Cobalt Green, on the Journeys of Her Life

On maturing into being, through journeying to the various places in the world, translated…

Chrome green is a green with that hint of yellow in it, withstanding great heat, bearing with the lights, something that’s used, when there’s this need for the persistent lighting. And this tramp I’d met, I’d called her, cobalt green.

The very first time I’d met Cobalt Green, we’d met out for supper nearby the publishers. She is vegetarian, ordered the spicy vegetarian fried rice, I’d ordered up the vegetable stew too. The portions were way too big, we’d not finished, and she had a lot of containers with her, and so, she’d, packed them up—including a lot of the water that we didn’t finish drinking too (the waiter thought we were a company of four, and gave us four glasses from when we sat down). Even as she’d returned to the major cities, she’d still kept “cherishing” the resources.

the peaceful state of mind this person must be experiencing, can you imagine it???  Photo from online…

She’d once traveled in India, Yunnan, Tibet and the borders of Thailand and Burma, although she’s a temporary visitor, the local family had given her the only glass of clean water for her to drink, and this became the most shocking moment in her whole journey.

Cobalt Green has a religious belief system, but she’d believed, that if we have our own faiths, then, it’d, belonged to oneself solely. I’d believed too, that the most precious kinds of beliefs surpass the religious kind. For instance, being a vegetarian is a way of respecting life, but, if the meat eaters don’t waste any of the meat products they’d consumed, then, it’s equally respectable. Especially when the vegetarians and the nonvegetarians showed respect to one another, wouldn’t that be, the core of “respect” being shown?

We have a shared similarity in character, that we were both forceful in that we hated relying on anybody else for anything. But I’d found, that in the process of her tramping, she’d slowly learned how to “reduce”, to stop constantly giving to the world. In the journeys close to the borders, she’d given her companions a lot of help, and the companions all showed their gratitude by giving some small gifts to her too. And, although those were small items, they’d all become, too meaningful to her. She’d told me, that tramping had taught people to become humbler, to stop using ones’ own views to judge the world constantly. For instance, she’d seen a lot of those who’d sponsored those in the developing nations, and visited locally, seeing how the locals were wearing a ton of accessories, then they’d made the judgments, “they’re not poor at all, they’d still had the money to buy the accessories.”, without knowing, that all those accessories were from the recycled metal scraps, and it wasn’t the same as the monetary values of the developed nations, but an alternative kind of culture and creativity.

查看來源圖片the journey of just one, photo found online…

I’d told her, a lot of start for the creations, seemed to stem from this wound inside of the creators. In the process of journeying, can it be a divide of Cobalt Green’s life, and the next stage of her life, what color will she turn? She’d replied, “on the wounds of the soul and memories, we needed to spend a lot of time, to fix up the missing parts, and it may take lifetimes to accomplish, but that eternal serenity, had always been inside our lives, never left us, it’s just we’d, forgotten them.” Maybe, Cobalt Green will become a permanent color for her life, and, the serendipitous encounters in the future, are going to be the decorations of that eternal peace she’d found.

So, this, is this woman’s view about life, and, she’d accumulated a lot of life experiences, by traveling, journeying to a ton of places, from the interactions she’d shared with people who are strangers, and life is an accumulation of our past experiences, leading up to who we currently are, and, all those experiences will help shape us into who we’re supposed to be as we age.


A Ten-Day Trip Around the Island with Mom

The thoughts that goes into this trip around the island, her kids’ thoughtfulness of keeping her body as fit as it can become, translated…

My friend Yun started having changes in her body awhile ago, her left side started becoming lethargic and weak, and after she’d gone through the health exams, it was Parkinson’s in the starting stages, this made all of her three teenagers in puberty become adults overnight.

The youngest son started hanging out the clothes before he goes off to school in the morn, the youngest daughter started cleaning up the kitchens, and the eldest just entered into college, he’d used his summers to find outings to take her traveling around the island. I hadn’t seen Yun in over a year now, she’d shared with me everything she’d felt in their journeys together, I was in awe at how much love they had for one another, facing the trials of their lives, and, her happiness was, redefined by her illness too.

查看來源圖片one way to do it…by bicycle…not my photo…

Yun told me, she’d dreamed about traveling around the island for long. She’d originally wanted to bicycle around the island, but her illness caused her to lose her agility, the doctor recommended that she could walk more to help build up her muscle strengths, and after her eldest son learned this, he’d taken her around the island by foot, and insisted that they walk twenty kilometers a day.

