Winter Solstice

It was the Winter Solstice a couple of days ago. And, being the Taiwanese I am, I celebrated the longest night of the year with food: while it is a great excuse for late night snacking, eating sticky rice balls with red bean soups is actually a tradition. And, being the philosopher I am, I was inspired by the contents in my ceramic bowl: while most would probably discuss the importance of upholding your own identity and despite being different, I was thinking a little beyond the cliché. The small number of the pink rice ball motivated me to eat it last even though I knew clearly that it is merely a pinch of food coloring more than the rest of the rice balls. While it may seem like a representation of individuality, is it overrated if it’s merely a difference by the surface? Yes, it could arguably be an unnecessary details to contemplate for an old-fashioned metaphor. But, in this age when individualism is such a major theme in education and literature, there are so many instances when the people around me or myself even try so hard just to be different from others by being what we are not. Isn’t it obvious that all of us are created differently, and that even if we have similar ideas, it’s most likely with different justifications or reasons or process? Is it a sin to be the white sticky rice balls and be the same as others? It’s not like it’s physically possible to be identical as another person anyway. There are most likely no rice balls that have the same mass and digest the same way, and I would like to be optimistic enough to believe that the same applies to humanity as well.

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I. Reveries

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This afternoon, when she resumed her usual perch upon her chair, she continued to bleed out her heart while the wind began to bellow out why.

One afternoon, Esther resumed her perch upon the mahogany chair in the exposed elements of the front porch to her cabin, rocking gently to the half-hearted warmth of the wind. As she closed her eyes, she could hear the delighted squeals of sprouts bursting out of the earth. A deep breath, and the reviving creeks returned her a breath of dampened moss. There were other sounds now; the endless twitters and boundless energies of the birds and critters reminded her of her lethargy.The wind picked up, finally deigning to greet her directly and reminiscence of the times when it brought her leaves from her first love, promises of happiness written in a handsome hand; or that night when it kissed her cheeks and embraced her when she waited by an opened window for a rendezvous; and less pleasantly the time when it warned her with bitter premonitions, yet she brushed it aside as though she was allowed to. So as the wind blew, she saw too clearly the shadow by the scaffold, the embodiment of her remorse…

She opened her eyes, now tearing, though not only from the specks of dust that assaulted her. Her mother was wrong: nature cannot heal everything. Besides, her heart was not wounded, but scarred, and most would know that scars cannot and will not ever heal; they just stay as patches of new skins that strain and pull upon the old when moved. However, as the chill of the wind passed over her, it was as though these scars did not just strain or pull, but erupted against all of her self resolve. What can nature do if even time cannot wash her clean?

The same wind now attempted to wipe away her tears, but to no prevail. Instead it picked out wisps of grey from her braid and brushed at her wrinkled cheeks harshly. Scarred, but still, her heart bleeds…

…this afternoon, when she resumed her usual perch upon her chair, she continued to bleed out her heart while the wind began to bellow out why.