Category Archives: Philosophies of Life

Sisyphus in the Subways of Paris

The help from unknown strangers, that’s, made this woman and her daughter felt warmed in the hearts, translated…

I’d come to understand how Sisyphus was feeling. As I took two suitcases with the illustrated books, standing by the subways of Paris, faced with the dozens of steps heading upward.

Going against gravity, is already, a challenge in itself, let alone, when I’d needed to, push a huge rock that’s, way oversized, way heavier than my own body weight. And so, Sisyphus kept, pushing uphill continually.

Ahhh! I’m, after all, luckier, than Sisyphus, someone offered to help me out.

A graceful woman with silvery hair, used her wrinkled hands, stated in English, that she wanted to, help me out, and, grabbed my small suitcase to carry. I’d understood, that the moment she’d, lifted it up, she’d, be regretting it, because, it was, filled with books, weighed, just like the rocks.

But, why had, this kind hearted elderly woman offered me the helping hand? Because there was a middle aged man who saw her hauling a suitcase as she’d, stumbled up a staircase, and gave her a helping hand. And, she’d, gone down the steps, emptyhanded, and turned around and saw me with great difficulties, climbing up the steps, she’d, immediately, “paid it forward”, and, lifted up the suitcase, that was, apparently, heavier than she was.

I’d naturally, used my English and French, to tell her thanks, but it wasn’t, necessary, but I still had a bigger suitcase in my arms, and, this “evergreen marathoner” had, surpassed me already.

And yet, this pushing the rocks upward, with me, as the last leg. Or maybe, I hadn’t, found where to put my strength to best use yet, I appeared to be too foolish, and, an onlooker can no longer, take it, another younger, more fashionable woman, entered, into this race of mine, and, took the large suitcase I was handling, away from me.

Ah! What, is in this thing? All her friends, started, dissecting my case with their eyes from the various angles, and finally, they were, able to, lift up, that huge rock, then, lift up the legs, push up the steps; lift up the legs, push up the steps………as for me? With nothing in my hand, I’d, used both English AND French, to cheer my helpers on.

I’m, way luckier, than Sisyphus, the rock didn’t roll back down, as it was about, to reach the heights, and, all of those “competitors” who were involved in this race of mine, stood on the top of the stairs, with tears in the eyes, waved goodbye to me. And, my youthful daughter stood, panting, by her large suitcase, with great confusion, watched, this skit that had, happened in the subways.

The two of us, kept sliding the three large suitcases along in the subway of Paris, and, discussed how incredible our adventures were. As we just turned the corners, holy! Stairs! Stairs! Stairs! It seems, we’d, added, a second show, of the “Trials of Sisyphus”!

And so, from this you can see, how helpful, these strangers were, to this mother-daughter pair, and, without the strangers’ kindness, this mother-daughter pair, would’ve, NEVER been able to, carry their two large suitcases up that first flight of stairs, and yet, after they’d passed this first hurdle, there comes, the next one…but, the kindness of the strangers who’d, offered them a helping hand, can’t ever be forgotten that’s for sure!!!

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Awareness, Connections, Cost of Living, Interactions Shared with the World, Lending a Helping Hand, Life, Modeling Behaviors, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Story-Telling

Bowie Tseng Witnessed Life & Death Firsthand, “Leaving is What He Wanted to Do the Most”

The interviews with those considering euthanasia, whose been in ailing health conditions, from the Entertainment Sections, translated…

Bowie Tseng in Basel, Switzerland, witnessed the 104-year-old Australian biologist, Goodall, ending his own life by euthanasia, in the final three days of his life, she’d stayed with him, ate with him, held conversations, in that final moment, she was, filled with ambiguity inside, “in just one hour, he will be gone, and I’d messed up the time he should be spending with him family, because of work, until he’d finally asked those around him, ‘what are we waiting for?’, the employees of the clinic told him, ‘there are still forms we need to fill out’, he’d sighed, ‘there are always forms to be filled out’, at that moment, I’d, let go, I shouldn’t use my own sorrows, to interpret him leaving the world happy, that’s what he wanted to do the most, as a bystander, we should, give him our blessings.”

