The Oceans Stayed the Same…

The heartache of that very first love, is slowly, fading away, but the memories of her, still stayed, but it’s, no longer, as bright as it were from before now, translated…

Luckily, I’d, kept track with the words, of my youthful, memories; but unfortunately, no matter how many words I’d, kept, I still couldn’t, keep that heart that wanted to leave.

The island is so small, so small, that we’re, cramped up, next to each other, that was, the roads I’d taken to get back into my own home, also, the very first chapter of my life.  Without the oceans, perhaps, we’d, missed ou圖/奚佩璐t, on those waters, that were, filled up, with all our emotions; without the island, the pains of our memories are destined, to stay adrift all over the places.

Back then we were young, felt, that staring into one another’s eyes, singing those love songs to each other, meant that we could go the distance; we’d always believed, that with the letters, the calls that frequented between us, that can, connect us tightly.  The roads at night on the island, the starry skies above the oceans, the fluidity of the years, and the girl’s heart that I can’t hold onto, that young man who’d felt heartbroken had, collected those footprints, hidden them deep, deep down beneath, those ocean waves.

illustration from UDN.com…

Several years later, the wheels of fates started turning between my two legs, the roads I’d once trekked in my youth, I’d looked suddenly, and found a familiar shadow, that’s, made my heart skipped a beat, I just hate, that I couldn’t, take this robe the years had, put on me off, I couldn’t, stop myself from moving forward, the memories of our broken up love was, too heart aching, and now, it’d, felt really awful, how we’d not, even looked each other in the eyes as we passed each other by.

Many years later, I’d, stopped, wondering about the lost loves of my youth, and just, allowed the thoughts to, swim freely inside my mind, as I’d, passed that familiar alley again, there was, just that coldness from the oceans that crawled up the sides of my cheeks, because the girl I loved, had become another’s wife, a mother, and slowly, grown old and gray.

The island stayed the same, those old lovers are withering away, the bays, the sunset, that old love, became the ocean waves crashing into the land, hitting against those slowly fading to gray memories, the scars healed up.  If someone asked, the ocean still, looked the same.

But you no longer are, it’d been, too long, since that first love broke your heart, and, you’d come to realize, that she wasn’t meant to stay in your life, that she was, merely, a passerby in your life, and you, in hers too.

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The Education from Back When, Thoughts from the Wilderness

An outing of this father and daughter before she goes off to college, what the man was reminded of, translated…

The first time I took the MRT to the Taoyuan Airport, I’d taken the purple route, the straight route, and on my return trip, I’d tried the blue route, that passed through all the stations.

I rode on the MRT with my last year high school daughter, imagined, that we are, on the way, to her getting a higher education, the rails in the air was a bit, unsteady, there wre those, who were awakened from their sleep because of it, and rode to the terminals, and stood up and flew off, like those birds, made of glass.

The stations and the trains are purplish blue, imitating the colors of the Nitalva, with the common name of Taiwanese whistling thrush, the calls were quite, distressing, like how the car slammed on the brakes in a sharp turn, like the policies of education right now.

A7 Kinesiology University, A8 Changgang Hospital………we’d, walked to the Chi-ching Lake, there was the god of the earth in a statue, smiling at me in the middle of the lake, with the smokes rising from the small temple’s chimney, the doves, the ducks, ran around, and flapped their wings, like how messy the situation is currently in Taiwan right now.

The sun spread out all across the lakeside pastures comfortably, there were, the picnickers there, some sitting, or, lying themselves down; this was the Memorial Day long weekend today, for the sake of remembering those, who’d, finally, lain themselves down.

walking along a passage like this one, maybe???  Photo from online…查看來源圖片with the flowers, already, fallen…

I rode along on the Airport MRT with my daughter, and packed my own handmade rice ball wrapped in salted seaweed, it wasn’t a springtime outing.  Anyway, the sun felt so well, like it was, only eighteen years of age.  We’d walked a long time, and, the roads, approached us, without any doubts on their minds.

This was in April, the Chinese fringe trees were in full-bloom, with the cherry blossoms, withering away, the new buds were coming out, there wasn’t, a fallen leaf that’s, complained.

The airport MRT route passed through the mountains, the Tung oil tree, the green filled up the air.

And so, this, is what this father observed from their surrounding area, as they test rode the airport MRT systems, and it is considered, a rite of passage for his daughter, because next year, she’ll be away from home, in college, and, on this day, the father felt a mixture of emotions, his daughter is growing up and leaving home, and, it was on the day, that those who’d, sacrificed their lives for others is to be commemorated each and every year.

