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Flower Drum Song

September 15, 2017

Left hand with a gong, right hand with a drum

With a gong and a drum together we sing a song

I am not excellent with other songs,

The only song I know is this flower drum song

from the land of Fengyang

Fengyang used to be a beautiful land before the wars and hunger

I was like you, ladies and gentlemen, from a good family

Because there was no harvest, we had to roam to dance and to sing

in order to feed

I am now going to sing and dance and drum for you

dear brothers and sisters, Grandmas and grandpas, uncles and aunts

Dong dong chung, dong dong chung,

dong dong chung chung, dong dong chung…

 

Ma Ma was very excited that I should dance the Flower Drum Song in a dance festival. The flower drum was kind expensive but mom saved some money from the grocery for buying the drum and for making costume for me. This time I should not have heavenly deity’s jeweled long hair but a folded scarf tied over my two long pig tails. Mom said that was a very famous traditional folk dance in China. I supposed to be a beautiful young roaming girl who lost her home,  now she need to sing and dance to feed herself and to feed her younger siblings.

The flower drum was made of wood, carved with flowers patterns  There were two big golden rings on each end of the drum. Mom bought a long red silk scarf tied both golden rings in fancy arrangement then tied the flower drum around my waist. I did not need to sing because the singing part was already recorded into the dance music. It was sung by Miss Lieu, a famous folk singer in those days. My job was to dance well and to drum well. The studio where I practiced was not a big space for any adult, but for a small child, it was like a school stage. I practiced all the difficult back bending, jumps and turns, and had a great time dancing to a music that suppose to be a sad story.

Finally it was the festival season. The festivals lasted for many evening. We small kids were gathered on the opening night. There were all kind of pretty dancers in all kind of fancy costumes in and out of a basket ball stadium where lots of people already seated. Mom was very confident when she put make ups and costume on me. She marveled how outstanding I looked. I was like mom’s hope and dreams. Before I was born, mom was a classical Chinese painter. Her excellency was to paint the Chinese courtly ladies and heavenly deities. Every time when mom put make up on me, I felt she was giving all her attention and breath to her artistic expression, and that artistic expression happened to be my face.

The basket ball floor was so much bigger than the small kids’ studio where I rehearsed in. I asked mom where was front, She said all sides were front side since all people needs to be greeted. When my name was called, mom said- smile- then pushed me into the huge audience-filled performing space. The music was on and it was time to dance and to drum… but how? The space was so big. It took me a while to go to all corners to greet people and smile to them… I forgot all the difficult dance steps I had practiced so diligently. All I knew was to dance from my heart because I had already missed all the right moments to do the right dance steps… I was so small and the space was so big. There was no dance troop on stage with me, only me. I ran so fast from corner to corner and drum so restlessly out of breath, and the audience began to laugh and to applaud the same time. The more they laugh, the faster I ran to greet them then drum more and they laugh harder and applaud more. I actually had a great time feeling they were happy. I love to make people happy that was why I became a performer. People always looking cheerful when coming to a performing space. I had no idea where did those self invented dance steps came from. The energy was so high, everyone seemed to be excited including me.  Finally the music stopped, out of breath, I bowed. People were laughing, applauding, whistling. I ran to mom to feel if she liked my performance. She had the biggest smile ear to ear, I guessed she liked it. My dance teacher, Miss Chang, also beamed a big smile at me. I wonder why she was so happy? I did not deliver the dance steps I supposed to. Later in life, I learned that there was a name for such expression, it was called -Improvisation.

It seems life is made of endless improvisations. Things supposed to happen did not happen and things supposed not to happen, happened. The dance steps in life I had practiced diligently turned into unexpected dance steps in a different moments. Life is a much bigger stage than that basket ball stadium. There were many moments in life  I could still feel mom’s hands pushed my back, saying- smile. Then I was on my own, alone, on stage. Don’t forget to smile and to greet the people with grace.. especially when traveling from land to land, making friends with people who spoke different mother tongues… Was the Flower Drum Song prophetically predicted my life style as a gypsy roaming from land to land, dancing, performing and sell my art works for a living? I was from a very good family too and I had traveled and danced for people of different lands for a long, long time. Actually, I also had lots of great time dancing to some music that supposed to be sad stories… Human emotions are very fascinating. It is not just what meets the eyes. Sad stories often end surprisingly joyful and happy stories often end less than bitter-sweet.

