Friday, July 20, 2007

Happy Birthday Mumsy

I've always seen my mother as the perfect example of doing great things by pouring out your life for others, so that others can take off and change the world.
I'd like to learn that, right now, and move powerfully, albeit unseen.
Thank you Mumsy, I wouldn't be who I am today if not for you.

I was 15 when I decided that my element was water. Of course, I was embarrassed to have such significant information bestowed upon me by Amy Tan. I am unfortunately so Anglo that the best of my cultural heritage is bestowed upon me by an Asian-American. But that is a gripe for another day. I am Asian - Canadian anyway.

Anyway. my element is water. I've known that full well. Sitting with Thi by the Tadlo falls in Laos - or rather, I was floating in the stream and he was pawing the shore like a finicky cat - I found a smug sense of belonging in the fluid flesh of the falls. And what was it that I said? That I, as liquid (and protean) in my footsteps as I am, am apt to take the path of least resistance. What else do we expect of water? "Ah! But it doing so, I carve canyons out of stone!" I defended myself against the apparent notion that I am, in my watery ways, intrinsically weak. In great weakness there is great strength, and in strength - weakness.

Then I discover that water is as violent as she is soft. Her rage in all its tsunamic blindness calls all others to beg pointlessly for mercy. And she takes, and crushes, and destroys everything beneath her indiscriminate thumb, leaving behind numb bodies and uncomprehending minds.

And this is where I am. Perhaps. Being driven unwittingly by my blind surges of intensity, I find myself rolling on forward, through time and tasks, spaces and people. I keep moving keep pushing keep racing ahead running on breath so hard it hurts to breathe.

The crest of my wave breaks and after the crash subsides, I lie still and silent. Stunned by my journey - too hard and fast. I realise that I have been blinded by my perceived importance of being, such that I ceased to find my harmonious part in anything else. My world was flooded by my immense wave of unbridled severity that I have destroyed most everything else.

有山有水 - Balance! Balance!
I ought to know. Or at least, ought to learn.
In my insistence in being who I am, please don't let me destroy everything that otherwise validates me.

So here, in my strongest of strengths, lies my most fragile weakness.