Category Archives: Values

The Values one hold, the meanings of things

The Succulents

Lessons of life, these small plants have to, offer to us, and, it’s, an important one too!  Translated…

Don’t know when, raising the succulent plants became, a trend.

One afternoon, I was strolling down the underground shopping strip, and, stopped in front of a small plant, and, I’d, suddenly understood, where that sense of healing that people talked about came from.  Those chubby leaves, resembled the paws of the bear, with the lighting, the soft and thin fuzz, made me feel, extremely, calm and collected.

On the succulent plants, as I thought, the images of those potted cute things came.  The healing sensation culture, made the succulent potted plants became a total trend, turning it, into a brand new sort of merchandise, they’d gotten, posted on the websites.  These plants are regulars at the cafés all around, an assortments of handicraft designs of them too, the potteries.  Real and fake, the fake looked, so very, real, and, how easily, human were, saved, in this mixture of what’s real and what’s fake, and, doesn’t this symbolize how we’re, squeezed too hard daily, that we needed to, look toward this small plant, to find our renewed energies?

At this moment, I stood, before the glass window, looking at the bear paw, in the temperature and humidity controlled room, hearing the salesperson tell of how to care for the succulent plants.  Thinking, that, they’re, both succulent plants, and, could it be, that the ghost plant?

wonders of nature here…photo from online…succulent plants 的圖片結果

In my childhood memories, the succulent plants weren’t as precious as these.  It’s a sort of a food, instead of a decorating plant.  This began, with my eldest uncle who’d loved his plants as if, they were, his own children.  Way before the trendy gardening came, my eldest uncle and aunt already, decorated their yard and rooftop, into small gardens.  In my impressions, he was always, living in dirt.  From when I was younger, I’d, watched him digging into the dirt, in the front yard, he’d told me that he was, loosening the soil by the seasons, so the flowers and trees can, grow better.  He’s the kind of man that would, pluck a flower as he trekked up the mountains for you, to taste the nectars.  Once, he’d had me select my favorite flower by his racks of plants, that I can take one with me.  I’d only recalled that I got very excited, and ran toward that patch of flowers, but felt panic all of a sudden.  Having the conditions of selective difficulty, I’d felt, anxious, of the sudden influx of the choices presented to me.  In this heat, I’d, pointed toward that patch of gray off to the corners.  As I walked near, the greenish purple color of the plant, made it look mysterious, the leaves were criss-crossed, like a dream catcher.

My eldest uncle laughed, “You sure do know how to pick them, this is for eating!”, he’d quickly plucked a few leaves off, ran into the house to wash them up, not long thereafter, I’d, stared at the fatty leaf, hesitant, as I, took a bite, that crisp sound, with the sour and stale juice that came onto my tongue, and, as I chewed it more, the taste turned, sweeter, perhaps, it’d, tasted like the unsweetened bell fruit, with that taste of herb to it.  This discord of the appearance and taste, was impacting to me, “It’d, tasted like the bell fruit!”, my uncle’s smile became a squint in his eyes, nodded toward me satisfactorily, “This small leaf, will grow into many flowers, you got the pick!”  He’d placed the leaf into the palm of my hand.  Looking at the fatty leaf, I’d thought, “nice to meet your acquaintance!”, and that was when I recalled, that my very first cultivated plant, was also a succulent.

It’s, quite amazing, the parent plant stayed in a huge garden with the enriched soil, and the high humidity, did it ever imagine, that its leaves were going to, move into the lanai of a building in the city?  But, it’d, lived up to the expectations, the leaves multiplied.  In a couple of years, the small finger-sized leaves, became this, bush of leaves, a small garden.

Weird, how as we aged, we’d gone from a leaf from the ghost flower, into a bear claw crassula?  From when I was younger, I’d believed, that life will be like a ghost plant, with the goal, worked hard, under the sun, and, get enough water, I will be able to, bloom, grow, leaf after leaf, after leaf, and successfully, bloom.  But, the reality was like the wind, slapping you across the face.  And after awhile, we’d, slowly, grown, into a viewing plant that’s, fearful, of getting hurt, used to, hiding ourselves, inside that transparent glass container, trading in our protective colorations, for cuteness, sitting in our, isolated, universes, preserved ourselves.

very different in appearances, but, same in “nature”, with the strong will to survive, in the harshest of all conditions!  Photo found online…

Sometimes, life is like a cruel desert, turning us, into, a cactus.

I’d often forgotten, that beneath that healing image, the cacti, with the needles, are a member of the succulent plants.  From succulent, into prickly, that soft fuzz no longer in existence, replacing them, the prickly needles.  The flesh, through the grinds of the days, became calluses, but, the calluses, the thorns, used their stubbornness, wrapped up your heart that’s, softest and most fragile, most, easily hurt.

Hey, did you ever see a flower of a cactus?  Oh yeah, it blooms too.

I’d once, owned a round and stout, cactus with the shorter thorns.  Days into years, its plain looks made people think it’s, nothing more than a décor. Yet, one spring, it’d, started, budding around, with a small light hidden within.  I will, never forget that morn, as the sunlight shone slanted onto the lanai, and, there appeared, a palm-sized flower out of the cactus.  Bright yellow like a fire burning, but, thin as the wings of a butterfly.  The petals soaked up the sun, golden, in full bloom, shown its deepest, gentleness.

At that very moment, all the memories of pain, walking through all those summers, became, light as a grain of sand.

And so, this, is the lesson that people can learn, from these plants, surely, they’re, not easy to care for, but, if you look after them well, they will, show you a side of life that’s, quite inspiring, and teach you, that weathering through the seasons of life, is something as plain as living from day to day.