The social conscious often program people’s mind about which outcome is good and which outcome is bad. People would do everything to meet those social images, then end up with heavy confusions and self doubt. The biggest self doubt could be – why I am not happy? I had achieved everything that everyone had ever dreamed about…what was wrong with me? One of my spiritual teachers once asked us:” If overnight you lost everything you thought is important to you: your wealth, your career, your relationships, your fame…your this and your that…  what are you going to be?” There was a long silence in the room. How miserable it would be! Well, actually not that terrible either since many of us who seated there had already disillusioned after lost appetite to achieve more. So we began to smile at one another. “You then shall be free to start a new life.” Said he. The room then filled with roaring laughter.

Home is where the heart belongs. If a heart belongs to the world and to all life streams, then being on the road is being at home. When we travel so much, homesick become so abstract for there is always another kind of food, another kind of conversation, another kind of culture, another kind of relating- missing. Perhaps this is also the reason why artists do not mind living a simple life and express our  inner world through our arts. We are doing our best to bring an inner “home” to the external world. Being present in each moment is the best cure for homesick. Nothing is missing when we are fully present in each moment. Perhaps the only thing missing was some out-dated mental and emotional habits. They were fading like leaves falling, making rooms for new leaves, new mental concepts and new emotions to partake the feast of life.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

How does it feel like to be a tree that has one big branch dying but the rest of the tree are thick branches filled with healthy and happy leaves? What if that dead branch was a very sad marriage while the rest of the life is filled with celebration and promises? What if the entire society tells you to keep the dead branch even at the cost of your life but you choose life instead of death?

When I received scholarship came to the States as a foreign student, I was such a tree. I would do anything to make that dead branch alive again. I thought things might get better after I advanced myself. Nobody knew the sad stories underneath those smiles from the Flower Drum Song. Perhaps the earlier lies we have learned in life is to smile when we feel like to cry, and to be altruistic when we need draw the boundary and stand for oneself. Then I was happy that I learned how to lie because I had witnessed even more sad stories happened to those who don’t understand “the art of lying.” How many inner child inside you feel the same way? Instead of raise your hands you may just give yourself a high five for out-lived all kind of insanity and still alive and sane.

” Truth ” is such a misunderstood word as if it is opposite of lies. From my humble observations that often those who talked about they did not like to play games, or how they hate bull-shits are the biggest deceivers to themselves. How do I know that? Being there, done it, got very bored… perhaps when we got so disillusioned with social bull poops and political correctness that actually insulting one’s own intelligence, we then begin to learn the art of speaking Truth. Speaking truth is not the opposite of telling a lie. Speaking truth is the ability to cut through so many layers of social programming, and speak something truthfully to the best ability one could. That is not just in 360 degree viewpoints but spherical and dimensional. It is almost impossible to speak things truthfully in such awareness unless one is enlightened. Then most enlightened ones enjoy to be silent.. Speaking truth is the gift either from a very innocent child or from a very sophisticated seeker who wants to understand what was underneath all those beautiful ideals, idols, slogans and highly prized lies. Speaking truth is a trademark of a mature human being who  has traveled so much, seen so much, and perhaps also lied so much  to finally become simple again. If we are not simple enough we could not speak truth, if we are not sophisticated enough, we could not understand other viewpoints of their personal truth. We could only speak our personal truth that was based on personal life experiences and opinions. That is it. It is called being subjective. Sometimes when hidden data got revealed, people call it truth. Well, it is just a piece of hidden data becoming part of the reference, don’t be too excited and jump into the conclusion too early. Perhaps instead of preaching people to speaking truth while the preachers do not even know the truth, we can just encouraging one another to speak from our own hearts instead speaking those entangled ideals from the highly programmed head. That would be like using a computer that is filled with cookies, out dated data, cache… when function in the world from a highly programmed and confused mind.

