Never Knowing the Man I’d, Become…

This, is what you are, you are, never knowing the man I’d, become, because you were, NEVER there, watching me grow every step of the way, and, as I was younger, I’d, felt awful, that you weren’t around, to bear witness of my transformations, and now I realized, that I have, NOTHING to regret!

Never knowing the man I’d, become, my father, and, the loss will be, YOURS, and yours alone!  Nobody will, EVER care about or for you, because, you’d done, so many WRONG things in your life…

Never knowing the man I’d become, you will, forever, live, without knowing the man that I am, the man, you will, NEVER be, for I’d become, BETTER than you EVER were as a father to me, to my own young!

I vowed, to NEVER BE like you, when I had my own young and now, as my children grow older by the day, with me, watching closely by, I knew, that I’d, made the RIGHT choices in life, unlike you, who’d done, EVERYTHING wrong, from the very START…

Never knowing the man I’d become, that, is your loss, NOT mine, and, I feel sorry, that you never got to know your own children, well, I don’t, not really, because I’m NOT supposed to.  The regrets are now, ALL yours!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Broken Tree, a Poem

A Section from the Broken Off Limbs of a Dead Tree

Broken Through by a New Bud

What Did it Tell Me?

Like a Bookmark, Hidden in a Book

despite it being broken, it’s still, very much alive!  Photo from online…

At a Page I Had, Yet to, Get to

This is about, the origins of things, because papers are, made from the trees, and, the trees are, chopped down, while it’s still, growing…

Not a Mama’s Boy, a Young Man Out of Difficult Environment Started Part-Timing, Worked His Way into a Manager

How these individuals became successes with their hardworking mannerisms, their stories are truly, inspiring!  From the Newspapers, translated…

Tien is a person who’s family was impacted by the huge earthquake on September 21, 1999, that night, his father died, being buried beneath the rubbles, back then, he was studying in the business high school, he’d injured his left foot in the quakes; he’d part-timed through school, from being on assistance provided by the government, to now, he’s a manager at a storage company, and married, he’d said, “keep living under the protections of the government, I won’t be able to make something of myself.”

Tien said, that after the quakes his family was under economic duress, his mother needed dialysis, his younger sister was in school, he’d transferred from the day programs to the night programs, worked at the Social Services unit of the government, and provided the manual labors, to pay off the debts, and he was paid, a thousand dollars than the minimum wage, but it was enough, to carry his whole family through.

After he managed to get into the night school department of Feng-Jia University, he was pressured by life, schoolwork, plus the social services provided an assortment of needed services, he’d put in the extra hours on the weekends voluntarily, because he didn’t want to fall behind on his workload.  After university, the social services department changed his status to a temp employee, but he’d decided, to “strike out on his own”, started working at the storage company at Nangang Industrial District.

Tien was excellent in computer, and worked diligently, three years later, he was promoted to a managerial position, two years ago when he’d set up his own company and got married, as he’d delivered the invitations to the Social Services Department where he used to work, the manager of the office, Lin said, “a young man like Tien, is truly amazing in that he wasn’t beaten by the circumstances, and made a name for himself.”

“Chun” who is currently a junior in college was raised by her grandparents, her mother left home, her father died early, she’d been receiving assistance from the Taiwan Fund for Children & Families.  She said, that her grandmother worked in janitorial jobs to raise up her and her younger brother, and after she got into college, she’d started, part-timing, worked at gas stations, convenience stores, and now, she’s working at a restaurant, back in high school, she’d envied how her classmates changed cell phones so often, how their parents would come and pick them up, drop them off, but as she saw her grandmother in her sixties going out to work, she’d sworn that she was going to make something of herself.  She said now she’s part-timing through college, and expected there to be no waiting period after she graduated, she’d planned to enter into the workforce, and become an office manager in five years, so her grandmother can work less.

