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Archive for the ‘Growing Up’ Category

Heart-Swell

I’ve been reading the reddit thread on “What’s a moment in which you felt absolutely content, like everything was perfect for just that one second?” It’s a much better read than most of reddit (for me, anyway; emotional healthwise, anyway).

I don’t have a very good recollection of an absolutely content moment, but a recent very good, heart-swelling moment was this past Fourth of July. And I think what we’re really after is the heart-swell, no?

On the tail end of a week visiting with old friends in warm, open old home state, me and current closest friend and travelbuddy get on a flight. No delays, and fireworks from our plane window. Silent fireworks going off as we flew back east. So good. Being able to see the commonality and the connectedness of celebrations that aren’t entirely aware of each other. So good. So so good.

Today, a good laugh about the tiny Christmas-town he had to put together for his aunt. She was so invested in it being set up, though she did not participate in the process at all, seeing as she was tending to Thanksgiving dinner prep instead. Two north poles and little street lamps that had to be held up by tiny snow drifts.

Work tomorrow, but I am going to focus on how I want to be a person who works to live, because it’s interesting. I don’t work because it is a surrogate love or a surrogate life. Only get one, can’t f*ck it up. At least not that way.

Safe Transitioning Out of Thanksgiving mode, friends!

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When I was growing up, we had a child leash of sorts. It was playskool brand, i think, and was really two white velcro wristcuffs with thin, colorful stripes going in the ‘hotdog’ (not ‘hamburger!’) direction, connected by plastic, spirally, phone-cordy red cord.

I loved that thing or the idea of it. I don’t know how we came to own it. My parents never once suggested we use it or ever put it on me.

I would velcro us together and they would put up with it – sometimes. More often than not, they’d sigh, unvelcro their wrist, and carry on whatever store transaction needed to be taking place. I am relieved now that my parents had enough shame/dignity to not have allowed that velcro leashing en serio.

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I did not know what I do now know

All the hurt and pain that your words can grow

For to call them false were far to high a praise

For a heart should not be turned by a clever turn of phrase

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“I think that, especially in America, people try to put you in one but the honest reality is that everybody is a lot.”

Dawen Wang

I may have misheard this. Maybe it’s the “oddest” reality. The “one” is identities. 

But I could have misunderstood that as well.

Not gonna give you SARS.

Because today Plinky asked me about first internet use and it hit me that I had forgotten all about Asian Avenue.

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When I was five, my mother’s father fell ill. I can’t remember what it was. I don’t know what he died of, if it was directly following this hospitalization or if it was on the tail of a subsequent. I don’t know. I remember only that we flew to Taiwan, that my mother carried me, my arms around her neck, my legs sitting on her hips, and my head over her shoulder, alternately looking over her back or hiding in her neck.

We enter the room where my grandfather lies, not seeming weak to me, as brown and smiling and lustrous-haired as I remembered, laughing, calling my name and reaching out in greeting, though he is lying down. My mother spins around so that I am facing him.

My main feeling however was fear – why was ah-Gong so overriden by machines? tubes everywhere, even coming out of his face. I couldn’t look. I knew I should and that it was a cowardly and a shameful thing to not look back, to not smile and say only ‘hello’ to the man who, with my grandmother, had watched over me during my babyhood and toddler years while my parents worked and bought a home for me to come back to. This man whom, at that point, I remembered, whom I now no longer have any memories of save this one. Damn you, infant(ile) amnesia.* I thought all this and still turned away from him and hid my face in my mother’s neck and she spun a number of times, my neck swiveling always in counterpart to hide my face and not look at the tube-monster that either was or had attached itself to my ah-Gong. The adults all laughed, commenting how cute I was, thinking nothing of it. As soon as my mother stepped out of the room, the shame hit me full-on and I felt regret.

I have since forgiven my five-year-old self for her cowardice and have hoped to use it as a lesson in future bravery, a helfpul resolve in the absolution of my kindergarten cowardice. I had need of it some two years ago and did not make proper use. But that’s another story, or another part of the story I’ve mentioned here, many times.

 

*There is a possible memory from that period  – of walking away from my grandfather with my grandmother, down the hall in their home, at my grandmother’s beckoning, that there was a gift. She opens the cloest to me and in a giant clear plastic bag wrapper is this stuffed animal my ah-Gong had bought me, now christened Fluffy. Round and huge, orange plastic bulb nose and big fuffy pink hair. I still have him and love him and he is still too large, stubby-limbed, and round to be believable as a stuffed dog. This is perhaps a false memory, but Fluffy is real enough.

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