“The first day, I’d never walked as much, by the time I got to the hotel at night, I’d fallen limp, the very next day my son asked if I was all right? That if I could walk some more, I’d told him I can, but my body told me otherwise, then, I’d walked for about an hour, and, collapsed, and so, my son took me by a cab to the hotel we were supposed to stay in on the second day. He’d told me, with his eye all red, “Never lie to me again, don’t make me worry, we must, face this bravely, okay?”, and that, was the moment I knew, that my son, is a man.

As they walked to Sanyi, Yun’s husband dropped off some stewed beef to them. The eldest son still adjusted the distance they’re to walk based off of Yun’s physical wellbeing, he’d even done Yun’s laundry too!

or by foot, not my photo…徒步環島 的圖片結果

Trekking the island for ten days was not just for Yun’s overall health, but it was an opportunity for Yun and her son to establish their connection. She’d smiled, with tears circling in her eyes, “Don’t know how long my life will be? Or how I will deteriorate? I’d not worried about that just yet, I can only take advantage of the present, especially, with the love of my husband and kids, they’re what keeps me moving, I’m truly grateful, and fulfilled!”

So, this woman’s sons were very kind and understand, and they did all they could, to help their mother maintain her physical ability, and, her illness became a blessing in disguise, because it brought her and her loved ones closer together.

That Night in Kamakura

The last trip we took together as lovers, to figure things out between us, translated…

That evening, as we walked to the aquarium in Kamakura, the lights were already, dimmed down inside, but, not far off, the tower on Enoshima was still flickering.

The wide streets extended out of the vast oceans, and the vacation homes by the beach, only a few had the lights turned on inside, we’d followed the roads, and there were, sporadic super convenience marts and restaurants, there was a huge but not at all crowded barbeque shop billboard, like those gigantic easily missed, but hard to ignored billboards by the freeways, with a few of the youths who were just, skateboarding in the plaza by the beach.

what the city looks like at night, photo from online…

Don’t know if we’d lived farther away from the stations, the streets were quieter, and opening the windows, we saw those lower older styled buildings, and the goings on of the lives of locals, with a very unique sort of a Japanese way of life to it.

Even though it was May, but the breezes in the early evenings had already, cooled back down. We sat on the steps, where we could hear the tides, singing away, there were night runners passing us by, and those pairs of friends or lovers, lighting up the fairy sticks by the beach, making it even more resembling to the scenes in the Japanese movies, with those sparks of bliss, lighting up sporadically in the dark of night.

Afterwards, we’d decided we should run home, and, the streets without the stoplights, the cars, almost sped by us fast, I, in my flipflops, and you dressed very casually, we’d still NOT had any destinations, but wanted to breathe in each and every moment hard, with the darkening of the oceans, perhaps, we’d both, wanted a guiding light, answering our inquiries of: are we our best selves already? The two souls that were sent adrift in the seas, to me, that was, the scent of being lost at age twenty-three, with the craziness, dimming out slowly, but, it was still, a happy time in our lives together.

查看來源圖片the beach in Kamakura, photo from online…

So, there’s, that strong scent of nostalgia here, of sharing something intimate with someone that you loved, and yet, perhaps, you two realized, that you’d, wanted different things in life, that, is why you took this trip together, to figure things out, and, unfortunately, it looked like, that the two of you didn’t last for the long run………

Getting Out from His Globe

I need to get away, from this place so full of memory of love, of us, of you! Translated…

Leaving, for the time being, you can see more clearly, compared to when you gone on those planned trips.

Even as you’d taken along a cane, as you’d come back, it may have gotten, bent out of shape. Especially when our spines were so beaten down by the sunset, we can’t get back up, choosing to “walk out” can bring a new change to your lives.查看來源圖片not my sketch…

As you’d walked out, you must take control of your own time. Don’t forget to take that “timeline” with you, then, you will be able to, turn the world with it later on! Meaning, that from then on, you will only, gain control over your own space and time. With that sort of an open space, the skies are the limits, and, all those lines will eventually, turn softer too. Although, in the very beginning, there would be, the process of the wash and dry, the wear and the tear, like once in a farm, I’d felt, that the gecko only took a few steps, then, it’d, stopped! And, for a very long time too, don’t know what’s made it hesitant, “Does the gecko have something that troubles him too?” But, it’s flattened out outlines are matched with the surrounding environment, because the sharpened sights, weren’t fitted for the morning mists, unfitting to the light mint liquor, the squirrels wouldn’t, hurry into the frames either. Because those sharpened pointy tips of the writing pens, are usually very sad.