The young woman, Hsu lost her father when she was just nine, her family lost the economic supports suddenly, she saw how hard it was as her mother got out early in the morning to work in the bakery, she’d vowed to get excellent in the finance.  She’d majored in the designs proposals, and after graduation, she’d partnered up with her mother, her boyfriend, and put together a total of $700,000N.T., went to the local areas closer to the university in Taichung, to set up a board game restaurant.

So, these are stories of how people from hard environments worked really hard, to break away from the poverty stricken backgrounds they grew up in, made something of themselves, and, they were successful, because they kept working hard toward a goal that they’d set for themselves, and this still showed, how working hard, is what gets you places!

Transitioning

On the growth of a woman, finally, realizing, that what her hair represented, over the span of so many years in her younger life, translated…

short…not my phoot…

Looking at the mirrors, it’d, dawned on her, how easy, the answer was.

Her hair was so black, so full, but, up until she was two, her head was still bald, it wasn’t until her mother rubbed her head with ginger water, did her hair start growing, becoming everybody’s envy.  In kindergarten, her mother had, braided her hair differently every single day, and she’d, gotten on the school bus, like a peacock strutting.  Her mother didn’t have the chance to be treated like this.  Once she’d gone to visit her maternal grandmother’s for a few days, her grandmother swiftly, put a bowel over her head, then, swoosh, off went her long hair; as her mother mentioned it, she’d told her, how heart wrenching she’d felt, that her grandmother severed that dream of being a princess that her mother had once, that’s never gotten fulfilled.

long…not my photo still

But, it was, just a dream, living life as a princess, the first time her father brought her mother home, her paternal grandmother commented, “So short, what can she do?”, her mother, small framed, in her mother-in-law who owned huge chunks of land, couldn’t even help out in the fields, and, may not be reproductive enough.  At that time, those words became, like a CURSE, that’s plagued her mother’s life—her mother became, quite capable, of everything.

The very first child her mother had shortly after she married was she, a girl.  Once her grandmother gave some puddings to her older uncle’s sons, but ignored her, who’d held her hands out.  Her mother carried her up, and after that, every time, she’d bought her puddings, it seemed like she was making up for something, her mother told her, “Whatever you want, mom will get you.”

In the elementary school years, there wasn’t any time to do the extricate braids, and her mother often tied her hair up into two bundles that stood straight by her ears, and as she did her hair, she’d whispered, “You must work hard, to prove it to others, you can’t be beaten by boys.”, and, her eyes followed her hair that’s, braided upward, and, she’d felt, that she’s the story book character, with the large years.  Does her mother want her to be a princess or a strong woman?

braided…not my photo…

They couldn’t have long hair in middle school, her mother would put the hair band on her, insisted that she showed her forehead, that her hair shouldn’t block her face, but unfortunately, she never had the eyes, nose, ears, and mouth that fitted to her mother’s proud features.  But, her hair was always, fitting to her mother’s expectations, and, no boys ever caught up with her grades either.  In high school, she’d started growing her hair long again but this time, the adolescent’s hair became, the rebellious shape, she’d used her long hair, to keep her face hidden, so she can, sleep in class.  The teacher in the G.T. classes woke her up, “you keep falling asleep, I’ll CUT your hair off, and make a wig out of it.”  The whole class burst out laughing, this hair, not only was it used, as a cover as she fell asleep, she’d not really cared, like those light that hadn’t begun to shine through on her talents yet.

As she got into college, for the very first time, she’d, trimmed her hair up to above the ears, and proclaimed her hair as her own.  But later, her lover said that ponytail looked better on her, she’d grown it long again; as she started working, she’d permed it to curls, so she’d looked more mature.  As she could no longer stand how her hair seemed to please everybody else, she’d, cut it off completely.  As she got married and had children, she didn’t have the patience, to blow dry her long hair, and didn’t have the mind to keep her short hair long, so she’d always, grow it long, then, cut it short, and wait for it to get longer again, she’d posted her various dos onto FB, asked her friends to pick out the most fitting on for her, and, the conclusion she received was, “They all looked great, a woman’s hair needs the variations of short and long, and, having a good stylist, there’s, no, ugly period for it to grow longer again!”  So, long or short, it didn’t matter, she’d not needed to put up with the period of it growing back again, like undoing a curse, she’d felt, that fishbone that’s, stuck inside the throat, slid down as she swallowed.

