The Ballet Classes After School

Amateurs, performing a classic in ballet, entertaining the audience who were, your students, translated…

That year, it was the hundredth anniversary of the school I worked for, the school, in order to get the celebration to become more active, they’d hoped that the school teachers also got involved in the activities.  And so, the quieter teachers chosen to perform with the choirs, and eleven other female teachers and I were in the dancing troupes.

At first, we’d thought we were line-dancing on stage, and someone said, that it was, the hundredth anniversary of the school, so why not do something memorable, and so, after everybody voted, we’d decided on performing “Swan Lake”.

like this???  Photo from online…

Back then, it was only two short months away from the festivities, and none of us were trained as professional dancers, and so, we’d hired a teacher from outside the schools to teach us ballet.  Every day after school, we’d gathered in the jazzercise, from the stretching as warm-up, to becoming hand-leg coordinated, to standing in ballet poses, we’d followed the oral instructions of the ballet instructor and practiced hard in class, then, we’d gone home, after a tired day, and still practiced our dance moves in front of the mirrors.

After working hard for a while, finally, we looked semi-trained, so the dance instructor suggested that the students from the clothes designs major to design the tutus for us, and had the students from the cosmetics major to put the makeup on us.  And, as it came time to perform, we’d thought, we’d, awed everybody who was watching.  Without knowing, that as the curtains were pulled up, as the students saw us, instructors of various shapes and sizes, they’d started applauding, and laughing loudly, and, no matter what the announcers said, they just, wouldn’t calm back down.  All of us, swans who stood ready to dance, couldn’t hear the beats, and so, we could only, count them ourselves.

stretching to loosen the body a bit, for the more difficult moves that comes afterwards, not my photograph…

As you imagine, what must’ve happened next, from when we practiced with the music, we were all very scared as we were, and now, we couldn’t, hear the music at all, and we all flew into panic, and just, danced around out of turn, and bumped into one another on stage, and the students were laughing loudly, and, the roof of the auditorium was about, to get raised UP by the laughter.

Just as we’d expected, the two short months’ worth of cram sessions of ballet lessons gave us something to remember forever.  Up until today, thirty years had passed, every time there was a reunion, this “laughed until our jaws dropped” incident was still being mentioned, every single time.

So, you’re, a group of amateurs, who attempted to perform something that even trained professionals may have difficulties doing, and, because you all didn’t calculate in the risks (Murphy’s law, anybody???), that, is why everything that CAN go wrong, went WRONG, but, on the bright side, you all had, entertained your students, and that was, a memorable celebration of the school’s birth…

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Shared My Bed with a Ghost

I had, shared my bed with a ghost, for years on end, it wasn’t lately, I’d started, feeling “her” presence, and how she’d, put that huge DAMPER on our relationship.

She was your first love, the one that broke your heart to pieces, and now, she’s completely, GONE, only, that she really wasn’t, quite completely, gone yet, oh no, you’d, allowed her memories, to linger on.  After we began, I’d heard you mentioned her name, and, it didn’t bother me, until we moved in together (cohabiting before the marriage is still NOT a good idea!!!), and then, she’d started, haunting, various aspects of my life with you.

remembering the one that got away, surely is, painful all right…not my comic…

And now, I’d, shared my bed with a GHOST, for years on end, without even knowing it for so god DAMN long.  I’m just, tired of hearing you tell and retell those former stories of that old flame that’s, left that SCORCH mark on your heart, and yet, I’d still, worked my HARDEST, to ease the damages she’d caused in you, and yet, it was, of NO avail, because I’m so tired, just so god DAMN F***ING (maxed out???) tired, of competing with a god DAMN ghost, and, if she’s that wonderful, why don’t you go back to her?  Oh yeah, she’s, no longer who she was, that young, innocence girl who fell for you, and, here’s that NEWSFLASH (REALITY CHECK anyone???) you are in need of: she got OVER you, while you’re, still, so hung up on her.

And this is bad for me because?  Oh yeah, I am with STUPID (here’s YOUR S-I-G-N!!!), and, perhaps, I’m just, waiting for the effects of whatever the F*** (maxed out???) this had been, to finally WEAR off, then, move on, and, you’ll be left, with MY memories, haunting you, as you found another woman to love, to be with……letting go of a broken heart 的圖片結果like this???  Not my photogaph…

And, it’s, ALWAYS better, to be the one that got away, because, by being the one that “got away”, we get to, come back, at any time we want to, to plague the minds, and, we, a group of “the ones that got away”, will keep on, haunting the ones that let us go, forever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever (that’s long enough, isn’t it???).