Where do you go on an exodus? To Xitou, to Dulan, or to Ludao? Might be none of these. The best kind of trips are unplanned, just live on a day-to-day basis, not casting away the idea of traveling with someone. If, you both got lost in the same dreams, feeling that the war is close by, locked, inside the drawers; those unknown paperclips, the defeats, or, those films past their due dates, and the glorious moments of your younger years.

As for me, from before as I’d, ventured out, the farthest I’d gone was an unknown island, the closest, the lanai of my apartment. And, what I’d done the most was headed toward the Pacific, to a place, to feel His love for me. And, just like that, the entire afternoon, I’d followed the treks on the back ridges of the books, walked in my own shadows, seeing how far I’d come, to finally reach my self, seeing how life had been hard on me. Look at it again, staring at it long, you’d found out, that those moments you’d gotten stuck on, are merely, small bumps in the roads of life. As you’d finally, peeled back the grayed dusts covering your self, you’d found, that other than those lies that made the city, everything else is still separated and with the clear cut boundaries.

Heaven only knows, that the space you’d lived in, is inside his globe.

And the “he”, may be a lover, a coworker. If it’s a coworker, your emotions from day to day became his meteorology, either to choose to get affected, or to strike out, to search for that undiscovered sight. If it’s a lover, then, in the world of love, who knows who’s the host, and who’s the parasite? For those who have it worse, are those things you’d told, but nobody believed—“he” with the virtues of nature, the beauties of the daisy, even the butterflies came to help him out. How about you? Us? Would we, age as gracefully too.

查看來源圖片memories everywhere I turn…not my photo…

If there’s a fork in the road, that we can cross over the plains of winter, the time and space, can start by setting the characters of the storylines, then, we’d no longer, needed to, live our lives on his globe. We should be able to hear the waters of the galaxy, and finally, arrived to the verses.

So, you’re, still hung up on that certain someone, aren’t you? But, no matter how much quicker you want to get rid of his memories, you can’t, because, love IS painful, and it hurt, and, until you’d, fully hurt, you will never find the strengths, to get back up from that huge fall into and out of love with that certain someone!













Kidnapped by the Tours

Following the storyline of a famous story here, translated…

Sitting in a café in Edinburgh, I’d looked around at all the customers looking so very, excited, there were, many Asian faces, either smiling and talking to one another, or sliding on their cell phones, there was also, a very long line outside, for the same purpose: to witness the magical café in Rowling’s “Harry Potter”.

As my striped cappuccino was served, I’d asked about where Rowling had sat. “She’d sat and written in every table here, but the seat she’d sat in the most was this one, next to the windows.” Looking at the tall castle outside the windows, I took out my pen and my writing paper, pretended to write something, recalling how twenty years ago, Rowling was living off of government assistance, what sort of a mindset did she carry, to create this work that’s become a frenzy globally.

the book shop in London where the students got tehir textbooks of magic, in REAL time!!!  Photo from online…

The very first time I’d heard of “Harry Potter” was the radios in Taiwan talked about how children in England were standing guard outside the bookstores, for the sakes, of buying that sequel of the book. I was curious, and borrowed the volume from someone to read, and I was, enthralled. At the start of the year, I’d started reading the English version of “Harry Potter”, after only a few pages, my husband bought a roundtrip airfare to Edinburgh, and, it’s as, if a magical force was pulling on me to go.

At first, the trip didn’t start up well. On the day we’re supposed to fly out, as we just finished getting checked by the security, the flight got canceled, the next day we’d gone to the airports, it’d, taken us to Edinburgh then; it’d shown me, that the magical flying bus does NOT apply to real-life. And, as we arrived, the cheaper stays hotels in Edinburg was fully booked, and so, we’d, rerouted to Glasgow for the night, and, that very night, we’d caught the ending of the fourth of Harry Potter, when Voldemort had been reborn.

We’d driven northbound from Glasgow, passed through the mountains of the middle region, circled around the western coastline, the old castle, the lakes, and the campsites, and utilized everything, like we’d, entered into the hiding place of the three main characters of the seventh volume. There were signs “Wild Deer Crossing” by the sides of the roads, it’d reminded me of the guardians that Harry Potter and Snape had, the male and female deer; and as we left the island by ferry, it’d made me feel like I was in the sixth book, as Dumbledor took Harry on the search of the horcras.

