Uh, this is what I call, a STUPID QUESTION, so, SCRATCH that “last statement” on how there are, NO stupid questions as I’d, stated, previously…
If you can’t even, get along well enough with your mother-in-law, and how the HELL do you expect to get along with your daughters-in-law? You can’t, and, no matter how you say, that you won’t repeat what your @#$%ED up mothers-in-law DID to you when you married those, mother @$#%ERS (still NOT name calling here!), you will still, fall, into, that vicious cycle, even IF you do have, enough, awareness, ‘cuz, it takes, more than awareness, to map out that, brand new course.
And yet, what the @$%# (maxed out) would I know? I’m still, unmarried, with NO children (not physically!), but heck, I still, know my SHIT ‘round this subject, so, don’t doubt me.
The thing is, we will all, pass down how we were, mistreated, by our own, mothers-in-law to our own, daughters-in-law, because that, is just how humans behave, and, there’s, NO way, of, snapping, OUT of this, vicious cycle, unless, you have, that extra-sensitive perception (not like clairvoyance, I’m afraid…), and is, super, duper aware, of, everything that’s, currently, happening all around you, otherwise, you will, NEVER break out of that, vicious cycle, and I got NO need to worry ‘bout getting STUCK, inside, that “vortex” cuz??? Oh yeah, I got, ZERO plans of getting married (just bring that GUN to my wedding, as I’d stated previously???), got NO need to have this, already DEAD daughter of mine, and yes, I still, endured through, a whole lot of, abuse AND neglect, along with, other forms, versions, of BULLSHIT you can, or can’t, ever, imagine, so, do NOT, question my authority on here, ‘k???
Mommy is in need of her F-I-V-E, so, class is, no longer in session, ‘til next time, my “children”…
Uh, you have GOT to be, shitting me on here and, I do apologize (N-O-T!) for my, condescending, tone of voice…for this one, N-O-T!
Because of the kindness, shown by those graduated, older school members to you, making you, more than willing, to give back to your younger schoolmates too now, this is, an amazing, cycle of help, of kindness that keeps, rolling down, translated…
My son stayed in his room a long time, I’d asked him what he was up to? He’d told me he will be in a webcam meeting in a bit, to train his younger schoolmates on the techniques of interview. I’d questioned, that it wasn’t him who’s taking the exams, he’d replied, “back then, my older schoolmates had helped me the same way, of course I am going to help my younger schoolmates now too!” wow, my son is, really, grown up! This was, very truth, back then, my son wasn’t, too articulate, a geek too, wanted to become noted in the excellent bunches of students from Jien-Guo High School, not an easy thing. But gladly, his older schoolmates were, more than willing, to coach him, they’d come back to school to rehearse with him every weekend, and finally, it’d helped my son get into his desired major of medicine.
Of them, the most helpful person was the one who’d, connected my son with his older schoolmates, his homeroom instructor, she’d treated her students like they were her own children, and all the students were, more than, grateful toward her, with a call from her, all of her students would drop everything, and came to her aid.
Especially, the year my son graduated, everybody made the higher grades, and, it’s all on how those graduated students’ willingness to put in the time on their weekends, to share with those younger schoolmates the tips of going into the interviews, to how to prepare the information package to bring to the interviews, etc., etc., etc., and on Memorial Day weekend, they’d, trained them from 8:30 in the morn, to five in the afternoon, to allow the younger schoolmates to get the stance they’d needed, when they are in the interviews, and I was, more than, moved by these, older class members’, giving, there were, a total of twelve students who got into the medical department.
More importantly, these experience of having something offered to them, made these kids know how to give back. It’s said, that children who are intelligent, were all, selfish, but on my son, and his classmates, I’d, found that, cycle of kindness that, repeated itself. Because they knew, that they couldn’t get into the universities of their choices, had it not been the older school members’ returning on the weekends to help them prepare, so, they’d, followed in their older school members’ footsteps, returned back every year to help their younger schoolmates, and not only of the same school, my son and his college classmates would also, work together, to help the high school students in the Yunling, Chiayi areas to the highest, the topnotch universities in Taiwan too.