 

 

 

 

Carving Stamps

Finding that box of old stuff that you’d made, and that scent of, nostalgia, surfaces, translated…

I’d sold of our old home in Kaohsiung before the year.  As I was sorting through the collections, I’d found, that it’s, this enormous task.  Who was it that said, “The precious thing about memories, it’d allowed us to live twice.”  I’d enjoyed this sweating it from day to day, keep on living my life.  Specially, the lost books of calligraphy practice books of my youthful years, I’d found once more.  And, it’d given that sense of gladness, that I’d had to, sell my home.

the various types of scripts, from online…

The stamps were kept in a small fist-size wooden box, it was originally for my mother’s ginseng powders, I’d treated it as a treasure, took it home with me to Hsinchu, and put it inside the bookshelves on the back of my study, to accompany me continually, through the years.

One evening, I was fatigued from working, rose up, and saw that wooden box, and wanted to see what was kept, concealed, inside that box through the years.  But the moment I’d opened it up, the wooden casing collapsed and broke to pieces, like it’d done its duties, of protecting the seals, collapsed.

In a panic, I’d quickly used the books from around it, to keep it in place, then, with tapes, carefully, put it back together again, then, it’d returned, to its, original shapes, barely.  Tears started, circling around in my eyes then.

I’d taken up the stamps within the box one by one, asked them, “how have you been lately?”

I’d stamped a few using the stones, thankfully, there’s, still that carving that’s, in place.

like this…photo from online…

As I read the words of “Happy New Year’s”, for the blessings of a new year, I’d found one with the line of “I am, one of the rarest” in the midst of the bunch.  I’d started wondering: what sort of an expectation was that?  Had the me back then see the me now today, and still couldn’t manage to drink too much, and still stumbled, not moving forward in my poetry, will I still have that passion for what I’m doing like I had in my younger years?

But, years had gone by, things, altered completely.  I’d already, forgotten, when, did I develop this joy in carving.  My friend inquired, “Do you still do it?”, I shook my head, sighed, and felt that although I hoped to continue, but I just, don’t have it in me.  Thankfully, there’s still, this box full of my stamps from the past, as I patted those dents in the carvings, it’s like, I’d traveled back in time, with each call, I get to, return back to my past again.

And, this, is the sense of nostalgia that someone has, upon discovering that box of old things that one had made, and, it drew the writer back to how he got started, with the carvings, and it’d brought back that state of mind he had as he’d carved each of the stamps…

The Legacies of a Good Teacher

Because you had a great teacher, and now, you’re, a great teacher too, how this is passed down from teacher to student, translated…

A somewhat bad student asked me, “Why are you so nice to me?”

When I entered into the middle school years, my mother fell ill, and there were, seven of us kids, registering for school, and my school teacher had taken the registration fees from her own pockets to help me pay for my education.

During that era, we were separated into our classes based off of the grades we were making, in order to make the school or the classes look better, the awards were mostly won, by the outstanding classes, but my instructor overlooked the placements, and encouraged each of us to participate, so every single student has a chance, to shine.

One time during the morning gatherings of the school, a student from my class was called up by the disciplinary instructor to the podium, and reprimanded, because he’d shoplifted a book on the weekends in the town’s bookstore, my instructor had the student stand up in front of the class, the class fell silent, my teacher picked up a stick, that student put up his hands slowly, but, the rest of the class saw that the stick whished downward, onto the instructor’s own hands, and it’d, split up, “It’s my fault, for not teaching you right from wrong.

I’d patted my student on his head, “because I’d, had an amazing teacher from before.”

Thank you, Mr. Chien-Nan Chuang!

So, the naughty student became, a great teacher, because he had a great role model, who’d changed his life, and sometimes, that, is all it takes, for a child to turn her/his own life around, having someone who took care of him, because the child didn’t have parents who had the time, and this student, became a great teacher, just like that instructor who’d taught him using himself as a role model.

 

Dreams of, Lost Things…

These, are the dreams of, lost things, some of them, of no importance, while others, they’d, left that mark of pain on you.  Dreams of, lost things, everybody’s had them, at one time or another in life, there’s, no escaping that!

Dreams of, lost things, equivalent to, regrets, the what-could-have-beens, what-might-have-beens, and the had I only’s, what use are they?  Is recalling them going to, give whatever you’d, lost back?  Of course N-O-T, so, why are people, still so caught up, so hung upon them???

like this???  Not my photograph…

Dreams of, lost things, you couldn’t help it, as you were born, as a product of loss, and since the very start of life, you’d been, losing, without even knowing, it wasn’t until recently you’d become, more aware, of all the things that, you’d, lost in life thus far, and, you look back and see what?  Miles, and miles, and more miles of regrets, filling up, these, dark and stormy skies………

Dreams of, lost things, you can’t help it, but wonder, what if…but that, is a WASTE of precious time, and time here, IS limited already, and yet you still can’t, SNAP out of it, and there’s nothing more that I can do, to MAKE you see the truth, so, I’d, stopped myself.