Her hair is thick, easy for the different hair styles, because it grows fast and is healthy, in the couple of years, she’d had many do’s.  Her hair had been, waiting so long, for this moment, wait until she finally understood, that she was, more than blessed.  She looked into the mirror, don’t know if she was telling her mother or her self, “You are, good enough!”

hairstyle chart 的圖片結果so many to choose from, how, will we pick???  Not my chart…

So, growing up, her mother overcompensated for their statuses by making a huge deal out of her hair, and, when this woman was able to break free from it, she took control over her hair (which was a metaphor of her own life!), and, tried many dos, and, in the end, she’d, realized, that it wasn’t the hair that she was trying to see, that it was, her self that she was, becoming.

Lunch Date, Between a Parent & a Child

Translated…

My daughter goes to a private institution.  After she’d entered into middle school, she’d been busying, attending the cram schools, to better her grades, only on weekends, were we able to find the time, to get together.  On the eve of Mother’s Day, she’d texted, said she’d wanted to head to the close by brunch shop, so we can have some mother-daughter time together.

During that time, she’s busying on the skits, the national English exams, with a lot of hard homework assignments, I’d been busying, drawing and teaching too; we lived under the same roof, but, with the distances in between us growing greater and greater, and our conversations from day to day were reduced to, “had you any food?”, and “good night”.  And, if I’d inquired about her grades, then, the originally quiet evening would become, stormy.

There were, so many things I’d wanted to ask her, I was so excited, I’d only slept for five hours, and got up, started flipping through the photos of her as a child, riding that bicycle through the town of Yilan, eating each other’s shaved ice, catching the lizard at the hiking site, plucking flowers from Yangming Mountain………there was, this sense, of realness, in her foolish and playful looks.

I’d then, clicked at my daughter’s postings on FB one by one.  In her teenage years, she’d gotten taller, her face became longer too.  There was, that lack of innocence in her long face, with that hint of stubbornness added on; there was hints of maturity in her taller, but still childish body now, and, there’s, that habitual frown between her eyes as she’d buckled down to study.  And, her wise eyes, are still, the brightest stars that I can ever see.

When she was younger, I’d often, started kissing her face and hugged her.  This sort of unplanned, unasked for show of intimacy, is the best way to show love between the members of the family, and, although she’d carried that disgusted look, and pushed me away, but, compared to words, bodily contact helps me express my love toward her.

補習,只有周日我們才有機會悠閒地聚會。母親節前夕,女兒傳了封簡訊,表示想前往住家...from the papers…

We’d arrived to the location of the gathering early.  My daughter complained on how she’d had some minor misunderstandings with her classmates, how hard it was, for her to keep up in her drama club and class work, and which soap she loved.  We’d talked about how we were doing, as her mother, I’d felt, a bit, nervous.

She’d picked up that coffee, that we wouldn’t allow our kids to drink, and, started sipping at it in my dumbfoundedness, stated how good it’d, tasted, then, pushed her soup to in front of me, to share with me.  Sharing the foods, it’d helped the flow of words along.  As I’d thought back to last night how I’d, flipped through the photos, time is moving in the now, but, we’d, kept reminiscing over the past.

The alarm from her cell came.  My daughter checked in, and took a selfie, and photographed the omelet in her plate, shared the foods she was having with her friends.  And, I can only, set up her photo like I was, doing a tarot reading.