Later I’d asked my son, why did he do this much? He’d said, that the countryside doesn’t have as much resources as in the cities, if because of their helping out, the kids from the countryside can, have the opportunities to get into the more prestigious universities, wouldn’t that be, amazing? Hearing this, I’d found, that my son has, grown up, knew to trace to the origins, willing to help others, this would make me happier, than his, making the good grades.
This shows, how the cycle of kindness, can also, snowball, with the previous generations of graduates, coming back to the high school to help the graduating students prepare for their, entrance college interviews, giving them tips, helping them get into the majors of their choices, now, these younger school members, are, paying it forward, because they were, shown the kindness, by the previous generations of graduates, that’s why, they’re now, more than willing, to give back too.
How these two elderly women are role models for us all, not just in their abilities to stay health, but on the positive attitude they take, toward growing older, and living, their lives, to the fullest…translated…
With the advancements of medicine, becoming an elderly person, is the future for us all, but, it’s a lesson, to learn how, to be, a cute elderly person.
There were two role models, of what elderly persons should be like. Grandma Wang, I’d met through the volunteer program at school, at age seventy-six, she’s, graceful, and, dressed in a way, that’s, visually, appeasing. After her move from her old home in Chiayi to Taipei, she’d gone to the local elementary school, to inquire if there’s a need for volunteer, and she’d started working, as a “story grandma”.
Some of the stories that Grandma Wang told the students are from the illustrated books, children’s books, and, some stories, were from her own travels, that she’d, changed the parts to. With the lessons, Grandma Wang would bring her own homemade props, for instance, on the story of the Pygmalion, she’d started, playing the role of the female lead, handed the flowers one by one to the children, with the rise and falls of her voice, it’d, captured the children’s, attention. Every time she’d walked down the streets, the children would greet her eagerly, “Grandma Wang!”
She also volunteers as the morning homework helper, four days a week, she’d, tutored two children who needed the extra help time. Other than volunteering, she’s also, actively involved in the community choir too, doing yoga at the gym, to train her muscles, she’d managed to keep her body fit.
staying active in the elderly years…
Another Grandma Lee, was an elder I’d met when I volunteered to the home visits, Grandma Lee was with a straight back, and you can’t see that she’s, already, ninety. Her son lives out of country, her daughter lives in Kaohsiung, and often comes up north to visit her. Grandma Lee had been volunteering at the hospital for thirty years on end, and recently, she’d, stepped down. She’d gone to the parks early in the morn every day for tai-chi, and had brunches with her fellow martial artists, and, once a week, she’d gone to volunteer at the local borough’s office, and would arrange her time once a year, to go to the hospitals or the nursing homes with the Tai-Chi instructor to teach everybody some simple moves the residents can do to keep up with their physical wellbeing.
And, these two beautiful elderly women had a couple of things in common: first, they’re very physically healthy, with the regular routines for their workouts. Secondly, both are involved in volunteer work, the embodiments of happy in helping others. Thirdly, they’re, actively, interactive with their external social environments, not fallen off the connections with society. I want to take after them, to become, a warm, an elder whom everybody wants to be close to.
And so, these two elderly women are, amazing role models indeed, they are very active, they kept up with their health, exercised regularly, and, found the time, to give back to the community, which is what probably helped them stay youthful, and they’re, role models for all of us indeed!
On the need to hear that certain someone call out your names, and this is, codependence, it’s not good! The column by Jimmi Liao, translated…
The wind blew by, the ears, floating along
The wind stopped, the ears hung down low.