I have seen people lied to themselves all the time but preaching the importance of speaking truth. So preaching the importance of speaking truth is actually an act of lie for a lot of people who just want to be accepted, to be loved and to be political correct. The bottom line is all about survival instinct. Truth and convenience definitely do not go too well together. When human being  lost the full consciousness of living the Original Grace and fall to the limited consciousness of surviving the original sins, truth then get replaced by the common opinions. The original grace in the Buddhism is the Buddha Nature and the original sin in the Buddhism is Karma.

I have been an excellent performer, I enjoy speaking the truth and playing with lies the same time. It is a kind of artistry like painters playing with light and darkness… Sometimes truth is expressed though lies. How could it be?

The last few months when I was a graduate student in Calarts, I was so fascinated with the environmental performance. It was the last few requirement for my M.F.A degree. There! The elevator door opened, when you walked in, there were a couple arguing something so “truthfully” in front of everyone. You tried to not listen to them but their discussion was so profound, that made your thoughts involved with their arguing… turned out that was an environment performance. It was much easier to perform on stage than perform in real life settings. So here was what happened on my delivery:

A shy girl like me had to ask people for a $20 bill in the cafe’. The other art students in the cafe’ could not believe what they saw. The Dean of the Dance School then was Cristyne Lawson who was my mentor when my original mentor and personal heroine Tina Yuan was teaching in France. Cristyne first did not realize that I jumped the gun and showed my performance right then. Then she winked: “Here is a $20 bill, you can keep it.” I then went through some of the childhood psychological terms about being worthy… I acted like a little girl wondering if anyone did not like me because I need to borrow money? I then asked each person there- are we friends? Do you like me? If you found out I am lying, do you still want to be my friend?  More and more people gathered around us to see how this performing piece would unfold… while talking none stop like a tour guide in the museum of human mentalities, I then lead the crowd from the cafe’ to a dance studio that had two doors on each side of the wall. I told them to wait outside the door for three minutes before entering because I need a bit time to set up the room for the final dance. As soon as I was in the studio, I pull the movable mirrors next to the door and put two chairs in front of the mirror as if two people sat in front of the mirror chatting, meanwhile I disappeared from the other door of the studio. After three minutes, my curious friends enter the studio, did not find me ready to dance for them but only themselves in the mirrors and two empty chairs conversed with each other.

You could imagine how they felt and how I felt. Ah! I got more friends after showing that environment performance. Cristyne had tears in her penetrating dark eyes. I felt the entire world within me applauded to me while I bowed on the stage of my own psyche, and to some empty chairs in the theater of my inner dramas… My life would never be the same after that performance of speaking truth through lying.

New York City was a great environment for such performance. I had lots of great time playing around with the “audience” who had no idea they were participating a “performance.” Yeah! Message delivered, mission completed. I love environment performances where people got the messages in all kind of delightful ways. We often found very few are interested in substantial discussions when we attend a party and trying to have some meaningful conversations,. Body-hunt seems more important than communicating in depth… To not talk other people’s heads off and to not insulting my own intelligence, the environmental performances became something so magical to play with. One of my favorite one was entering a well-known theater watching a show by myself. I wore an outfit handmade by myself and walked toward the highest seat- along, I walked with confidence knowing so dearly in my soul that I was elegant and beautiful. How could I not? I was in the midst of “performing” for God’s sake! Then a gentleman approached me politely and asked me which country did I come from?

Ah! Gotcha! I knew that would happen. So I whispered politely to him” “I am from a spaceship.” Nodded with performer’s grace, slowly and confidently I walked toward my destined seat. When I sat down, I saw many of them whispered and turned their head back and upward smiled and waved at me. I smiled and waved back as if I was a princess from a far away galaxy. Oh! How I loved my audience! No matter if they realized it or not. Everyone had a great time before the official show. Did I speak the truth? Or did I lied? That was a secret between me and someone I may call ” I.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I got a phone call from two of my artists friends, V & L, who used to produce performances for the United Nations World Peace concerts. I had been performing for the U.N with my ex husband M. along with many other brilliant artists for quite some time already. We truly believed in the missions of U. N. in those days. I did not know how to get onto Internet yet, so there was no way for me to have different data about the Cabals, the Illuminati, The New World Order… etc. As artists we were very honored to offer our arts to the U. N. World Peace events. V. had higher clearance in the U. N. that once she even took me to the cafeteria in a special floor that only the world leaders and high profiled individual could enter. Most people worked for U. N. could only go to the one in a different floor. She whispered to me: “that guy is Mikhail Gorbachev, and that woman is so and so’s chief secretary…” I asked: “which one?” She then said: ” don’t look at them directly, it is about in the 11 o’clock and 3 o’clock direction. ”  I then pretended going to the restroom and took a quick glace at each direction. The entire floor was so quiet that made me wonder how many spies were in the building. With what I know now – Holy Jesus! we all must had been watched by security cameras and by security people. V. introduced me to L. and L. told me that there was an Africa queen N. N. who wanted me to have a private performance in her resident. I should meet her at her office in a huge building near the U. N. – something like at 14th floors around 1 pm on a Fri.

