My Father’s Show of Care & Concern, on Filial Relations

How fathers normally showed the love they have for their young, with actions, and NOT words, translated…

It’s the end of the long holiday weekend, riding on the HSR usually, I’d made the exceptions, of driving back to Kaohsiung alone. Being a new driver, it was quite rare, for me, to drive this long journey, with my two children, I’d felt, a bit, nervous. My parents saw it, and, on the night before we set out, dad said, “I’ll head to Xiao-Gang, Kaohsiung, and book a flight for Kinmen, and I’ll, go home with you guys.”, I’d, nodded, thought, that it should make my way easier, with someone who’s, experienced by my side, I’ll take dad along, as a sort of a lucky charm, it’d make my drive home much relieved.

like this???  photo from online…

But, the very next morning before I set out, my dad took the car keys from me, with his swift hands, and, he’d made fun of me, “I’ll be the one, driving, I’m afraid, that I might, scold you if you drove.”, the elder had, stated, and, for the sake of the betterment of this world, I can only, become, his passenger-side driver, and, shouldered up the huge responsibilities of striking up conversations, eating and making criticisms on my dad’s driving skills, and the selection of the routes we should be taking.

As we got past Taichung, it was, about noon. I worried, that my children in the backseat are hungry, we’d, selected a small food shop at random, and went in, early, to resolve our lunch problems. As we’d entered into the shop, the two of us, father-and-daughter worked together, dad in charge of ordering, I, tending to my kids. Not long thereafter, a few freshly prepared plates of food were, served, the four of us, grandfather, daughter and grandchildren started, chowing down.

As I ate, I’d felt, that the food, wasn’t quite in season.

It is, a summer day that’s heated, and yet, dad ordered up, a plate of sliced ginger with lamb. And besides, he doesn’t really like, lamb, why would he order this dish? I’d eaten, and observed, and, surely, pops didn’t, move his chopsticks one bit, as I was, trying to figure it out, dad pushed the plate of lamb toward me, said, “This, is good for me, you need more of it.”

All of a sudden, I’d, gotten it. Turns out, before I set out, mom worried and nagged at me, “You’re so weakened, and you’re wearing, shorts, it would be troublesome, if you catch a cold”. Back then, I’d, just, brushed her warnings aside, dad was putting on his shoes close by, not said a single thing, but, he’d, carried my mother’s words with him, and ordered the foods to show his care and concerns towards me.

like this???  Not my photograph…

I’d, eaten that plate of lamb like a good daughter, as I chewed, I’d thought, that fathers showed their love, in a more covert manner. Unlike how mothers had, showed their love and care, and affections, so openly toward their children. Dads seemed to, show their love for us by actions, very lowkey, quietly, but, with the same amount of strengths. Like this plate of lamb cooked with ginger, or like how he’d changed the flights from Songshan Airport to Xiaogang Airport, or how he’d, managed, to get the keys away from me, and, disregarded the over hundred kilometer road trip, just to, see his, baby girl home safe and sound.

Because men are socialized, to keep their love unspoken, that, is why this father had, used his actions, to show his cares, concerns, and love for his own daughter, and, although, love isn’t spoken between the father and daughter, it surely was, felt!

Once, Inside a Reflection, a Poem

a painting of Narcissus from online…

On falling in love, and the timing was, WRONG!!! Translated…

I Once Saw You in a Reflection

The Skies Then Were, Bluer, than Blue

The Flowers, More Aromatic than Ever Before

And, You Appeared, So Breathtaking

For My Sake

And Those Sorrowful Tunes, Became Like the Funeral’s March

The Marches Became, Like the Whitened Towns

With Each Sunset, Imprinting Those

Elongated Shadows, into the Rivers

You’d, Stepped in the Innocence of Unknown

And I, Was Merely, Passing by, as the Sun Sets, a Careless

Piece of the Puzzle, and Just so Happened

I Caught a Gaze of Your Fiery-Red Hair

Back then, Life Was Multi-Dimensional

And Life Became, Geometric Shapes

Made by the Strokes of Picasso

They’re, All Blue

Not Collecting the Bitterness

Without Any Laws

Just, Taking Over the Heart, that Multi-Colored Arch

Poured the Birds, All Over the Skies

Not Knowing What Sorrow is

Or what Happiness Entailed

Those Heavy Days, the Sorrows

Were All, Separated, by a Thin Film

Why Had I, Seen You

In a, Reflection

The Spring Learned to Be Lonely

The Clouds of Worries, Rose Up to Your Brows

Time Became a Heavy Chain

And Since, I’d, Learned to Look Out

From the Vents

Why is it, that I’d

Met You Inside

A Reflection

So, there’s, that sense of regret, perhaps??? Because, had the narrator not met this other person the way that s/he had, then, maybe, there’s, a chance, for love to keep going, but, because, the narrator had met that person in a reflection, that, is why, the relationship was, doomed, because, unless you want to DROWN like Narcissus, you should KNOW better, than, to fall in love, with a reflection, because it’s NOT real!!!