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Filed under Connections, Expectations, Interactions Shared with the World, Lessons, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Values

Seeing the Love without Boundaries from a Foreign Spouse

How the kindness cycled around, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

Last week, I’d gone to a free clinic session for the foreign worker fishermen, because most of the fishermen were from Indonesia, so there was a translator alongside me all the way; I’d had the spare time, and struck up a conversation with her.

“I’d seen you every single time in the free clinics, you’re always smiling, very kind and gentle, you’re, a rare gem!”, I’d commended her.  “Doctor, you thought too much of me, they’re my countrymen, floated across to Taiwan to work, I’m glad, that I can, be of some sort of minute assistance.”

I’d asked her where she came from, “I lived in Jakarta originally, my father is a catering chef, with an unstable income, and there are, too many mouths to feed, and so, in my high school years, I’d, married to Kaohsiung, hoping, to make some extra money, to wire it back home, to help with my family, but………”, she’d taken a very long inhale, continued, “not long after we were wed, my husband was diagnosed with oral cancer, after three surgeries, countless electrotherapy sessions, he could no longer work”.  What made her situation worse was, as her kids rode together on a scooter to visit their father at the hospital, they were hit by a car, her daughter was injured severely, in the I.C.U., her son with fractures, and needing surgery.

Back then, she was looking after her elderly in-laws on her own, her sick husband, and her injured children, she felt hopeless.  But thankfully, her parents in Indonesia wired some money for her, and her eldest sister who’d married to Malaysia flew over especially to help her out too for three months; more importantly, the national health insurance coverages, it’d, helped her out with the costs of the treatments; she’d worked as a translator at the agency during the daytime, at night, she’d gone to school, to hone up on her Chinese skills, her son part-timed through school, they were, just, getting by.

“Actually, the Taiwanese people are quite helpful, I’d met a ton of those who were willing to go out of their ways to assist me, by just being there for emotional support, or those who’d, offered to help me with my finances.  I’m grateful, and in order to pay them back, I’d, signed on these sorts of voluntary work, to make what I can do useful and helpful, and this time, I’d, brought along my children who’d healed from their injuries to volunteer also, to make sure they will note, the love that’s, without the borders in Taiwan.”

Her husband may not be well-educated, or made a lot of money, but she’d, loved Taiwan like it was her home country, as the trials came, she’d, taken them all in, no complaints, no regrets, she’d, utilized her spare time, to hone up on her skills, to acculturate herself into the local communities, and knew to give back, she is, the model citizen for all of the foreign spouses that’s for sure!

And, this, is how this woman was, driven by the cycle of kindness, she was shown kindness when she was in need, when her family had problems, she’d received help from all around her, and that was what drove her, to give back now.

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Because of Love, Being Alone, Connections, Cost of Living, Getting Treatment, Helping Behaviors, Kindness Shown, Lessons, News Stories, Observations, Overcoming Obstacles, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Social Issues, Socialization, Values

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

Only the Maternity Leave Bonuses? Helping Women to Enjoy Becoming Mothers

Why the whole environment doesn’t add to women’s wanting to have children, causing the aging population, the declines in birthrate to continue, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

The Legislative Branch upped the bonuses of women having children, and although all three of my children are all, over four years of age, I’m still very happy, toward the signing of this law. After all, this was, the most direct, most simple method. But, there are a lot of highly-educated, high income friends who’d still, refused to have children, and all these working moms told me, that it’s simply, too tiresome, to have to work, and look after their own young.

I was born in the eighties, and, a lot of my friends and families had their young after age thirty, they’d lacked that strength compared to the people in their twenties, and they’re at the stage of their lives they needed to, work hard to get ahead in their jobs, it would be, even more difficult, to look after their families. I’d consoled with them, to stop working, and enjoy being a full-time mother, but they’re not, taken with the idea.

Surely, the birthrate had been, dropping year after year, and the divorce rates, higher and higher, our generation has that sense of emergency toward marriage. I’d heard many who’d experienced it, telling me, that women need to be economically independent, not wanting to let go of their jobs, with marriages, untrustworthy, who has the mind, to have, and raise children? But, the duties of childrearing are mostly on the women’s shoulders in Taiwan, and this, won’t be resolved, with a couple of thousand dollars worth of bonuses given by the government.

One of the root causes of decline in birthrate is the economy, secondly, it’s the problems of the society. If the families are stabilized, if men are willing to chip in to help with raising the children too, then, women would surely, enjoy being mothers.

And so, this showed how it would be, unwise, for women to settle down to have children, and how this society doesn’t support the ideas of we women having children, after all, we are the ones, raising our own young, while you men just comes home after a long and hard days of work (NEWSFLASH, you MORONS, we women work our nine to fives outside the home, and we come home, to continue the job for 24/7!!!), and, this problem still won’t be resolved, by the extra bonuses that the government pays us women, for having more children, and what are we, NUTS? Why would we want to start our families, if we can excel in our jobs, after all, a job that pays well, gives us that sense of security, and, none of us would be happy, not contributing to this society here!

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Filed under "Professional" Opinions, Cause & Effect, Choices, Expectations, Life, News Stories, Observations, Social Issues, Trends, Values

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 Air, My Friend

The column by Jimi Liao, translated…

I Heard His Cries

I Felt His Despair

I’d Touched His Sorrows

I’d, Closed the Book

He’d, Vanished So Suddenly

Then, Immediately, Came to Me Again

And so, this showed, how the pen IS, mightier than the SWORD, the words touched people, even AFTER they’re done, getting spoken out there, and the influences of words will keep on carrying over…

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Filed under Awareness, Childhood, Coping Mechanisms, Creative Writing, Despair, Growing Up Too Fast, Lessons, Life, Moods, Emotions, & Feelings, Observations, Values, Writing

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