I got so curious about what did it means that I would perform for her private party in queen’s holy abode? I did not remember how much they paid me. The child in me felt so adventurous and I could hardly wait to meet an Africa Queen. I had never heard about the name of her country and still could not remember how to pronounce it correctly after asking different people in different moments. To not show my ignorance, I did what mom said- smile – and danced myself into the unknown. N. N. was not there yet. I sat patiently until it was almost 2 pm. Then I saw a group of powerful Africa women dressed in ordinary  casual outfits,  coffee cups and McDonald lunch bags in their hands laughing and walking toward N. N.’s office. The receptionist whispered to one of them who looked like a chief secretary, then suddenly she became as still as an stature… slowly she turned her face toward me: “Hello, my daughter! I am N. N. How are you? My dear.” Now a much taller, slender, radiant, dignified, queenly and motherly lady stood in front of me, picking up my hands in between her two palms greeted me as if she was so happy to see her “daughter.” I learned quite some profound insights about performing arts in those few moments.

Then we should have about two hours ride together in her private car. She told me about her people and her country and the challenge her country was facing. I nodded politely as if I understood everything she said. She then asked me sincerely: ” Tell me, my child! Do you miss home? How is your family? ” Hum!!! What should I say about “home and family?” How could I tell her that I was a running away wife who divorced her first husband? How could I tell her that even my own mom asked me to go back to that hell in a society that divorced was highly forbidden? How could I tell her that I was a black sheep not just in the family but also in the society that I exiled myself from? How could I tell her that I actually filed whoever accused me wrongly from my life and flew away like the bird in the wildness? So I said the proper thing- oh! yes, I miss home very much. My family is fine. They are all very happy for me. She simply said: ‘They should be very proud of you. We are all very proud of you.” I smiled again. She held my hands for the rest of the trip. Somewhat I felt she might see through me and she knew I was lying.

There were about 40 people in her party. Some of them I had already met in other World Peace concerts. L. was a delicate lady filled with good intent to serve. I somehow sensed that she knew more than what she was willing to talk about. She was highly protective about me, not from the Africa Queen but from other old male peace-makers. They sat around a circle and listen to her talk first. She talked about her people and her culture, and ancient history before the nation was formed, then she got more personal, talking about how her husband was killed and how her children were sent away and the complicated political situations there, then she talked about what kind of support she expected from the U. N. peace making groups. I did not use Internet then, so it sounds like a very sad story to me. With what I know now especially after reading John Perkins’ book – Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, I understand the situation N. N. was facing much different now. She and her husband did not buy into the games Cabal wanted them to play because they loved their people, that was why her husband got killed and her children got taken away. It is like the Cabals have always done- you either play into our games, you then shall be very wealthy and successful or you shall be miserable if you refuse to play our game. Africa is a land of resources that also filled with artifacts from their ancient roots. There was never any righteous reasons to conquer those lands except greed. The Cabals’ days are numbered. We are witnessing the final days of such crime against the humanity. N. N. was only one of the countless leaders suffered from the global dark force puppet masters. I wish that I could understood her situation much deeper then instead of now.