The ears floated at the lobes, where’s the wind?
the artwork of Jimmi Liao, courtesy of UDN.com
Who cares where the wind comes from,
All I care about are the breaths of love
You’d called out to me, my ears floated up
You fell silent, my ears, drooped too
And so, this speaks, of that longing, for someone, or it can be interpreted becoming codependent on the love you feel for that certain someone, which isn’t good, I mean, think about it, if your ups and down is solely reliant off of someone else’s calling out to you, wouldn’t that be, too sad???
Sometimes, all the plans we can make, can’t defeat, F-A-T-E! Translated…
Rainbow and Lulu were originally strangers, in a chance encounter, Rainbow asked Lulu to borrow some money for her cab fare.
Rainbow was actually ecstatic, that they had the chance to interact, because she’d noted Lulu a long time, and had always wanted to be her friends, but, she’s way too shy to start up a conversation herself.
Because of the outbreaks they couldn’t meet up, Lulu wanted to transfer the money she’d borrowed from Rainbow to her, but Rainbow told her she wouldn’t have it that way. Rainbow hoped that after the outbreaks are over, Lulu can ask her out for a meal, to make up for the money for the cab fare she’d loaned to her, which would then, give her the opportunity to treat her out the next time, then, it will help steady their friendship then.
As Rainbow was contemplating how they could hang out in the future in an amusement park later, her delivery arrived. Opened up the door, just so happened that Lulu was the delivery person.
“Wow, such a coincidence! I have the three-hundred dollars on me, wait, let me sanitize the bills with the alcohol spray for you!”, stated Lulu.
And, Rainbow’s plans of her getting Lulu to go out on a date with her, bust.
It should be best, to naturally, make friends, Rainbow!
And so, this still showed, how plans can get interrupted by fate, like how this individual had it all planned out, and then, fate stepped in, smashed her plans, and, because she’s way too shy to ask the person she liked if he wanted to hang out, she’d, lost her chances.
The kid: why should I say hello? The adults: because WE say so!!! And that, is the wrong way, to socialize your children! Translated…
During the New Year’s, a group of relatives gathered, in my memories, I’d always, become, fearful and nervous over this. As a young girl, I didn’t take to strangers, and hated the loudness, and, as the adults started showing me too much attention, it’d, made me feel, uncomfortable.
The elders who’d come to visit, they’re all, mostly, strangers to me, and whilst I was still, in a daze, my father would pull me over, and urged me, “say hi to your elders”. And yet, before I could react to the atmosphere that’s, gaining the momentum, couldn’t catch up to the paces of how my father and the adults were interacting, I’d gotten their words of displease.
I was too young to tell the adults, and can only, keep everything I feel inside, allowing it to accumulate, and, “greeting others”, “saying hi” became dreadful, instead of something I enjoyed doing, but “something I had to do!”
Time flew, I’d become, an “aunt”, and I’d found, that I was, really sensitive, like those adults were in my childhood, when the children didn’t greet me. I’d found, that accumulated over the years anger, displease, upset, with the endless questioning of why when the adults tell us to, we need to do it, and now, their grandkids didn’t have to greet me, and they’d not, gotten, scolded, and were, tolerated?
Time is a good medicine, made our life experience, into wisdom. I’d started to understand, that the older generations may carry with them that sense of lack of security, and needed to gain their sense of self-worth, sense of authority from without, and used “being greeted”, to satisfy their own needs of, being noted as someone worthy or important. In the past when I was too young to differentiate, I’d taken it as my responsibilities, the adults’ demands of me, and became, too tried, and filled with anger. And, as the adults felt upset because I didn’t greet them, it’s their emotions, while my choice related to, “What sort of a person do I choose to be”, finally, I’d, separated the responsibilities now, severed it off, I’d no longer, needed to, be responsible for the other individuals’ feelings, only responsible for my own behaviors, and feelings.