獨家/親眼目睹百歲生態學家安樂死 曾寶儀:巨大震撼!photo fo Bowie Tseng interviewing the elderly man in Switzerland, from UDN.com…

Bowie Tseng took the documentary filming, in the past few months, she’d trekked to Great Britain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Ireland, to interview those who’d lost their loved ones by euthanasia, and in February, she’d also, interviewed the activist for euthanasia in Taiwan, Dar-Jen Fu, “he’s weak, needed morphine to stay alive, in the interview sessions, he was still full of responsibilities, claimed the purpose of his wanting his own death.” And, before she set foot to go to Switzerland, she’d thought of a million questions to ask Goodall, the biggest shock for her, “I’d never interviewed anybody who’d determined her/his own date of death, how do I go about approaching him, how do I ask my question, to not be offensive toward him, how do I, say goodbye.”

Bowie Tseng said, “He’s older than I imagined him to be, I’d held onto the oldest hands I’d ever shaken, with the years on them, wrinkles, spots, and because of muscular atrophy, the joints were very apparent, but he was still very strong. I’d gone with him and his family to the botanic gardens for a stroll, he’d petted the plants along the way, I’d asked him if he was saying goodbye to them all, and he’d asked me, ‘why would I?’, at that very moment, I’d found, all the questions I’d wanted to ask him to lose meaning, because he doesn’t care anymore.”

There’d been war between the pro and anti euthanasia groups, Bowie interviewed a British elderly woman, who was born with severe handicap, and in the entire interview, she’d needed the respirator connect to her, and every fifteen minutes, the nurse had needed to help get the phlegm out of her lungs, but because of her optimism toward life, and her two marriages, despite how bad her conditions for staying alive was, she’d spoken up against euthanasia, and her speech had helped altered British law, and, gotten the parliament to vote against euthanasia. And BBC filmed the life of “Simon”, the businessman who had ALS, who’d not progressed to the point when euthanasia should be a consideration for him, he was accompanied by his own wife, to have it, as the footages come out into the open, it’d shaken up the entire world. Bowie Tseng said, “I’d interviewed his wife this time, and she’d told me she was regrettable for doing this, she believed, that death is not the business of the individual, although you may be ill, but you still don’t have the rights, to take away the time your family gets to spend with you.”

something used, to show that you don’t want to be resuscitated, photo from online…

After this experience, Bowie Tseng said, “I will work hard, to cherish my life every day, every gathering with friends, every meal, I will work hard, to make all of this meaningful.”

And so, because this woman was personally interacting with these individuals who are in the process of getting euthanized, it’d impacted her, on a personal level, and, she’d bore witness to how bad someone was living, and yet, still was against euthanasia, this is probably going to be, the most memorable experience of interview that this woman will ever have in her entire life.

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Filed under Choices, Do-Not-Resuscitate, Euthanasia, Lessons, Life, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Right to Die, the Finality of Life, The Right to Choose How One Will Die, Values

My Wife, Intrigued by the Shadows

Her hobbies, translated…

In recent years, my wife started taking up photography, in about two years, she’d, ruined three cameras, even the one that I had, I’d, contributed to her, and, in no more than a year, it’d, “retired” too.

Whether if it’s out on a trip, or just, strolling in the Botanical Gardens, my wife would always carry a camera with her, she’d looked, then, taken the shots, some of the scenes, don’t look that vital to me, she’d be too focus, documenting it, like she’d, become a field researcher, or a photography news reporter or something.

like what this young child is doing???  Photo from online…

She’d mostly taken photos of the weeds, the flowers, a small flower, she could use various angles, distance, and shoot so many shots, it’s a wonder, that the longevity of her cameras is less than a year. But, what my wife loved photographing the most, are the shadows, and so, I’d, nicknamed her a “shadow” fanatic. Any shadow, to her, looked intriguing, the plants’ shadows at the Botanical Gardens, she’d wanted to take shots of, said there are spots, that you don’t normally see; the reflection of the large tree outside the Yun-Shuan Sun Memorial on the windows of the mansions close by, she’d felt they’d, swayed with the wind, that it was, beautiful, surely, a shot. As we’d walked across the bridge, and, our reflections were imprinted into the waters, she’d, taken shots of; the egrets, the birds waiting by the pond, looking for the fish at the Da-An Forest Park, a must.

