a son from the 1990s, can I not, cherish and treasure him so?  After I got married, I’d, stopped smoking inside the house, during the time of my wife’s pregnancy, I’d brushed my teeth, rinsed my throat more and more often, and, I’d made myself showered, before I get anywhere NEAR my angelic baby, and felt his right hook toward me, it was, such an amazing moment.  But, you’d ask, why don’t I sign up for a quit-smoking clinic trial, and just, be done with smoking altogether?  I know I should, but, I just, never did.

Saying NO!  Not my photo…

Before school age, foods, play, sleep, I am the skies, whatever I say, goes.  After my son started school, the school teacher became the authority, whatever SHE said, went.  The anti-smoking education in Taiwan is a success, the teacher played the shorts of how smoking can be damaging to the health, and, stopped the videos at the scary photos posted on the cartons, even shown the photos of pork liver that’s turned black-and-purple, as well as the smoked yellow tissue papers to show the downside to smoking, and, of these, what convinced me the most, was the worst effects of secondhand smoke, a thousand carcinogens attached themselves to any and everything indoors, and, they can’t be rid of through the years, and, as I thought about my son who would crawl and touch everything, how can I, still feel fitting, to continue smoking?

The family gathering before my son’s basic skills exam on his last year of middle school, my youngest brother-in-law asked him which high school he’d wanted to attend, “The high school set up by the Taiwan Teacher’s University”, he’d blurted it out.  I’d recalled how he’d, not gotten in to the better schools of the northern territories, I’d blurted it out, “If you get in, I shall, quit smoking!”  Everybody was a witness, it’s set then.  On the day the grades were posted, he’d kept a straight face, said, that he’d wanted to wait until the essay portions were, graded to tell us, but, there was, that light smile on his lips, I was, so thrilled, and, I’d felt, awful about it.

And he did, become, the son of the blue skies (a nickname for the high school students at the high school set up by the Teachers’ University), and, in order to keep my promise, I’d, quit smoking, a bad habit I’d kept, for forty years on end, and, I’d, not smoked a single puff in five whole years.

It’s the testing seasons again, the added perk of getting into the school they’d wanted to—asking the loved ones to quit smoking, allow us all, to become, ambassadors of the Bosses’ Foundation, stay away from smoking, and keep healthy and safe!

the first step, throw it out yourself!  Photo from online…

So, this man finally had a motivation to QUIT smoking, and, I’m pretty sure he’d had tried quitting before, but, the “rewards” weren’t big enough for him, but this time, his own son gave HIM an ultimatum, and, quitting smoking WAS for his own good, and, because he wanted to set a good example for his son that he had when he was older, that, was probably how he was, able to quit smoking successfully!

U, Who Uses His Body to Express Himself

The path, of a performer, it’s, never going to be easy!  Translated…

Since my trip to Denmark last year, I’d become, more than willing, to take a long commute, to see the performances.  Back then, in a certain Modern Arts Museum in Denmark, the light in my mind suddenly, turned on, it wasn’t just a light, a star, more of, twinkling on and on, never dimming—it’d, arrived, to the other end of the world, even, there’s, no reason for me, to slack off in Taiwan, this tiny island.  And so, I’d alighted the MRT, transferred onto a train, arrived to the “wilderness”.

photo from online…

This is a café normally, at the cramped up alley between old apartment buildings.  A performance arts space, in this sort of an desolate, older residential area, this place should be called “Savannah”!  The café is spacious, which the place was made out of, with the audience, arriving, the show can begin—a table, a percussionist, two dancers, one man one woman, this, was a dance created by U.

U has a special background, born in Taiwan, raised in Indonesia, went to U.S. to study films, danced in the Netherlands.  He said he’d become, multi-lingual as a kid, but, felt, that he couldn’t, clearly express the innermost meanings well enough, until he’d discovered dance, like how I’d found my own way, to communicate with the world.  This unique, made-up way of “original language”.