A Small Journey

This young child with autism, given some time, slowly, adjusted, to the norms of socialization on his own, and, the parents’ worries were, excessive, it turns out!  Translated…

Before Strong started school, the anxiety meters that we’re experiencing busted (fine, maybe, it’s, just mine!), a week before school started, I’d already, started setting up the hours of operations, taking the weekends off, first, we took Strong to the Moonlight & Oceans Music Fest in Taidong.  Recalling how being very sensitive to sounds, last year, as we’d gone, he’d started screaming and crying that he wanted to leave, and, as we got outside of the concert, out on the sidewalks, he’d started, playing with the tiles on the ground, we’d not, gotten the opportunities to enjoy the music, to be in the concert, to feel the live performances; but this year, he was willing, to allow us to go to the outermost side, to blow the bubbles, to play with him, as we’d, gazed up the moon from afar, hearing the music of Wanfang Lin and Yujung Wang, on our way back, we’d gone to wetlands in Hualien to hear the rehearsals of the bands, for almost half an hour.

This two nights one day trip, we’d stayed in the car longer than we’re out of it, watching the scenes flow right by us, kept turning our heads around, singing to Strong, playing with him, tickling him, I’d carried on in casual conversation with Daddy Strong too, and, watched Strong’s reaction as we arrived at each of the sights we visited, I’d felt, “he really is, growing up!”, and I’d, felt a bit, saddened, that this trip was, lasting too short, fearing, that he might get too deep into his mind at school after he started it, to shut the world out, to become, an odd duck in his class.

Thankfully, on his first day, we’d taken him to the class to send him on that huge granite slide, as we’d heard the teacher explained what was expected of the new students, and what to watch out for in school, and as we’d turned to leave after we said goodbye, I’d turned my head around to look, found that he’d wanted to chase after us, but his teacher diverted his attention quickly enough, into the games; I’d stayed outside the door of the class, listening in, he’d not cried, neither had we, there’s just that feeling of, not knowing where we’re, headed next, what we’re, to do next?

After I’d discussed it with Daddy Strong, we’d gone to the press conference of our friend, without a political party, running for office, then, we’d, parked back at the bookstore, hand-in-hand, we’d, taken that stroll from the Mei-Lun Creek to the small diner of one of our customers from the shop, we’d found the crabs, walking on the riverbeds, and, as we waited for the lunch to get served, I’d checked my cell repeatedly, worried that we might miss the call from Strong’s teacher telling us to come pick him up, until the meal was served, we’d started, enjoying our lunch together, as we read the book from our shop, and found a way to operate the bookshop so it fulfills the mind, and the body at the same time and we’d, decided, to adjust the hours of operations, to give ourselves more time to spend with each other, as well as spending more time with Strong, to increase our income, and have more time to make our shared dreams come true.

After we finished lunch, we’d worked at the shop for a little while, and couldn’t wait to pick Strong up from school, and she told us he’d only cried for the nap hours when he didn’t see me, for half an hour before he fell asleep, and, had fed himself with a spoon too, with the teacher teaching him how, it’d, let me let out a sigh of relief, at least, he was, interacting with his teacher, wasn’t screaming endlessly, or with his eyes, glued to the ceiling fans either.

I believe, that we can all, grow in our new stages of life together, and I’m, looking forward to that day to come now.

And so, this still showed, how every child has her/his own schedule to growing up, there’s no one-size fit all, and, just because a kid is a bit slower to adapt to the new environments, that doesn’t mean that s/he can’t adapt, it just, take the child a little more time than the “average” kid is all!

When the Performance Made My Daughter Cry

The companionship of a made-up dog that she’d seen in an act, that’s, stayed with her throughout her childhood years, translated…

These years, I’d been putting on the performances for children in the distant regions, and, seeing these shows, I would imagine, made them happy, especially with the scripts written, especially for children, but there would still be some children who’d cried as they watched us perform.  The very first show of my daughter’s life, she’d, cried in it.

In 2002, the If Children’s Performing Troupe put out a children’s musical, “The Songs of Strayed Dogs” my daughter was only a little older than two years, just about to begin in preschool, because of my good friend invited me, I’d, especially gone from Hualien to Taipei to watch this performance.

The stray dogs in the performances had their separate stories, and there were two separate attitudes toward humans, one, wanted to return back to their owners, the other lacked faith in humans.  Later, the two sides had an altercation and started in a brawl, and that was when my daughter began crying.  She’d asked me sorrowfully, why are they fighting?  She’d cried and told them, “Don’t fight anymore.”  In the end, the dogs decided to return back to their separate owners, only the strongest, and most stubborn one called “Luke” (portrayed by Jack Na), who’d, refused to go with everybody else, continued on his journey, straying.  As we got to here, my daughter wailed very loudly, made a huge scene, and no matter what we did, we couldn’t, calm her down, and, the echoes of a two-year-old crying aloud, resonated through the National Performance Halls (thankfully, we were, way in the back).  “Why didn’t it go home?” my daughter couldn’t understand it, why did Luke choose to stray on alone, on his own?

After the show was over, the story still, continued.