On that day, my younger cousin whom I don’t interact with regularly took his children, boys of age four and six to my house to visit, they’d, stared at me. My cousin didn’t tell them who I am, nor demanded that they greet me. I knew, that the kids weren’t familiar with me, that there’s no need to force them to connect. I’d, called out to them, introduced myself to them as their aunt, continued holding conversations with them, when they got sidetracked and not eaten their meals like they should, I’d, gotten their attention back, and learned that it was my four-year-old nephew’s birthday on the day.
I’d told him, “happy birthday, finish your lunch first, I’ll give you a pudding for your birthday!”, then the child let his guards down, finished up the meal, my six-year-old nephew searched for me, and called out to me, “Aunty, do you want to play the storytelling board games later with us?”, and, I’d spent an afternoon of time in board games with my younger cousin and his family. As the kids left, they’d not wanted to leave, and, eagerly made a date for our next, game date.
illustration from UDN.com
The kids are so straightforward, son naïve, and the adults needed to, let go of their hearts first, to learn to show cares and concerns toward the children first, to warm up with each other, and, as the emotions became, connected, the kids will trust you, and naturally, they would, interact with you more, and accept you, into their, worlds.
“Greeting”, is no longer something we must do on the holidays, with a little more thought, giving each other a little extra time, it can bring the joys of connections between people, and, what greater joys there are, than when a kid invites you to play the next time?
And so, this adult had, gained the awareness of what she’d hated of what her adult counterparts made her do, to greet everybody who came to the house, and, upon realizing, she’d, not demanded her own nephews to greet her, and this made them more comfortable, and they’d, connected to her more easily, and once the ice was broken, everything flowed, smoothly.
This still just showed, how you parents, should NOT MAKE us, your children greet those adults who are unknown to us, who are, YOUR friends or relatives!
How the adults’ attitudes are what helped this girl, dealt effectively, with the bullies that picked on her in school, the importance, of providing a safe environment that a child feels comfort enough, to tell the adults, translated…
In the meetings, my phone vibrated a couple of times, I saw, using my peripheral vision, that it was from my daughter’s school teacher, with an unsettled heart, I’d found me an excuse, rushed off to the restrooms, clicked open the screen, the photo of my daughter’s glasses being, damaged popped up, in the message, her teacher told, that the two boys from the next classroom thought that my daughter was, horseplaying with them, pinned her to the ground, and scratched her glasses. I was glad that my daughter wasn’t, physically, injured, but I’d, questioned the teacher’s description of the events, I’d thanked her notifying me first, as for how we’re to, handle the matter, I shall wait until I get off work, and go home to my daughter to discuss with her on it.
And yet, my daughter’s telling me of what had happened, thrilled me! She said she was playing in the track field, the two boys came up to her, without any warnings, they’d, pinned down her shoulders, and, as she tried to break away from them, they’d, pushed her face to the pavement together, and they’d not mentioned that they wanted to play with her from the start, they’re not even her friends, one only took the afterschool help classes with her, the other, a complete, stranger.
From what my daughter had, described, I saw NO signs of friendly interactions, nor was this, some, careless, mistake, this is, a conscious, banding together, picking one someone lesser sort of, bullying someone for the kicks of it. I was really angry and upset now, my emotions went up and down, she is only, in the first grade of the elementary years! Then? I’d asked my daughter if she were hurt, and did she cry? Was she angry, was she, afraid?
She’d shook her head steadily, she said, that although she couldn’t, beat those two boys, but she’d, remembered their appearances, and, as she returned back to class, she’d, checked to see if her glasses are all right. I patted her head, felt that she was, brave, and smart, and am, deeply, proud of her. I’m glad, that this incident didn’t cause any bad things to stay with her in life, but I’d, felt, deeply—maybe, I wouldn’t want to, believe, that children that young are with, malice, or maybe, I’m, affected by the eastern values of, the desires of, keeping the peace, how many incidents of bullying, actually, got misinterpreted as, horseplay? Because of a naughty temperament, because of lacking of awareness and not knowing better, because of some, misunderstanding, because of, not being, careful, enough…………we’d, given an assortments of getting off easy for the bullies, like how in Harry Potter, all the characters, dodged the topic, the name of, Voldemort, they’d, dodged the word, “bullies” and “bullying” too. Not realizing, that the unwillingness, to face up, to what’s happening, bullying, it’s harder, to resolve the incidents of, bullying.