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!

A Lone Bird, Taking Flight

From being burned OUT!  Translated…

After the noises, I knew, I will never, return, to those days of quiet, of serenity again, every day, I’d, watched that sky that’s, constantly changing colors, the thunder that, came from, nowhere, the flood that started, out of nowhere, how, do I, get back to the days of the past, when I could, feel at ease and just, study?  How do I, go back to the days, when this trail wasn’t, so well traveled?  Right now, my mind felt, like that old shirt that’s been washed and rewashed, over, and over again, no matter how I’d bleached, there are still, age marks, spots, with the memories of the injuries I’d, sustained in life.

A bird returning to the nest flew by the skies, where, is it, returning to?  Where, can it find a nest so settled and stable?  Can’t remember, how many times the feathers changed, with that expectation, of a, brand new life, living among others, but too shamed, to fight for the food, and the only dignity it had remained, in flying solo amongst the buildings.  If name is a symbol of glory, then, distribution becomes, the biggest sort of insult.  That sort of an awful looks from fighting over the food, don’t know how many fell ill by seeing it every single day.  Just like that bird that cut across the skies, allowing, that shade, to vanish, into the distances.

And, in the depth of the night, came the sounds of flute playing, who is it, that played that song of sorrow of the eras?  Is the person, hiding that scent of sorrow in the notes, passing, to someone who can understand, or, like a nightingale, singing its songs of the night?  The notes seemed to have that ancientness to it, man’s pursuits of thousands of years, will NEVER measure up to the purities of the world, and, how can you, mutilate yourself so?  No longer, flipping at the calendars, no longer, seeking out that longitude/latitude on the maps, where to station oneself, it wouldn’t, make a difference.  Sneaking a peek, at others, everything is, so clear now.

exactly what that felt like…not my photograph…

Some sang high, those who followed along, gathered, only that lone bird, continued, flying, all on its own, it doesn’t call on its kind, so, it can only, flight for the reducing amounts of foods, that branch it’d stood on for day already, rotted out, and can no longer, withstand the weights of all the birds.  It’d, flew onward alone, left ALL the noises from the others behind, continued in flight, and, flying on, and on, and on, even as the moon dimmed out, depending on just the dying light of the stars.  It’d, kept, flying onward, become, this small, black dot in the universe.

So, this, is how the writer feels, getting lost in the daily grind, there’s, that sense of burnout, that sense of I don’t know what I’m doing here, that sense, of feeling tired, fatigued, of the same old routines, day in, and day out, and just like that bird, the narrator will, keep treading on in her/his own life, because that, is what we all do, we, carry on, with our lives!

Give Me a Bouquet of Flowers

Making your own days brighter, spending only a little money to make yourself happy, translated…

On the way home from work, I’d brushed shoulders with thousands of people, and couldn’t help, but feel somewhat, agitated, but, turning the corner, into that florist shop, seeing the wide variety of flowers, waving their arms at me, I was able to, saturate my emotions, even, felt, a bit, glad.

it’s, not for anybody else, but herself, not my photograph…

I’d selected a bundle of my favorite flowers, making the rest of my way home easier, even if I was, cramped inside the MRT trains, there was, a separate world, belonging to, just me there.  And, if there were, a couple of days that I couldn’t make my way to the florist’s, I’d lost that center in my own life, felt, that there’s, NO light in the house, that I’d, not felt safe and secure anymore.  Give me a bouquet of flowers, then, I’m, fully, recharged; a woman with a bouquet of flowers, carries herself, most beautifully in the world.

A child who’d brushed by my side said enviously, “Mommy, look, she has a bouquet of flowers!”, I’d felt, delighted, somewhat, proud, I’d, pulled a rose from my bundle, handed it to that cute child, said, “Now, you have your own flower too!”

So, this, is passing around the happiness you’d found, in your ordinary day-to-day living, because life can become a total DRAG, and, if you don’t find some way, to cheer yourself up like this woman had found the ways to, then, you will always, be carrying that soured face to and from work every single day, from nine to five, or even longer.

making the floral arrangements oneself, photo from online…

The Music from Onstage

Finding people who shared the same love of music like you, and playing with them, making wonderful music, those, are the moments, you’d, miss the most, translated…

Although, I’d, matured into an okay adult, and managed, to gain some real-world experiences, but every time when someone asked me of my dreams, I’d become, silenced, “What, is it?”, in this world, maybe, without dreams had become, a sort of an ordinariness, because that means, that the individuals are, without goals, or directions to their lives, a man who doesn’t know which way to turn, can be called, “lost”.

just, sharing their love for music, jamming together, photo from online…

And so, I’d always, come up with a dream, and, as I’d told others about it, it seemed, to have, become, real.  I’d dreamed, of performing in the national concert hall, playing the songs that I loved, because I’d once, been intoxicated, taken in, by the moments on stage from before.  As a student, because of my nature as a gambler, the refusal to get defeated, it’d made me from not being able to play an instrument, to entering into competition, earning a placement in the national contests.  Thinking back of this, don’t know how, I’d, managed, to gamble on this passion of mine, it’d always, caused me to repeat a grade level.