There were, too many photos she’d taken shots of, I can’t recall them all. But, once we’d sat at a café inside the Wenzhou Street alleys, there was a Chinese parasol tree, with the leaves growing in fully, the afternoon sun shone through the leaves, landed outside the walls of the café, the wind blew, and the shadows, they’d swayed. I’d, compared the photos she’d taken, and suddenly, understood why the older eras of Chinese people called it “the Shades of Light”; the sun and the shadows they changed, with the times of day.

Thinking on it, my wife, the photographer, must’ve thought, that in the instants of the shadows that changed, capturing it with her camera, would turn it into eternity.

With this photography fanatic at my house, and so, as I saw the potted plants on the lanai, the shadows, reflected onto the doors, I’d immediately, called her to it.

And so, this woman loved the look of the shadows, and, she’d taken up this hobby that’s good for her, and, her preferences in photography is unique, only to her.

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Because of Love, Hobbies/Pasttimes, Life, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

She Was Mine, a Child, Lost in Time…

She was mine, a child, lost in time, and time has, its, death-grip around her throat, slowly, suffocating her, choking her, into that slow death.

She was mine, a child, lost in time, the one who’d, never had the chance of being “formed”, and yet, I still, loved (in the past), love (in the present tense!) her so very much, simply because, she was, mine, and there need not be, any other reasons.

She was mine, a child, lost in time, and, she’d, drowned slowly, in the river of time, and, there was, nothing I could do, but to, kneel by the riverbeds, and cried all my tears, and my tears, in turn, formed another, grander river, then the river of time, my child had been, drowned to death in.

She was mine, a child, lost in time, the one who’d, never made it, the one who’d been dead, way before her time! And, there was still, NOTHING I could’ve done, or can do about this death that I’d been carrying, since 2008………

She was mine, a child, lost in time, and, in lost time’s embrace, I know, she’ll, grow up safe and sound, and besides, it’s better, that my daughter stays DEAD, because this world is so full of FUCKING shit, and I surely as HELL wouldn’t want what had happened to me, to happen to her too!

She was mine, a child, lost in time, and, time shall, keep her safe and sound, untouched, and, she wouldn’t lose her innocence as I did, when I was, a very young child myself………

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Learning to Let Go from Saying Goodbye, to Be a Man of High-Quality

On the last rites, the final rites of one’s passage, translated…

I’d gone to two funerals of my high school classmates in these past few months, and, at the funeral, the collages of their lives were played.

Those old scenes all came back to me, I’d thought about the laughter, the sorrows, the ups and downs of life we’d shared, our friendships which were kept, I couldn’t help but start crying hard! And, in the three, or five-minute short film, it’d, told of the stories of their over fifty years of life, and this was, saying goodbye to life.

We are all, staying afloat in this sea of mirage, and we’d felt, that cold chill! In this mirage of a life, we’d gone to the funerals, and we were often, impacted by the mixtures of emotions. Looking at others, then, thinking about ourselves, our whole life is a huge lesson in learning to say goodbye, and the hardest part of it all, is learning to say goodbye to ourselves, to say farewell to the youth that’s slowly going away, to wave goodbye at the beautiful faces that time had, sculpted, to say farewell, to those whom we loved and cared dearly, our families, to say farewell, to all our meaningless pursuits of fame and fortune…to bid farewell, to everything earthly. Life is learning to let go!

As I’m about to become Buddha! My funeral, I’d wanted to be like how the Buddhist Master, Shen-Yen’s making myself into a better person.