illustration from UDN.com
As I’d discussed the matter with my daughter, she’d, decided, to forgive the two classmate who’d, picked on her, and I’d, supported her decision. I’d thanked her teacher, for making her feel safe and secure, for her, to go straight to her, as the incident was, occurring. And I’m too grateful for her teacher for believing in my daughter, for being, supportive of her, to protect her. But what I’d, hoped more is, from the school and the family angles, we can all, get the courage to, face up to the bullies, because, only when we’re, willing to face up to the events, then, we will be able to, sort through it, bit by bit, and let it go.
And so, this, is the importance of the attitudes of the adults, when cases of bullying is occurring in a child’s life, the daughter of the writer is being bullied by the boys, and, she’d, told her teacher, and her teacher had, been there, supporting the girl, giving her that safe place to go to, and the child was, intelligent enough, to note the boys’ names, and told the teacher afterwards.
And I still have to apologize, for being, a bit, BLUNT, ‘cuz sometimes, that’s, the ONLY way to GET the point across, for those who just don’t get it, hello, hello, hello???
What’s the BEST way, to let someone know, that s/he is, making you uncomfortable??? Surely, you can, throw them stupid signals around, hoping that s/he picks up on it, but, chances are, the person is way too mother @#$%ING (maxed out!) retarded to pick that up!
But, I can’t, just say to the guy/woman: hey YO! BACK OFF! Can I? That’s just not, socially, “Acceptable” is it? Nope!
And yet, there’s, NO easy way, but to just, bluntly, state it ALOUD sometimes, so, stop worrying about how you will make the other person feel (I mean, WHO cares! And, isn’t how YOU feel more important than how the other person feels???)
That’s, just one of the harder things of being human, I suppose, for SOME of you out there, but not for the QUEEN for, the QUEEN, still SPEAKS her M-I-N-D here, out loud too!!!
Just like Murphy had done, I’d, TELL someone, STRAIGHT up, if s/he is, making ME, uncomfortable, and you should too, otherwise, there will, be those who are out, to take advantage, and by then, you got, NOBODY else to blame, ‘cuz, you’d, ENABLED, the other person’s, improper behaviors…
The love that didn’t get spoken in time, the love that passed on, with the death of that someone you liked in your, schooling years, and what his death had, taught you, translated…
One Day, I’d, Opened up My Closet, and No Matter How Hard I’d, Looked, I Just, Couldn’t, Find Those, Two Shirts, and because They’re of My Personal Collections, I’d, Not Dared Made it Open, Nor Asked Anyone, I can Only, Pull Out All the Clothes, and Prodded with My Hands, Inside that, Emptied, Drawer………………
I Just Want to Grab onto Something, a Strand of What was Left Was, Fine
My first love came to a halt, in an accident, that boy I liked in my second year of middle school, before we had the chance to exchange a single word with one another, vanished, without, a single, trace.
I was only fourteen, had absolutely NO clue of how the universe worked, I looked all around me, and saw, nothing, but the fogs, and so, I’d felt, that strong sense of helplessness, over this world which I’d originally, had a firm grasp over, I’d, wanted to, extend my hand outward, and fish around, for something, anything!
I was, close to the boy’s younger sister, she’d, worked her best, to sort through everything that her older brother had, left behind, in the countryside of Kaohsiung, everybody was living in poverty stricken means, they seem to be worse off than we were, and, what she could give me were, a couple of blurry photographs, two of her older brother’s shirts, and, the textbook that seemed to have never been, flipped through by him.