As we returned to Hualien, one day at supper, my daughter said, Luke is having supper.  We took it as child’s talk, thought that she believed that Luke was, eating, but she’d, continued, to tell us the goings on in Luke’s life, and we can hear it, that Luke didn’t just, exist in her imaginations, he was, in our home, right by her side.  She’d told us, she took Luke home, kept him as a pet.  A Luke, that none of us could see.

Her Luke didn’t go to the bathrooms, it wasn’t on her because the dogs in the performances never went to the bathrooms either.  But, as she got into the car, Luke would be, riding there by her side, she’d told us what Luke saw outside the windows, as we ate, Luke would, sit beside her, and we’d known about what Luke was, having for his meals; at a certain quiet moment, my daughter would chime to us on what Luke was, playing with; even as she got up in the morn, brushed her teeth, gone to the bathrooms, Luke was, right there beside her.

And so, Luke stayed with our family, and we also, got used to him there.  We’d started inquiring, how is Luke now?  What’s he doing?  And, we’d, started, owning Luke with our young daughter.

children watching a performace on stage, photo from online…查看來源圖片

Several years later, as my daughter graduated from kindergarten, she’s into elementary school and stopped mentioning Luke as much, but, every time we were, about to forget him, she’d, mentioned him again, without a warning.  And that was when we knew, that Luke was, still with us.

Until she was entered into middle school, and for a very long time, she’d, not mentioned Luke again, I’d not inquired her about it, if Luke was, still with us?  These past decades, was she, taking care of Luke, or was Luke, taking care of her, I really, can’t tell.

In October of 2015, there came the sequel of “The Song for Strays”.  It was the year my daughter entered into high school, she’d become, busier and busier, stopped being interested in the children’s program anymore, I’m thinking, that the large breed, Luke had left, or maybe already, died of old age.  Although, I’m, quite unsure, when he had, gone away.

My friends in the troupe saved two seats for me, and I’d, gone up north alone, not for the sake of the shows, but for that young girl of a little over two, she sat there, right next to me, in that empty seat.  I know, that this time, the young child is, no longer crying, because she already, found herself, a large dog to keep on her own.  After the show was over, I’d, carried that mixture of emotions, cherished the mixture of feelings I had, walked away, quickly, in the rain, left that noisy theatre speedily.

In 2015, that was the year I’d made promised, to perform for the children in the distant regions.  Several years had come and gone, I’d visited over a hundred elementary schools, performed for over thousands of children.  Every time there was a kid that cried as s/he watched the performances, I’m not at all, worried, because there was, always that little girl who was crying, when she watched the shows inside of my heart.

查看來源圖片look at how engaged they all are???  Photo from online…

And so, the stray dog from the story followed this man’s daughter all the way, into her teenage years, and, the experience of watching his own young daughter being impacted by the life of a make-believe stray dog had, touched this man’s life, and that, was what made him into a stage actor, who’d, performed the stories, hoping, to touch the lives, of more young children like how his own daughter’s life was touched by the play when she was a very young child.

Across the County Line…

The border of the county line, marked the love we once, shared, and beyond it, our love practically, never, existed…

Across the county line was, where we first met, when I first, laid my eyes on you, you were, oh so, attractive, just, going about your day, and you don’t even realize, that I’d been, watching you, for awhile, just waiting, for my courage, to finally come, so I can, finally say “hi” to you, and when I had, it started, this love of ours!

查看來源圖片separating you and me…photo found online…

Across the county line, that, was where we found love one night, and, on another night like the one we’d found love, love died.  Love came, just as, quickly as, it went away, but how?  I thought our love was built to last for the long run, but it didn’t, even though, everybody said that we were, the ones who’d, made it together, ‘til the end, but, we’d, ended up, disappointing them all, haven’t we???

Across the county line, that is, where ALL the memories were, laid to rest, inside that ill-kept cemetery, and, I never go there again, ‘cuz I got no need of a reminder, of how our love was, murdered!

And now, I live, across the county line, from where all that happened, distanced myself, from everything that used to be what I loved oh so very much………

 

The Biggest Fears of an Elderly: Being Scatterbrained

You were, scatterbrained, and now, you’d, forgotten more and more, slowly, that, would be a sign, of dementia, I suppose, or maybe, you’re just, plain forgetful, who knows???  Translated…

The luncheon after the reading club, everybody pays $230 N.T., I took out a $500, and took the bill to the counter; the change I made, I’d, counted, and recounted them, how come, there’s, extra?  And so, I’d, given the change to my friends, and, as the extra cash was split up among them, Wen-Ching who sat next to me, asked, “Hua, did you not count your own change?”, as I’d opened up my small wallet, yup!  I took out a $500, and now, there’s, nothing in my wallet!  It’s a wonder, that ever since, I’d been voted, as the one, who goes to the counter to pay all the bills………

To the market places, a t-shirt that costs $370, “can you give me two for $800?”, then I saw the store clerk grinning ear to ear, and nodded, like he feared I might change my mind.  Had it not be my neighbor who’d reminded me, “Do you have HOLES in your brains???”, I must have believed that I’d bills, then, took out totally, also make the store clerk happy as well.