N.N then said that she had a surprise for her guests while presenting me to them. Believe this or not. I did ” Dance of the 7 veils ” with spiritual interpretation that was very different than how ” Dance of the 7 Veils ” was performed in the market places. It was a sacred dance. I blessed all the audience from my sacred energy centers to theirs while veiling and unveiling. For some reason I have always seeing myself as a temple dancer instead of a theater performer, even though most of my performances were in the theaters. I danced the prayers for her country and for relieving all sufferings, I danced high energy transmissions in trance state and I danced the purest love from my heart to theirs… then I bowed to the queen and to all her guests. Somewhere in my soul I remembered that was the job of a courtesan/ priestess/ temple dancer and I had done this lifetime after lifetimes, from culture to culture, civilization to civilization… I had done this from land to land, mentality to mentality… I had done this in different skin colors and in different body types… they remembered too. We were all bathed in a beautiful altered state of awareness. Soul lives in the timeless realm. When we have awakening moment, we had a glimpse of our eternal selves. We also remember the stories we had participated in life. When a performer took her/his audience with her/him in the frequency of soul realms, everyone experienced a profound shamanic journey of meeting one’s true essence. To share sacred dance in such private party could be misinterpreted. People could be so touched then they thought they were deeply in love with what was in front of them. When perform in a theater, the lighting and the the distance between the performer and audience served as protection. When perform in private party, that layer of protection was not there. Perhaps that was why L. was highly protective about me even though I have always been protected by the divine within.

When we said goodbye, the queen hugged me warmly: “Always follow your heart, my daughter. You have my blessings.” That was the only time that N. N. and I spent some profound time together. I thought of her often and pray for her country and her loved one.

You have my blessings too, N.N. , my beautiful Africa Queen Mother.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The phone rang again. How many years had passed with the countless phone rings from one land to another land? ” Hello! Who is that? ” It was a man’s voice on the other end speaking in Chinese: “This is your uncle Francois. I want to discuss the details with you about your homecoming trip.” Uncle Francois is the head of the clan. He felt extremely responsible for my grandma’s Will get’s fulfilled with total justice. I love uncle Francois and aunt Shirley. I love all my uncles and aunts. I love my family… I love everyone in my life… then why I prefer to roam instead of going home? And being a loner instead of belonging?

It has been a never ending story that was made of all kind of long stories.. nobody remembers what was what anymore. Who cares about what he said or she said, or how come? or really? or any shocking breaking news… after shed so much tears, put on so much smiles, danced so much and traveled so much? Am I ready to go back to a “home” that almost suffocated me once upon a time? Am I ready to go back to the same home that gave me tremendous passions to dream the impossible dreams into realities once upon an earlier time? Never-ever-never- I would never be ready if not because uncles and aunts supported this journey with grace and generosity.

There I was, sitting at the lunch table at Din Tai Fung, an International well-known Chinese restaurant in Taipei, feasting with Uncle Francois, Aunt Shirley and her brother, Uncle Lo. I felt like to cry…  Uncle Francois reminded me that I was away for more than 30 years already. Oh! That long? I thought it was about 5 or 7 years…

Chinese people have tremendous inner strength. Part is because of the culture and part is because of the DNA. When I first arrived the U.S, I was very shocked about the American students complained about the “bad days.” They used to ask me why I was so happy? Did I ever have any ” bad days? ” Well, my answer was: ” The Chinese people seldom have any “bad days” because we were born with “bad days.” So bad days means normal days, that means almost good days.” The American kids playing foot balls and all kind of games after school, the Chinese kids study so hard after school. Just talk about history – American kids need to study more than 200 years of American history; Chinese kids need to study more than 5000 years Chinese history. Not to mention the Chinese parents have high expectation for their kids winning all kind of championships in whatever field the parents demand.

Uncle Francois was a very handsome young boy when I was very small. He used to play guitar and sing foreign songs at grandma and grandpa parties. Little Gold, Little Firewood and I would sing along pretending we could speak English. None of us big kids and small kids alike had ever left the island Taiwan yet. It was like the hobbit in the Lord of the Rings, who lived happily in their hobbit town. That was their world – “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Grandma sent uncle Francois to chef school before he went abroad to study Economic in Europe. Uncle Francois was the most lighthearted person then. He would experiment making ice cream together with uncle Peter just for the fun of making it. I would be so patiently watching for hours for all the steps they have to go through. Then they both forgot about it. After three days nobody ever mentioned about the ice cream, I was the one remembered where they stored ice cream and climbed off the bed after midnight, open the door of that tall refrigerator, stood on my toes, trying to reach the ice cream container and ate lots of it, then on my toes again, putting the ice cream back to the top shelf. That was the kind of concern I had in those days.