Shortly after my return to Taiwan, U found, that the modern dancers here are just as good as those abroad, but, there’s, a small market for audiences, and, the field doesn’t look optimistic at all.  He’d asked, how come such great things, you just brush aside?  He’d seen a free performance at Bellavita, the dancers performed in the halls of a high-end shop, as he was really into watching the performances, he realized, that there was, a young boy, who was also, intrigued, the child asked his mother, “what, are they doing?”, the mother glanced over, said impatiently, “They’re CRAZY!”, then, pulled the child away.

male dance solo 的圖片結果like this???  Photo from online…

“As I heard that, I was, heartbroken.  How come this, was what the arts education in Taiwan had been reduced to?  I know, a lot of people would tell me, modern dance is hard to understand.  But why must it be understood?  The process of watching the performances, there would be an emotional response, something that’s, beyond verbal expressions, that, is what’s, most important.”  He’d, told me.

U’s performance was short, afterwards, he’d gotten the audience involved in a small activity.  We’d needed to, remain silent, for our partners to perform the actions we’d, wanted them to, or have them understand, what we’d wanted them to do.  My partner was a beautiful girl, she gave up easily, after one to two charades and she’d not guessed it right, she’d felt anxious, and it’d, forced me, to think of an alternative way, to express myself.  In the process, I’d found, that we were, staring deeply, into each other’s eyes than usual, and, worked harder, to listen to each other, than we normally would.

U said, he’d planned, to perform in Taiwan, at the same time, he’d wanted to, direct some short films on dancing.  I know the hardships he’s weathering, what is unsure is, the path he’d, walked on, or the path he’s about, to walk onto, which one would be, harder?  As the performances are over, I’d wanted to, walk over to him and tell him, but, I’d feared, that staring into my eyes, U may see my worries for him, so, I kept, to myself.

As I walked slowly, back to the station from the wilderness, then, transfer on the MRT back to Taipei, this almost-an-hour ride, doesn’t feel, that long at all.

like this show for the public???  photo from online…

So, this, is on chasing one’s own dreams, the writer is also a performer like the person U, so, she’d, understood the hardships that he is facing, has faced, and is about to face for his future, because she’d, weathered through it, or is, weathering through it right now, and, there are, NO easy way, if you want to be successful, you can’t find shortcuts, you just have to, bite down, and, take the trials as they come, and, fight hard, and, you might (still not a definite though…) be successful in the end!

T, the Actor Who’s about to Go Off Stage

On reflections of the self, translated…

I’d freed up my schedule as well as I possibly could, and finally, I’d made it to T, the actor’s final performance, I’d expected him to start crying hard on the last scene, but instead, he’d looked, so very, serious, and I was, the one, crying like crazy. Such an amazing performer, when, will I see you stand on that stage again?

“Every time I went on stage, I’d always felt a bit lost, as I performed, it was, as if, I’d felt some sort of revelation, that everything was real, and yet, after the performances ended, I’d felt, it’s, so unreal.” He’d pressed his ball cap low as he’d told me. That, was the time, that we’d met, when he’d told me, he wanted to, stop performing.

a performer putting on a show on stage, photo from online…

“That, is how drama goes, ‘the magical assumptions’, it’s because you’d gone all in, that, was why you’re so amazing on stage.”

“But this made me feel very vacant, empty. It shouldn’t be normal, it’s not the life I’d wanted.”, he’d lifted his head up, stared, straight at me.

“You can expand your life, other than acting, do something you enjoy. Didn’t you tell me you loved fishing? Go fishing often then.”, I’d told him.

“I’d gotten this reality check, this wake-up call when I went fishing. Let me ask you, did you really grow up to be the adult you’d always wanted to be?”, he’d inquired.