On our way to Mallaig, we say the steam engine trains, and we’d learned, that it was a famous steam engine from England, that it’d become more famous due to Harry Potter. On the way back we’d gone to Edinburgh, and the marching band of the military was performing. It was like in the sixth movie, after we’d drunk the potions that brought us luck, we’d gotten the tickets, and, we stayed, for a little over an hour and a half outside the Edinburg walls, watching the shows.

查看來源圖片another place that’s shown up in the movie…photo from online…

Until I’d sat there, in the café where Rowling wrote the stories, it’d connected me to the Scottish origins of “Harry Potter”; could it be, the purpose of me, getting kidnapped by the storyline of “Harry Potter”, the purpose of this trip abroad? Other than seeing how Rowling’s managed to transcribe the scenes in Scotland into her novels, I was also in awe, of how as she reached fame from writing in the small café, had asked the tourists, to help with the funding of children living in poverty.

So, the books had taken you on a trip, and, by following the storyline of Harry Potter, you’d gotten more into the story, and, it’d made you connect more to the writer’s state of mind, as you trekked the streets of Great Britain.

The Ruins in Shanghai & a Man from Taiwan

Interactions with a stranger, who’d, felt familiar to you, translated…

As I left the bar, the gathering of foreigners in Tienzifang, followed the maps on Baidu, I was riding the bus to Fuxing Zhong Road, about to walk to the new square. It was crowded where I got off the bus, on the narrowed streets, there were rows of French parasol tree. I’d, walked on, and bumped into a half-demolished house by the side of the roads, with the broken down, abandoned bicycle discarded close by, the weeds growing everywhere, like a ruin. I could tell, that this place was once the Shikumen.

I’d not thought on it long, I’d immediately allowed the broken pebbled road lead me, picked up my camera, took photos of the entryway. As I’d clicked my shutters, out of nowhere, a tall man was taking his bike, leaving the entry, as he saw me, he’d smiled courteously, showing that dimple on his cheeks. As he got closer to me, the second before we’d bumped shoulders, he’d picked up the camera he had around his neck, said to me, “look, there’s a lot of pretty graffiti inside”. He’d pushed the buttons with his finger tips to show me, the colorful prints flashed by one by one, it was, truly, beautiful, it’d made me anticipated entering into the ruins even more. As I’d thanked the man, we’d gone separate ways.

I’d felt that unknown sense of familiarity toward that man for some reasons. I’d just, turned around to look at him, before I’d, entered the ruins.

I’d set foot down those pebbled paths, and, creaked through the small passage, to the not-completely demolished Shikumen. The area had been, long deserted, the wooden doorway was filled with cement bricks, blocked the entryway to the house, that cut out Chinese character of “Blessing”, covered with dust, still glued to the front door. The wash basin by the door was already cracked, with the pipes showing, it’d looked, desolate. The only thing that made the place come to life were perhaps, the graffiti on the walls, the radiant colors was hard for anybody to ignore, becoming a sharp contrast to the grayed walls. I’d taken a few shots of the graffiti and was done, moved toward the other end of the ruins.

Not far off, the elderly people stood between the quarters, a place where the bulldozer dipped in, chatted away. I’d moved closer to them, they were speaking using the Shanghaiese dialect. I’d asked them about Shikumen, as they were about to answer my inquiries, they’d curiously inquired if I was from Taiwan, and wondered why I was so intrigued by the ancient ruins. Actually, they didn’t understand what I was researching, but as they’d heard that I majored in the Chinese department, they’d grinned and said, “Good, help pass the culture of China to the rest of the world.” I could hear the ideologies behind their words, and casting it aside, there are, rarely any praises for Chinese majors in Taiwan, after all, everybody is already used to, placing it in the line of “not being able to turn it into a viable source of income”; and, it was, quite strange, hearing someone giving in commends.

The elderly got to know my backgrounds, and started talking about the demolitions. They’d complained on and on, about how the government casted the people aside, had rather put the money into developing the more populated areas. They’d asked me if there were similar encounters in Taiwan? I’d recalled the cases of land developments in Dapu, of Wenlin Estate, the assortments of cases where the government repossessed our land, even as we owned the lands, as the government wanted the blocks for uses, we couldn’t, stop them from taking our lands too.