Bidding Farewell to Childhood

A rite of passage, for a child, entering into the teenage years, translated…

As I rode on the bus, passed by the Taipei’s New Children’s Amusement Park, I’d recalled how in two days, it would be my grandson’s twelfth birthday, and I’d asked him if he wanted to go to the amusement parks a final time, as a ritual of bidding farewell to his own childhood years.

My grandson thought for a while, then told me, “I’d gone there three times already, and I’d ridden on all the rides already.  Grandma, did you ever go there?  Do you want me to take you guys there instead?”

going to the amusement parks with the grandparents 的圖片結果back to being a kid again…photo from online…

Then, there’s, that moment of awkwardness.  It wasn’t, but twenty-nine summers ago, as I took along my mother, my son who’s going on into the second year of middle school, and my daughter who’s entering the fifth grade, to California, we’d gone on rides in Disneyland, Universal Studio, along with the amusement park in Los Angeles, and, only the rollercoasters and the freefall rides, I’d gone on, with my eyes shut all the way through it, it was, quite memorable.

As I heard my grandson told me, “The freefall ride here is only two stories high, and it’s, quite slow too, it’s, more than safe!  Grandma, grandpa, would you both like the experiences of riding it?”, such a reminder of the past!  It seems, that we won’t be saying goodbye to childhood after all, instead, we’re, celebrating Grandparents’ Day this time.

the ride that’ll get your blood pumping all right!  Photo from online

So, this, is a rite of passage, I suppose, as a child gets to twelve years old, and the next year, he’s entering into the middle school years, on his way to entering his teens, and the grandparents wanted to make it a special and a memorable occasion for the child, but the child has another idea………

Those Days of Stepping on the Pebble Floors

Brings back those memories of old, inside this old-style floored house you’d visited, translated…

I’d learned that the 207 Museum of Dihua Street had the grinded pebbles art exhibitions, I went there immediately, only because my first home, the floors were paved with these smaller pebbles, and, I’d spent many years of my youthful years on top, that unforgettable joy, called out to me, to reexperience my childhood times again.

The moment I entered the museum, and stepped onto that white pebbled, gray backdrop floor, it’d felt, like I was, at my old home once more, it’d felt so very, familiar, and I’d, gone around the display area twice.  The colorful patterns on the floor separated by the brass frames, gave it a sort of an elegant look.  The floors in my first home was, plainer, with the brass strips to the sides, back then, we’d, enjoyed walking that line paved with brass in and out of the house, and we’d, competed on how straight we’d walked the lines, which one of us never bumped into the walls.  There was that same circular brass pattern on the stairs, making it especially cooler in the summers, we’d often, put our faces to it, held out to it, to keep ourselves cooler.

what the pebble floor looked like…photo from online…

with the temperatures lower in the summers because of the material it’s made out of …

The grinded down pebbles, after being mopped, still had to get waxed, but my mother was allergic to the wax, and can only start mopping the floors daily, and waxing the floors once every six months, to keep it up.  Daily, my mother shouldered up the grueling task of cleaning, and when the summer vacations and winter breaks rolled around, this work naturally, came to the four of us, and, if we don’t mop the floors well, we’d gotten scolded too!

My older brother usually took up mopping, he’d loved singing while mopping, the notes went high and low, as his moods would go, and he’d won the title of “King of Off-Pitch”.  Every time he’d sung off-key, my younger brother would splash water onto him, and, he’d not minded at all, still continued his singing off-pitch.  I was in charge of the faucets, filling up the buckets to eighty-percent, then, gave the buckets to my younger brother to quickly give it to my eldest brother.  These two brats thought I was too slow in filling up the buckets, and, hurried, “quickly, faster”, and they’d, fought over the same bucket of water too, and, splashed the water all over themselves as well as the floors too, and, I’d gotten wet in the process.  As we were still in school, we’d spent many nights of the summers, pouring water onto one another, horse-playing, working and playing at the same time, and managed to get through this homework assignment of our household chores.  Ahh, such a period of time, filled with our wetter selves, and laughter that was!

Just like my old home, this houses had the railings on the stairs, as I looked at it, it’s as if, I caught a glimpse of my grandma in her rough black cloth pants and shirt, slowly, coming down those grayed stairs; and saw how thirty years ago, with me in my wedding gown, how my tears blurred out the path as I bid my parents goodbye as I was marrying out, and, I’d dragged my feet, hoped, that the floors can extend indefinitely, and the stairs, longer………

獲悉迪化街二○七博物館有磨石子藝術展,我迫不及待地前往參觀,只因老家的地板就是以...illustration from the papers…

I’d touched that cooled surface, and, looked closely, at that delicate print on the walls, and, suddenly, those white grinded down pebbles somehow, illuminated, all parts of my past I’d seemed to have, forgotten already.

So, this place with the old styled pebbled floors brought back all those memories of your younger years that you’d, forgotten already, and, being in this place, it gave you a sort of a nostalgia, doesn’t it?  Made you missed those long lost years of your childhood days…