For some unknown reasons, I felt a bit agitated, not wanting to give him a reply. This is such an enormous question, and I thought it had NOTHING to do with whether or not he continued to act or not. I was hurting over, how Taiwan will soon lose, another excellent “voice”, or maybe, a “spokesperson” even, to tell us where the moon is.

taking that bow!  Not my photo…

actor taking a bow 的圖片結果

He was the one who’d told me, what a “performer pointing to the moon” was. The dancer, Duncan once stated, that there are, three sorts of dancers: first, ones who’d used dancing as a simple form of exercise; second, ones who’d used their bodies, to make the moves, according to the tempos, and express their feelings through their performances; last, the kind that made ones’ bodies transparent, which allows the audience to see the ups and down inside the performers’ souls. The last kind was what Duncan wanted to become. T told me, for him, there are, just two kinds of actors: in the Japanese shows, there’s a set of moves, relating to the moon, the first type of performer can make the audience feel, that the moves s/he performed, is nothing less than perfection; another kind, only lets the audience see the moon. T told me he’d wanted to be the latter.

take one final bow, and then, it’s, all over, not my picture…

All of a sudden, it’d dawned on me, why he’d wanted to stop acting. T is truly, amazing, too beautiful, with too many qualities that made him into a star, plus his performance skills, outstanding too, every time he stood up on stage, nobody misses him. Even if he’d, minimized himself, it couldn’t fight off that natural sort of attraction that he had. It’s quite ironic, that sort of charisma on stage which every performer sought after, was what T wanted to avoid the most.

“When you identify an object, given it a name, then, the message gets across, and it’d become, valid, so, the characters come to life; otherwise, only the performers were living, the characters they portrayed become like corpses. My audience only always just see me, and not at the moon I was, pointing to.”, he’d told me. I’d totally, disagreed. As a member of his audience, every time I saw him perform, if there was a moon over his head, I can not just see, but also, see that light from the moon, sprinkled, over the top of his head. I will look at his facial expressions, and the moon back and forth, thinking to myself: you are the sort of performer I’d wanted to be. I just hope, that one day, he will return back to the stage again, and, I can finally, answer the very last question he’d tossed to me.

So, this man, is at crossroads in his life, he’d worked in his field of expertise too long that he’d become, somewhat burnt out, and he’d wanted to breakthrough, but, he felt stuck, which is probably why he’d felt the need, to quit what he did, and start anew, working in a totally different field, while this woman he was speaking with sees him in a different light compared to how he’d envisioned himself.

Hardworking Mannerisms, the Courage to Change

Words of encouragement, that’s carried this man so far in life, translated…

Forty year ago, I was about to graduate from middle school, because I came from poverty stricken backgrounds, and knowing, that my grades weren’t high enough, that I was, unfitting, to continue going to school, after school ended at the end of May, I’d started working at a textile mill close by.

One day, the daughter who’s in the First Female High School of Taipei of the owner of the textile mill came by to sort through the goods. All of a sudden, she’d inquired why I’d not continued my education? Said, that even as my family was economically troubled, I still shouldn’t give up the opportunities to study, and handed me the notes she’d taken for her high school entrance from back when she was taking the exams as a gift to me, and told me, that if I’d not done well on the exams, then, there would always be a spot for me at the factory.

I looked at those notes when I got home, was ready to give up, the owner’s daughter called, “Young man, you’d needed to work hard, to find what you can do, it’s not making the grade that matters, it’s proving to yourself, that you can, change.” After I hung up, I’d decided, to buckle down and study hard. As the grades were posted, my grades were high enough to send me to the county schools or Zhongzhen Preparatory Military Academy. In the end, I’d selected to attend military school.

After that, whenever I’d faced troubles in my life, I’d recalled what that older girl who was attending the number one all-female high school in Taipei had said to me, “After you’d worked hard, you would then know, where your strengths are, it’s not a matter of how high you can score, it’s the proof that you have for yourself, to make a change.” Her words had helped me, whenever I’d met a fork in the road of life, it’d helped, enriched my life experiences.

So, apparently, this young woman’s encouraging words had, helped this young man, it’d turned his life over, made him want to work hard toward a goal that he’d set for himself.

This just shows, how when we need a boost, someone will be there, to offer us words of encouragements, and, these people became, our primary influences in life, the driving force behind us, doing better each and every day.

R, the Actress’s Entanglement with the Primetime Soaps

On the steps we’re taking, toward our separate dreams, translated…

Recently as we’d rehearsed, R was often absent, thankfully, it’s NOT the main shows, so we are not under that much stress. But, as the dates get closer, we must all show up, so, every time R shows up, we’d always start the conversation like this.