I’d asked them didn’t the government give them reimbursements for giving up their lands? They’d stated, that home is home, is home. Then, there’s, that sink in the tone of the elderly’s voice, they’d not wanted to say goodbye to the memories too early, and decided, to last until the last moment before the mandatory moves. They’d stopped for a bit, then, changed their tones to smoother, sighed how things are changing so quickly in Shanghai, that perhaps, soon enough, they wouldn’t, recognize this city they’re living in. I’d not prodded anymore, fearing it might, rouse up their sorrows, just heard them carry on in their conversations. And, I’d turned my head around, to see this sight of ruins, as if attending the funeral of my distant relative. The wind blew, but, for the traveling man, I couldn’t understand things too deeply, just knew, that as we’d, stayed a long time in a place, we’d, set our roots down there.

As I’d finished shooting that last set of graffiti and wall, I’d put up my camera. And, came the man’s voice from the distances, “You lady, you’re in the wrong place, the graffiti I’m talking about is on the other side!” Ahh, it’s him. That man I’d, bumped into at the entrances, he’d turned back with his bicycle.

We stood there, talking in another hole of the abandoned ruins. He’d not caught my accent, asked me where I was from, as I’d told him Taiwan, he’d fallen silent for a long time, then, slowly told me that he too, was from Taiwan. At that very moment, I’d finally gotten to understand, that this sense of familiarity came from his accent. This was the very first person from Taiwan I’d met outside of school, I was, overly excited by it.

The man had been working in Shanghai for five years, he’d told me, there are already, half a million businessmen from Taiwan in Shanghai currently.

The man told me, that in these past five years, he’d clearly felt that Shanghai was changing fast, the new building came out one by one, taller than the last. And still, the traditional stone paved residents were, demolished by the bunches, leaving those like Tienzifeng, the New Square that showed modernization, the man also sighed, that he’d decided, to visit ALL these abandoned ruins in the city of Shanghai one by one. He’d turned on his cell phone, called the information of the ancient sites on a webpage out, told me how to use the temple as my starting point, how get to another sight, “There’s still an old building there, you must go and see if quickly, otherwise, it will be, gone for good.” His eyes shone brightly, like two brightly lit lamps, out of a ruin.

I’d asked if he’d liked it here, he said, “Rather than say that I’d liked it here, I’d become, more acquainted to this place.” I’d not just heard once about how the Taiwanese who came to work talked of their interpersonal relations here upset. The Taiwanese men’s softer tone of voice, their mild temperaments, were laughed at for being “sissies” by the locals. Just like how we’d made fun of the elderly folks who spoke Chinese with a Taiwanese accent too, or how the natives spoke with a lifted tone at the end of each and every word. Sound is a sort of a symbol for culture, a sign of political means.

As we said our goodbyes, I couldn’t help, but turned around, watched him walk in opposite directions. In a foreign place, bumping into someone from Taiwan is easy enough, but getting to know the person is truly nothing easy.

He still had his back turned to me. Suddenly, I’d hoped, he could, turn around. If he had, I’d liked to thank him, for accompanying me awhile; if he’d turned around, I’d, asked him for his WeChat account; if he’d turned around, I’d wanted to ask him to see Shikumen with me; if he’d turned his head around, I’d asked him why he’d, turned back especially; if he could turn around………

But nothing, I just, quietly, watched him, turn the corner at the intersections up ahead…

So, this, is an encounter, that you wanted to keep going, but eventually, you two strangers who’d exchanged that long conversation about everything AND nothing had, come to an end, and, chances are, you will probably, never bump into this same man again, or maybe you will, depending on whether or not fate has plans for you two to meet back up again or not…

Reunion (and Play-Pretend)

As the trains start moving, slowly, then, gaining momentum, then, speeding off, a poem translated…

The Night, Spread Out, the Leather

with the Granule Salts Rubbed in

A Sort of a Smoke, Unwilling to Get Put Out

Still Lived Inside it

I’d Once See that Frosted Smile

on Your Face, Like the Birth of the First Sunlight at the Crack of Dawn

Touching the Hands, Readied to Become Softened

I’d Once Heard, the Iron Plates

Grown Out of Your Palms

Slicing Through Me, Coming from an Opposite Direction

Those Scales Slowly, Mystically, Expanding

At This Moment, Cautious, and Estranged

Surrounded Others

now we’re going somewhere here…not my photograph…

Passing Those Whispers, and Wine Glasses Too

Electricity is Silent

The Air, Mildly Numbed

Add in a Bit More Logs for Fuel

The Small Hell Had, Casted All the Ghosts to Flee

As the Smokes Flowed Freely Out

My Heart Became, Cramped Tight Like Cloves of Garlic

So, this, is how the train operates, from that first sound of the whistle, then you see the smoke coming from the top of the train, then, the train slowly starts off………