“Stop playing on your cell phone.”, it was, as if, I was, voicing out my barely audible complaint inside a cave.  Because, the answers that came to me were, “just a second”, “I’m almost done”.  My daughter was right in front of me, reachable in physical distance, but, her mind was, totally, controlled by that small device.

My daughter’s right hand was answering the texts, and used her left hand, picked up the pepper shaker.  Suddenly, time had, stopped, the needles got, spilled onto the tables, floors, and, there were, toothpicks, all over her omelet.  She’d, picked up the wrong jar.

As we’re on our way back, we’d laughed as we recalled how that silky smooth omelet, became like a porcupine.  She’d told me she wanted to come again, because the fillings in the omelet, mushrooms, ham, and cheeses, were more than the omelet itself.  

I’d, rained on her parade, and told her she can have a “date” with her cell phone the next time.  She’d not minded, and got really closed to me, said, in a playful way, “Let’s have a special lunch date, with my specialty, porcupine omelet.”

She didn’t understand Taiwanese, she’d not heard the female owner of the shop, while she’d picked up after us saying, “Such wasteful manners, how wasteful!”

So, the two of you had a special lunch date, and, this is going to get harder and harder to plan, because your daughter is all grown up, with her own friends, her own life to live, and, there’s, not that much time, that the two of you can share those moments of intimacies the two of you used to that often or easily anymore…

Catch & Release

The meaning of a recurring nightmare, and now, she was finally, get beyond what made her so scared from her younger years, she’s, a grown woman now, translated…

At first, they’d started arguing about minute things that are quite unimportant, but later on, the reactions escalated like a serious allergy reaction, the fires of war burned for days on end, without any moment to spare, the entire house was, filled up with the fuses and the fumes.  Like how a stone that got casted out which was swallowed by air, he’d kept his silence like he usually would, it’d made her felt, as though she was having this fight, with an imaginary enemy, nothing more.

like this?  Not my sketch…

In this awkward atmosphere, life still marched on.  At dusk, she’d entered into the kitchen to cook, and her daughters loud shriek was like an arrow, into her heart, she’d immediately turned off the faucet, exited the kitchen, her daughter had already, ran from behind her, using her arms, drew out the biggest possible circle she knew how, “Mom, there is this HUGE spider in my room, thankfully, daddy went in and took care of it.”  And, after that, she’d, vanished in a jiffy, to see the remains of that unwelcomed guest.

She’d turned on the faucet again, the water started pouring down, and, although her hands were in the wash basin, cleaning up the rice, her thoughts still churned and turned, like the broiling water.  After ten, she’d had the recurring dreams of a spider web, with an assortment of insect that mistakenly, entered into that death trap, and worked hard, to wiggle their stuck bodies, to get away, from that dark shadow that approaches them quicker and quicker, and yet, her dreams always ended, at the moment, when the spider had its pinchers around the preys, maybe, it’s her subconscious that’s, protecting that ten-year-old young girl, from bearing witness to the violence.

At the age of ten, before her home was foreclosed by the courts, her mother had finally had it with her father, who’s a habitual gambler, left home, and, her father, who’d dodged the collectors during the daytime, would only come home late at night stealthily, back then, she and her sisters were already asleep, and, after weathering the nights of people, banging so loudly on their doors, they’d pretended that nobody was there, in that room with the lights still on, falling asleep.  Finding a hiding place in the dreams, helped them forget the fears in their realities.  A spider with long legs stealthily, entered into the three young girls who were without adult care, played the game of hide-and-seek with them in the mansion, his name sounded like a fierce monster, so long as the monster appeared, they’d run, helplessly and flustered, from this room to another.

Later, that spider and that mansion both, disappeared out of her life.  Later on, they’d lived in and out of multiple rental homes, and perhaps, it’s that they’d not spent enough time in each of the places, so she’d not bumped into any more of those fierce critters again.  Until she saw it again, at the place of her first love, she didn’t even have the time to feel shocked, her lover used his agility, killed it with a broom.  When they were in love, this sort of a heroic act was, so luring, but she’d become, just like that spider, swept, out of the world, and that, was when she realized, just how awful it is, to kill something with just one strike.