“Did you get any sleep today?”

“I’d just waken up and came here, I’d slept in the auditorium for about an hour”, she’d told me.

“When are you due back there?”, I never get tired of asking.

“After this is over, I’d needed to go back, I’d not lived at home for three days,” she sounded hoarse.

“But, you look okay,” I’d handed her a cup of coffee.

“Either that this, is the wellness of the moment before death, or that I’d, powdered my face heavier and heavier.”

She downed the cup of coffee in one gulp. I looked over at the clock, it was already nine in the evening. I wouldn’t ask her if she can’t sleep, because, she couldn’t, afford to, sleep.

R told me, that two, three years back, the primetime soaps had requested for her, and for some reasons, she’d always turned them down. Because those soaps seemed to have no end, and once she got into them, if she is lucky, there may be hundreds of episodes, and, she’d be tied down for one, to two years at a time, and it’s best, that she doesn’t, gamble on this sort of thing. This was the very first time she’d said yes because she knew well, that in two months, the show will be done for certain. Being able to see the finishing lines, it’d made her willing, to embark on the journey. This was the very first time, and she’s unsure, if the next time someone asks her to portray a role, she would be willing to do it.

“So, did you, think about it for a very long time?”

“I just felt, that as an actress, I still have NO choice, but to take what comes my way, I’d still needed to be called up by someone. I don’t have that sort of being able to choose, so I’d needed to work even harder, to gain my own right to speak, and can make my own choices. And, I’m still young now, I can make more money on one hand, and on the other, I’m more willing, to try new things.”

“A lot of people are like that, and ended up, ruining their health.”, I’d felt bad for her.

“So, I’m really aware, that so long, as it only lasts for two months, my body will be able to withstand it. Ahhhhhhhhhh, when I get too strained, I’d pondered: is there anyway, we can, DESTROY this field for good? And, there was, no way. We are not unionized, without the guarantees, with the audience, we will get our ratings, and, if there’s a show available to me, and I’d turned it down, someone else will, gladly, take my spot.”, so, there’s, no solution to this.

Once I’d hitched a ride with R after a rehearsal, we’d told each other, that there are, things we wanted to accomplish, to do, away from performing. I said that having my own work performed on stage is such a huge achievement, she said she’d helped a friend of hers as a producer, and she’d understood what that felt like. “That was that sense of completeness, can stand on top of the whole production, and examine the scenes from up high, instead of acting and performing on stage, on a smaller scale.” We were on the same page, I loved creating, she loved producing, and, if the two of us worked together, then, one plus one naturally becomes, bigger than two.

As the rehearsals come to an end that day, I’d stuffed a pack of ginseng into her hands, said it was, to get her lost strengths back. I hope that she will get through these two months without any difficulties, because, my script is already waiting, for its producer.

So, this, is on the way, to achieving your ultimate goals, you needed to start somewhere, and, even though the jobs you’re working in isn’t anywhere NEAR where you want to be in a few years (your ultimate goals of being whatever???), you’d still worked hard, hoping, that the steps you’re taking right now, can add to your experiences, so when the time comes, your dreams will be easily grasp tight by you.


An Architect Who Once Set Up a Roadside Stand to Sell Things

Living one’s own dreams, in an alternative way, translated…

As I surpassed midlife, my career is stable, my kids left the nest, it seemed, that it’s time, to be more nostalgic now; after the baptism of time, a lot of the hardships I’d weathered, stopped feeling so bitter, instead, they’d, turned sweet.

Taiwan from thirty years ago, most families couldn’t afford to send the children abroad to study. Although my husband was full of zest, worked in the firm, and studied for his TOEFL exams, but, his pay was limited, after he’d saved up every last dollar, studying abroad was still, a distant dream. Back then, my husband’s high school best friend was a contracted maker of uniforms that made the uniforms for a ton of colleges, my husband quit his job, and planned to sell the clothes for a year, to get the money for his studies abroad.