I’d carried these things as if they were, something, precious, with tentativeness and care, I’d, stashed the photo inside my diary, and, folded his clothes up to tiny, placed them to the depth of my own closet, and, I’d, read through all the pages of his textbooks thoroughly. Back then, I’d already, read a ton of, novels, and among these, were the romances, and I’d, stubbornly held on to the beliefs of: he liked me, although just like me, he’d, never said aloud, btu he must’ve, stashed that feeling inside his heart, and, written some lines about it.
I can’t know his heart anymore, but, who knows, if he’d, only, written something inside the texts, as he’d drifted into space in class?
The summers in Kaohsiung, those, never ending, summer days, came together in a bundle, in front of the window, in the sunlight, I’d, flipped through the volumes page by page, Chinese, history, math, geography……………the class of loose students, there was only the difference of the colors of the pages being pure white, and yellow. The schemata which were, activated in my mind, and for every horizontal stroke of pen, I’d, immediately believed that it was the first stroke of my own last name; and yet, the young boy didn’t even leave a dot of his ballpoint pen.
And so, I can only, return all his textbooks, to the past.
And so, what remained, of my first love, were the two shirts, three photos, a newspaper clipping of how two middle school boys drowned by the oceans, along with that locked diary, crawling with my handwriting ink.
No Blackhole, Nor Boy in Hiding
One day, I’d opened up my closet, and can’t find those two shirts no matter how hard I’d tried, and because they’re, my private stash, I’d not dared, asked anybody, and can only, pull all the clothes out, and, prodded into the drawers now emptied, with my own hands, that maybe, there was, a blackhole inside, that swallowed everything that didn’t belong; or maybe, there’s, that secret tunnel in the back of my wardrobe, that the boy didn’t die, he’s, just, hiding, and, came in the middle of the nights, to pull his own shirt away, wanting to tell the girl: hey, I’m still here, in some corner of this world.
Then, the diary I’d kept at the bottom of my desk drawer, seemed to have moved around, I’d taken it out to look, the locks were cut off, and the photo, the newspaper clippings, all gone, and the smeared pages I’d written down as I cried, were all, torn off, perfectly.
Okay, okay, there was, NO blackhole, no mystery, no boy hidden, the one who’d, wiped it all away was, my mother.
My homeroom instructor must’ve called my parents about this, and in the heat of anger, my mother swept up my room, got rid of everything that she deemed as obstacles in my life, everything I’d, hold too dearly to my mind.
illustration from UDN.com
For the first few years, the boy was buried in that tiny cemetery in the bamboo forest, in the middle of the fields, then after the bones were collected, the headstone removed, then, the fields, the bamboo forest got turned into a huge, construction site, then, the concrete jungle came atop, there’s no place for me, to remember him then.
Then, what I wrote, it will do, right. I’d written everything into a novel on BBS, and everybody liked it, it’d reminded the readers of everything in their own, younger, years, I’d even, published it, sold many copies too, but a few years, the book became, out-of-print, and, forgotten, by the, world then.
So, everything with a set form, disappear eventually, no matter how hard you’d tried to hold on, that handful of sand still, slips out. I’d prodded these past two years, even the parents of the boy had both, passed on, and, those who’d remembered the guy’s smile, got reduced by two more people, will we all, not leave, anything behind, one day, just spreading out palms out?
No, maybe, there’s, something that’s, evolved, and now, I’d not rummaged through my daughter’s closets, drawers, or read her diaries anymore, to not throw away anything she’d, stashed away in secret.
To protect someone’s complete forms of her/his youth, that was, what that boy who’d died too young had, given to me, a life-long, gift.
And so, this lesson from this boy you liked who’d died, taught you a lesson with his death, that love is precious, that you must, take a hold of the love you want to hold onto in the now, otherwise, it will, slip away too quickly, and, you’d also, learned to, NOT read your own teenage daughter’s diary, to let her have her private things, that only she is aware of, because your mother didn’t respect your things!