I’d gone to the super convenience shop at the entrance of my alley to pay a bill, the handsome clerk stated, “Your total comes up to $4,802”, I took out five $1,000 and rummaged through my coin purse for the $80 in change, and tried to stop the clerk from making change to me, “Wait, here’s eighty dollars!”, the handsome lad was, stumped for a bit, then laughed aloud, “Miss, it’s $4,802, not $4082!”, I’d started staring at him, with that blank expression, as he pointed to the cash register monitor, I was, drawing a blank…………

I’m not just an idiot in math, I’m also, a lost soul on the road, I’d once, hit the walls, so many time, in the C.K.S. Memorial Hall, from one side entrance, to the other side entrance, then, into the main entrance, still couldn’t find that exit for Ai-Guo West Road.  And, I’m way, way, WAY off on the MRTs, from the Taipei Main Station to Danshui, after I’d arrived in Beitou, I’d taken the train back to Yuanshan, and found it was the wrong way, gotten off, rushed into train on the other side, and I got to Beitou, but, somehow, transferred to New Beitou.

圖/蔡侑玲

it’s like that all right, illustraion from the papers…

As I’d gone abroad, I’d lost, a ton of my things; my hat, at the home in the small grass hut village, my handbag, left, on the shuttle towards the northeast of China, lost my passport, at the chair of the airport at northern Thailand; as I’d left the hotel in Northern Thailand with the tour group, walked to the elevator, I’d realized, that I didn’t bring along my luggage; as I’d, hiked, and wanted a drink, it’d dawned on me, hey, how come, I feel, so light, I’d, left my pack at the resting gazebo!

The movie ticket set I bought last year, I’d turned the house upside down, and still couldn’t find it, until a few days ago, I couldn’t, find my MRT card, I can only, take out my spare, and, there they were, the EIGHT movie passes, thankfully, they hadn’t expired yet.

My good friend made fun, “thankfully, your head was connected to your neck at birth, otherwise, you would’ve, lost that too!”, being scatterbrained when you’re younger, that’s called forgetful, but, in the elderly years, it’s called, Alzheimer’s, being forgetful, can be troubling, but, being demented, that should be, too awful.  Could it be, that I’d, drunk too much water from the River of Forgetfulness in the past life, that I can’t remember these smaller matters in this?  Thankfully, I still remembered, to follow the right people out, to buy the blue chip stocks, to marry a man, who’s, more intelligent than I am!

And so, despite her forgetfulness, this woman still, managed all right, it’s just, that these smaller things, can become troubling to others around you, and, forgetfulness, may be, an early sign of dementia, so, that’s, something this person needs to, watch out for…

 

Spring Thunder…

How love came, and went, and what’s left, after the love is gone, the stormy weathers that came along with the love, translated…

He was, the first thunder of spring, came down loud, brought along with him, the lightning, with the clouds gathering up ahead, the rain started, pouring down, harder, harder, and harder, wrinkling up the originally peaceful lake of my heart.  I’d, quickly, opened up my umbrella, but, too late now———

Can anybody predict thunder?  How much turbulence, he’d, caused on this lake of my heart here!

His eyes, always smiled.

Turns out, love is just, silently, watching someone smile, and feel the happiness expand, across the entire universe.  Or maybe, it’s, from the imprinting of the baby birds, or maybe, it’s how that snow, licked that first sunlight, feeling the warmth, his body had, etched itself, deeply, into my heart, became, irreplaceable now.

查看來源圖片like this, and, you’re, left, all alone in it!  Photo from online…

The rain poured down hard, the umbrella can no longer block the rain out, I’d become, totally, drenched, well then, let’s, dance together in the rain!  Even if, the loneliest thought about love: the parting at the end of the line, is unavoidable.

“Oh, don’t be afraid, because, at least, before the love was over, we had, loved, passionately.”

The lovers, consoled one another as such.

Then, they’d, naively believed, that so long as they’re willing, the light drizzle will, continue, drizzling down, to quench the thirst of that, drying up lake.

“It’s agreed then, we shall, face the droughts together.”

As the promises stayed in the wind, the cadence had, come.

The sun came out, turns out, the rain that came with the thunder, is so, hurtful.

Afterwards, the thunder became, the most beautiful, and the most painful, existence.

So, your love had, come to an end, just like everything else in the universe, has a beginning, and an end, and you felt heartbroken, because you’d, invested all of your heart into loving that someone, and, hopefully, you won’t just be, walking away from this love with only a broken heart…