When uncle Francois received his PhD degree in France, I was a teenager champion girl. The taste of championships was more addictive than the taste of ice cream. When aunt Shirley came to visit us as uncle Francois’s bride, I was mature enough to befriend with her like an adult. Aunt Shirley was an artist in her heart. When she was deeply touched by some profound movies or theater pieces, she would sigh- how artful it was expressed in that way. We would talk about our views about life, then often ended with how amazing cats were. Aunt Shirley felt cats were much more cleaner and smarter than humans. She was not appreciative the fact that her cat had been treated as an “animal” by grandma. I definitely agreed with her even though I was grandma’s best friend.

Uncle Francois was the first Asian got hired to work for the high professional financial firm in Wall Street. Wall Street was highly respected and trusted in those days than now. When he chose to leave his glorious achievements from abroad only to work for some of the top companies that had branches in Taiwan, grandma was very touched. She knew that uncle Francois made such decision for her sake. He was the one giving grandma shots daily to balance of her blood sugar. When he had conversation with other people, he had the authority of a C.E.O and the charm of a movie star. I would secretly mimic his manner while having interviews with my early bosses – at the age of 17. Uncle Francois is now well adored by his students as Prof. Soh. The President of the university felt very honored to have him teaching there. He said there were plenty PhD out there but they did not have the experiences uncle Francois had, and there were plenty people out there who had the experiences but did not have PhD. He could not find anyone like Uncle Francois who has excellency in both academic world and the practical world. As his long term admirer I had witness his multi-facets supreme intelligence since I had some awareness of what intelligence was about. In fact all my uncles and aunts presented some kind of energy field that was so different than the ordinary people in the society I was raised. They were the ones who had seen the world and were successful in whatever they had done. They were my heroes and heroines. I would never imagine that one day I was the one who roam away from such family, not because of them but because of my own paths.

Across the lunch table uncle Francois and aunt Shirley were eyeing if I enjoyed such feast. I love them so much that words truly could not do any justice on such deep emotions… so I smiled again when tears welling up. These people were so down to earth while my earnest concern has always been flying as far as I could, sometimes with broken wings and other times with rainbows beneath my ever expanding, healed and ecstatic invincible wings. Have you seen the movie – Maleficent? That was the kind of journey and the kind of wings we are talking about.

We went to all kind of offices for legal signatures in less than one week time. If not because uncle Francois persisted that I had to go back “home” I would never be able to find my way physically, mentally, emotionally to complete the missing chapters in the book of my life.  Aunt Shirley would meet us in some special restaurant for lunch, after lunch we went again to get more paper work done. For them it was just lunch, for me those were special occasion feasts. I almost forgot the sophisticated role of healing, communicating, making deals, celebrating…and sometimes lecturing from the elder to the younger ones… that the feasting table played in Chinese culture. I had my moments of tearing listening to Uncle Francois lecturing me the mistakes I made of not going home often, then aunt Shirley had to stand by my side spoke for me just like when I was a kid, when father got tough with me then mom had to sooth father’s temper. I did not expect such culture shock of me being lectured. Then Uncle Francois said: ” Maybe you are as brilliant as the President Trump. He does not make sense to many people, but you seems to have no problem to understand him. For most people it is too confusing for people like you and Trump.We had no ideal what you guys are talking about…” Wow! If that was the bottom line form the preaching I got from my uncle Francois, all those tears were so worthwhile shedding. I felt pretty flattered that my dear Uncle compare me with someone I respect deeply, even though I do not totally in agreement with everything President Trump said or done, plus my life is very different than President Trump. My life is like the birds in the wildness. When the storm comes, we hide, when the sun comes out, we sing. Our nests are somewhere high up on the trees. Life is not about security but truly alive in each moment regardless how risky it might be. When we see things from above, we got different perceptions than perceiving life from below looking upward. Our nests could be destroyed anytime during the storms and we do not have problem to build another one, yet another one… then another one.