擺攤 的圖片結果selling things like these by the road side…NOT my photo…

It was, a very difficult road, my husband and his friend called up the major colleges and universities on their own, and, set up the styles, the colors, the logo, the designs, picked out the materials, then, sent the clothes to the factories to be dyed, sewn up, packaged, then, delivered to the various schools. If any of these small areas had problems, then, the orders get delayed, and they’d be grilled by the schools; sometimes, the clients didn’t like the colors or the styles, and returned the shipments, and, they’d stashed their storage sky-high, and, all of their friends, relatives, families got the benefits—everybody gets the exercise clothes for free.

Very often, my husband was rushing to send the shipments of orders out, he’d ridden his motorcycle from Taipei to Taoyuan, and along the way, there was NO other company but the stars, and the cold wind that came at him hard, riding on the roadways, he’d become half-asleep as he’d ridden his motorcycle, I can’t figure out how he’d arrived back in Taipei in one piece. Once I’d gone up to Taipei to see him, I’d waited until two in the morn, when he’d made his way into the apartment, I saw he’d, forced that smile on his face, and started crying.

Even though, he’d worked so very hard, and still, the money he’d made was, about the same as a regular nine-to-five office worker, and, a regular nine-to-five worker doesn’t even need to get so stressed out in the mind, AND the body, and work through the nights.

But, the excesses need to be rid off, and, he’d thought of an idea, called up his cousin, and, set up a roadside stand, with nothing more than a plastic mat, started selling the shirts by the roadside.

The two grown men didn’t know a single thing about vending, wrote on a cardboard, $300 each, all the passersby chuckled at them, and, after they’d lowered the prices to $200 each, still, NOBODY showed ANY interests; at which time, a woman who’d sold hair accessories hollered out to them, “The Police are Here!”, the two of them rolled up their items in a panic, ran into hiding. They’d set up these roadside stands for just ten days, and they were only, able to sell THREE sets of workout clothes total.

to this…NOT my photo…

He’s dreams of going abroad to study went bust, and can only return to the firm to work again, after we married, he’d worked and studied, and finally, earned his licensure as an architect. Because he was never able to live his own dreams, he’d used that softer attitude, as well as a more humane approach, to design houses that people would want to live in, and, he’d sponsored many children from the poverty stricken areas of the world, hoping to help them live their dreams.

Over the years, his work stood erect, on the streets of various cities, he’d even given his employees the opportunities to shine, gave them the rewards; only because he’d understood the hardships of working hard, and not being able to reach his own dreams, it’d, made him, cherish what he has right now, and give more back to others.

So, this, is how a man, turned his own inability to reach his own dreams, into the drive to help others reach their dreams, because he’d weathered through the hardships himself, so, he can empathize with others who are having a hard time striving toward their dreams right now, and that makes him a good boss to work under, and, he’d become, famous, with his designed buildings, all over the cities now.

Cattepillars Become Butterflies

Well, it’d taken you, L-O-N-G enough! You’d taken a total of THIRTY years to metamorphose into “being”, and yet, you’re, NOT quite there yet!

On some days, when I look at you, I’d wondered to myself: WHAT’s it gonna take, for you, to finally grow UP, a few more SUCKLES on my T-I-T-S? (Uh yeah right, I do NOT “breastfeed” here!!!) Caterpillars will, turn into butterflies, IF (and it’s, a HUGE “if” too!!!), they don’t get attacked by predators (birds, etc., etc., etc.???) in their “state” of “dormancy” (call it, “hibernation”, like the bears??? if you will!), and, after they break out of their cocoons, they are, at their most vulnerable states (or so, the T.V. program on Animal Planet stated!), and, even AFTER they “grow up pretty”, shed that ugly external “covers” of the caterpillar, they’d still need to, watch out for those webs those spiders made!

So, for a caterpillar, to grow up, to turn into, a butterfly, the physical changes are not the only sorts of changes that it undergoes! There’s, need for the preparation for DEATH, at any time, because, how can a nectar-sucking INSECT be a PREY? Unless you’re talking about those butterflies that ate the poisonous leaves as caterpillars, then, you had best, STAY the HELL away from those, because, you will, get that stale taste (nasty! YUCK!) in your mouths if you bite down on them!

a “diagram” out of a science book, maybe???