As she’d placed the foods she’d prepared to the supper table, she’d looked over at that bag of coffee beans with the ammunition scent coming from it lying there, quietly, on the tables, that fuse he wasn’t willing to take the round way to get in the after work traffic, still gone around the block, and presented itself to her, he’d still, kept his quiet, just kept doing what he did, and waited, for her to discover his actions, just like how after the marriage, he’d put up with her neediness, and waited until she’d filled her heart back up.

permanently, INKED onto the child’s walls as she sleeps, not my photo…

That supper table that’d become frozen for days on end, reignited in her daughter’s constant questioning, turns out, that spider didn’t die, it was just placed inside a bag, and took out by him to release away from home.  She had yet to know how to disarm the weapons on her face, silently heard the story of spider, in the laughter of the daughter and father, that scary creature that’s shocked her so once, didn’t seem to suck the air out of her anymore.

She’d guessed, that she will, dream of that web again tonight, it’d been so many years now, perhaps, she’s, grown enough, to fight off those dark shadows, and there was one who needed her to protect, and, even IF there were, so many things that were behind that dark shadow, but she’s no longer that helpless, fragile who waited for rescue that she once was anymore.

That, was when she’d found, that those silks that’s entangled her in, was from her own mouth, the silks had, been weaved, into the nightmares one by one, and, her eyes became misty and wet while she was, spitting out the silks, that she’d, entangled herself in.

So, it’d taken this woman, so long, to finally realized, that she’d been, entangled by her own past, and, that, was why she’d dreamed of that spider which symbolized her greatest fears from her younger years, and, as she’d become an adult, because she didn’t fully DEAL with everything yet, that spider still haunted her dreams, until she’d realized, that she is NO longer that helpless child she’d been, when she’d encountered that scary spider for the very first time in her childhood years anymore.

The Multiple Taste of Life

The encounters of a job, that helps you stay motivated working, translated…

As Hong opened up her eyes, the very first sentence she’d spoken to Wong was, “I’m awake now, you don’t have the chance to get a brand new wife, hahaha!”, and so, Wang laughed along with Hong.  Such a couple with a shared sense of humor they are, that’s so unforgettable to me to this very day.

something like this???  Not my collage…

Late that evening, Hong had an aneurysm, was rushed to the hospital for emergency resuscitation, Wong first took his wife to the nearest hospital, and, after they’d stabilized her, they’d, transferred her to a medical center.  During the period his wife stayed in the hospital, Wang would go to the hospital every single day to look after his wife, helped her pass her long and arduous road of recovery, actually, they’re, a low-income family, the enormous medical bill is a huge burden for the family, but Wang didn’t desert his own wife.

Back then, I was still an intern, I’d always feared, that I may not be skillful enough, that I might hurt my patients, not daring, to do anything at all, but, Wang was encouraging to me, “You’d needed the practices for your skills to get better.  Don’t be scared, just do it, the biggest thing about being a nurse is having the guts, with the delicate mind.”

being in love, not my photo…

During my internship, I’d felt how deeply Wang and his wife were so close to one another—surely, having a life that’s enjoyable is good, but, that’s, the only taste of life; and, being poor and falling ill, that is a hard life, but, you’re able to, get the various tastes out of life too.

Looking back to my nursing school days to now, a lot of the classmates or coworkers had, given up their profession as nurses due to the pressures and stresses from the job, but, if you ask me what’s made me stick to it, I’m thinking, that one of the sole sources of inspiration I draw from, was this couple who loved one another so deeply.

So, this, would be an encounter you have from work, that’s made a huge difference in your life, and that still just shows, how we encounter strangers who have huge impacts on our lives by chance, and, because of these unknown strangers’ presences in our lives, our lives turned for the better!