Jesus taught about the bird in the wildness. If mom realized that how much I had practiced what Jesus taught, she might get even more confused that why she and I heard the same message but understood so differently: “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” Matthew 6:26. Now look this one –  “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! – Luke, 12:27-28.

At the graveyard of grandma and grandpa, uncle Francois and I had quite some profound sharing on life principles. Everyone has some scars and wound during our journey through this physical plane. The most tragic event for uncle Francois and aunt Shirley was the death of their daughter Anita. Anita got killed when she was 14 years old by a boy who wanted to be the boyfriend for Anita. Uncle Francois was busy with lots of responsibilities that he did not even know such person existed. Aunt Shirley was aware of him and told Anita that she was too young to have a boyfriend. However aunt Shirley said it was ok to just be friend. The boy was not happy that Anita said she did not want to have a boyfriend, then he reacted madly. One of my biggest concerns in my life was about those who thought they were in love with me madly. That was nothing to do with love but purely obsession. I would turn into someone so unattractive and almost ugly in front of such people to repel them away. I might even get some “revenge” back if they had nightmare about me. Anita was only 14 years old, how could she know such play in life? When the boy was charged with severe criminal sentence at the court, uncle Francois and aunt Shirley told the judge that since they already lost their daughter, they would not want the boy’s family lost their son.They both educated the boy further by visiting him while he was in the junior’s prison. Later the boy became a young man, married and had his own baby… and often came to visit uncle Francois and aunt Shirley. If anyone could be called true Christians who walk the talk and totally surrender tragic life experiences to God’s love, that would be uncle Francois and aunt Shirley. Actually all my uncles and aunts are true Christians who practice what Jesus taught in their life situations. They have been generous with my mom and with her off springs including me. When mom passed they had every right to sell the house where mom lived in. It was a gift from grandma to all her off springs. For some reason Little Firewood thought he should fight for not selling the house but allow Little Gold’s family continue to live there even though uncles and aunts offered financial benefit for Little Gold family. Little Gold passed 6 months before mom… It was not a pretty situation and I had to make my choice about what did I stand for. Little Firewood is the only brother I have left in this world since mom, father, Little Gold all passed away. I have always loved him so dearly since his birth. There is a much deeper love stronger than the blood-tie, it is called Dharma – the principle of cosmic order. To not create further karmic disharmony, sadly I had to stand with all uncles and aunts and delivered my statement at the court… Even though I have always been a free spirit, these were not the moments to sing- Let It Be. After more than three years court case, finally Little Firewood said it was a misunderstanding to settle the case. Who is the one that has to clean up all the messes and confusions and straighten up the paper work? Uncle Francois.

I met with the family of Little Gold the first time in my life. Little Gold wife Y.H. felt like a soul sibling to me. She met Little Gold when he was a young mountain monk. She said Little Gold already had golden aura around him then. Little Gold saw in his mind’s eye that he still had some worldly karma to complete. My nephew Jacob and my niece Gladys were the main reason for Little Gold left his mountain monk’s life to become a husband and a father. There were so much to say and so much remain unsaid. The bottom line was love. I could see how my uncles and aunts seeing me when I was their young niece. I was so curious to know more about the world across the great water where they came from. Now I am the aunt across the great water looking at my own nephew and niece in depth and feeling the blood in our veins talking… there were so much untold stories better to be left alone. No matter what kind of dramas every soul has to go through, the bottom line is the same. It is all about life. Life is love, is God… is whatever we call it- All That Is, Tao…Life hold the final saying until we turn the page to the next chapter in the book of our souls.

In China there is a saying that it took 500 lifetimes of good karma for people to just be able to ride the same boat crossing a river. We were taught from the Buddhist way to cherish every Karma and transmuting the harmful ones into good ones. Family is made of all kind of different souls with different paths and life purposes. How many lifetimes of good karma for souls to meet one another as family members?

I shall visit you again very soon, dear Uncle Francois and Aunt Shirley. I promise you this time it won’t take another 30 years, hopefully less than 30 weeks. We have many things to do together to serve humanity – good, bad or ugly. Until then –

Left hand with a gong, right hand with a drum

With a gong and a drum together we sing a song…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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