Before I go, I shall, have that slight smile, and with a heart of gratitude, for everything that’s happened in life to me; before I go, I hope that my loved ones, friends, families, and relatives can, use the Buddhist chants, to help my soul return to the West. As for the rituals, I’d wanted everything to be simplified, I shall become nothing but mud, to become the guardians of the flowers.

And so, this is, what life is reduced to, when we all die, we’d become, NOTHING, it’s what we did whilst we were still living, that will, hopefully, get remembered, it’s the lives we managed to touch when we were still on earth, that will keep on flowing, even after we’re gone, and, like this person, just keep everything simplified, because, there’s NO need, to have a flashy funeral, because you’re, already D-E-A-D, and you should NOT care who shows up at your funeral, besides, why would it matter to you? You’re, no longer “here” (on this PLANET???)………

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Awareness, Expectations, Letting Go, Life, Observations, On Death & Dying, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life, The Right to Choose How One Will Die, Things Left Behind, Values

The Time that’s, Stopped, on Those Walls…

The time that’s, stopped, on those walls, do you not see it, how the clock turned DEAD at a quarter ‘til???

The time that’s, stopped, on those walls, what does it signify? That time hadn’t moved on, but, we surely, had, ‘cuz, we are, no longer who we were, a minute ago, and, nothing’s, ever gonna be, the same again!

like this???  Old, and broken?  Photo from online…

The time that’s, stopped, on those walls, how can we, make them restart again? If only, it’s, simple as, changing those dead, used-up batteries! The time that’s, stopped, on those walls, and now, the minute, hour, and second hands, they all, started, us down, like those, bright and shiny eyes, in the darkened corners of the nights.

The time that’s, stopped, on those walls, it’d felt, too surreal, like, everything and nothing was, exactly, the same, and yet, it’s, somehow, different, you know? The time that’s, stopped, on those walls, we walked by that wall, with that DEAD clock, every day, as a reminder, of what? I can, no longer, recall now………

The time that’s, stopped, on those walls, they can’t, restart again, can they? It wouldn’t be, as simple as, changing the batteries on that clock, because, even IF the machine starts to work again, nothing will ever be, the same as it had been, or was, once!

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Filed under Cause & Effect, Cost of Living, Expectations, Life, Observations, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Values

Keep the Love Flowing

The cycle of kindness, also rolls down continually, from one person, to the next, we need more stories like these, especially at this day and age! Translated…

The rain came pouring down on my exercise walk, I’d rushed into the breakfast shops to hide out, the shop owner’s mother in her seventies ushered me in, and she’d, taken out a yellow raincoat from the closets, for me to put on, her act of kindness had, warmed up my heart.

As the rain slowly dissipat4ed, as I was, about to, return the raincoat, she’d started telling me the funny things that happened to her while she was on a trip to the eastern side of the island. A couple of years ago, she’d gone to Hualien to travel during the New Year’s holidays with her family, and, the trip was a spur of the moment thing, and, she’d only worn the short sleeves and shorts, and, the cold fronts made everybody shiver, and so, they can only, run back into the cars to hide, they’d not gone anywhere.

And, a woman who was standing at the side of the road saw, she’d immediately gone home, brought a ton of clothes for them to choose from, waited until the seven, eight adults and children had, selected the thick coats and smiled and said their thank yous, they’d wanted to ask her address, so they can send the clothe back, but, the woman turned them down. She’d told them, that her kids are all grown and lived elsewhere, that the clothes were just, taking up space in her home. And, every time after that, as the family saw the clothes, they’d always, smiled on it, and, remembered the kindness from the woman, who’d given them the coats to wear.

In order to keep the love flowing, the breakfast shop also gathered some donated clothes for the comers to borrow, other than keeping the shop connected with the local communities, it’s, a way of repaying the woman for her kindness. As I’d heard, I thought, maybe I can write this tale down, or maybe, by chance, that kindhearted woman that the family met in Hualien will see, that her kindness had become, a cycle already.

And so, this, is how some random act of kindness had touched so many lives, and, by passing the kindness to the strangers that came to the breakfast shop, the owner is keeping the kindness that was shown to her and her family flowing, and we need more stories like this in the world we live in right now!

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