That, was the very first time our school had competed in the national competitions.  First, we’d defeated the winner in the regionals, moving our places forward.  This competitor, was our best friend, we’d, practiced during the summers together, but, in the competitions, there IS a winner, and, the cruelties of this competition had, tested our friendships.  On that day, it was my birthday, as I tasted the fruits of victory, I’d still needed to, pay attention to my friends’ tears as well as their emotions too, and, they were very good losers, helping us move our instruments off stage too, and, we were only able to, taste this bitter, and soured success on our own.

My friend, my competition handed me a birthday card, I’d, written back to him, courteously and honestly, “I hope, that this competition won’t ruin what we had, we can still be good friends.”  A few days later, I’d received a letter back from him, he told me, “As I read your letter, I was, eating an apple, and, I’d, tasted that sourness mixed into the sweetness like you were experiencing too.”, another friend wrote, “Hearing you talk, it’s, beat-by-beat, matching to each other’s tempos, you all must worked really hard to perfect your skills, we’re, glad, you were, winners!”

Before we’d tasted that mixture of joy and ambiguity of being in the finals, we’d faced, that pressure onstage soon enough.  The night before the competition, we were still, rehearsing in the auditorium, surprisingly, nobody spoke a single word, every one of us only, stared down at our instruments, and, played our separate parts; and, don’t know which measure it was, when the huqin came in, very harmoniously.  I’d felt, that the lower parts were in-synch, then came, the woodwinds, finally, the percussion strings came in, then, those percussionists who were cleaning up their instruments, also, joined in too.  The teacher who were chit-chatting offstage were all shocked, looking at how our headless band was, playing something hard, and in the end, every one of us, cried.

That night on stage, I’d clearly, felt the vibrations from the string player next to me, the vibration from his instrument had, shocked me, that my instrument played with his too—I started to believe, that music, can be felt, naturally, that the human hearts were, calling out to each other too.  But after that, I’d never met anybody, who was, in-synch whom, I’d, played so well with again.  In college, after the camps finished the activities, I’d started wailing aloud outside, perhaps, I’d, discovered, that I will NEVER, find the wonders of that very night back again, that I will never find another, whose hearts, resonated, in accordance to mine so perfectly.

just a group of friends, playing music together, photo from online…

During that part of my life when I took up music, to now, thinking back, I’d still, get intoxicated in the moments, felt phased, by that music.  I’d always thought, that we are now, humming our own separate songs in the city’s streets, playing our own tunes now.  We all have musical instruments inside each one of us, and, a stage to perform on, is everywhere in sight.

This, would be the depth of the writer’s friendship with her fellow musicians, and, it is, very difficult, to find a group of people who shared your similar values, your similar interests, that you can, run with, and, this writer was lucky enough, to find the opportunities in her younger years, to find such a group of wonderful friends to share their joys of making the music together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Leftover Dreams…

These, leftover dreams, they’d, no longer tasted fresh, and yet, we’re still, keeping them, why?

These, leftover dreams, from god KNOWS how long ago, look at all those age spots, all those wrinkles on them?  Why are we, bothering, keeping up with them, huh?  They’re, so outdated, and useless now!

like these???  not my photograph.

These, leftover dreams, like those takeout boxes you have from your leftovers at the restaurants, you take them home, stick it into the fridge and, forget about their existences, until one day, as you, rummage through the fridge, came that STENCH, then, you start, digging into the DEPTH of those slots inside the fridge, and find it…………

These, leftover dreams, we should probably just, throw them out, they’re, NOT fresh anymore, I mean, we can, always, make them up again, can’t we?  After all, they all came out of, our minds, didn’t they?  And, so long as our minds are still, functional, then, making more of them dreams should be, a cinch, isn’t that right???

So, just, throw these, leftover dreams away, they’re, taking up too much space, cramping MY style (as I KNOW I HATE clutters!!!), and, there’s just, NO more extra room here, for them, and, I refuse, to take out a storage unit for all of their sakes!  (Costs money, energy to maintain the storage, etc., etc., etc., etc., you know how the drill goes!)

like leftover foods, it all, goes into the TRASH!!!  Not my photo still…