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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

遮雨棚下

最近在專用停車位打盹的時候車子偶爾會因為夢到從前在台南分公司的那段日子而驚醒,心裡總覺得有點懷念又有點不可思議。自己這麼一把年紀還不停的從林口到台南陪著老闆跑生意,接老婆,看爸媽,當時雙方都十分確認過不了多久一定是過勞死的下場(車子啦,不是老闆),只希望某天能夠平平安安的在停車位上永久拋錨,再也發動不了,而不是在路上昏倒給那些年輕力壯的跑車們看笑話。誰能預期到老闆一位新同事的媽媽會看上了車子,把它牽回家收養呢?

想到了離別的當天車子不禁熱淚盈眶(其實應該是潤滑油外漏),老闆把它手洗得乾乾淨淨,開到了台南分公司門口,讓新老闆娘親自接手,車子又是不捨又是緊張,儘量裝出一副「我是老臺北」的跩樣子,免得舊巴巴的外觀被新老闆娘嫌棄。新老闆娘是一位溫柔的太太,把它慢慢地開回了新家,作為去菜市場還有道場的代步工具。從此之後車子的生活有了大大的改觀。新老闆娘很寶貝的照顧老車,不但帶它去保養場大大的保養了一番,還替他重新烤漆,讓它永遠擺脫了「小豬肝」的色澤。為了要讓車子不受日曬雨淋(才剛烤漆怎麼能讓它褪色~)還在家門口蓋了一個有遮雨棚的停車位。車子每次停在裡面就忍不住對著附近的鄰居車們擠眉弄眼的炫耀:「我前老闆是個臺北博士經理,天天跟我北中南的東跑西跑,幸好我乖巧又可靠,現在半退休了還有遮雨棚。我在大都市的遭遇啊,你們這些鄉巴佬不會了解的,哼~」。鄰居的車子羨慕又嫉妒,天天期望它光鮮的烤漆哪天被機車刮出一道長長的痕跡⋯⋯

Saturday, 18 January 2014

On defensiveness

so, I usually row to warm up and it's been a long time since I've trained with anyone (years and years). Last night this guy I don't know suddenly  says to me that he wants to "show me how the machine work". I was  dumbfounded by how obnoxious it sounded, and after rowing a few strokes he asks me if I get the idea. I tell him that I actually have rowed, at which point he starts critiquing my technique. Instead of acknowledging that he's right, my technique is all over the place, I get all defensive and tell him that this is how I learned (which is not true, sorry coach. I probably made you sound really incompetent), and I was just like, thanks, I think I'm fine. We made slightly tense small talk for a few minutes before I excused myself and even though I know his critiques of my technique is just  I was really offended because I don't take well to be patronized and it just upset me (not to mention that I kept wondering what else I might be dong wrong for the next 2 hours at the gym, constantly catching him doing other things out of the corner of my eye). I wish I could be more humble and just take it in my stride as some good advice rather than wanting to turn around and slug him in the face (anyway I can't because he's a lot stronger than me and a good rower, he'd beat me to a pulp) So, new search term for google "how to be humble". Results: 3 ways to be humble, 7 ways to practice humility, 50 ways to be more humble. I notice the same "un-teachability" in my dance practice too, so I guess that's 2014's resolution (facepalm).

But more to the point. I get defensive really easily and when well meaning people give me unsolicited advice I just get so angry and frustrated. A part of me wants to scream at them and ask them where they were all the years when I needed advice VERY VERY badly, and if they weren't around then, who the fuck are they to tell me what to do now, which is, needless to say, irrational and irrelevant. But visceral and immediate. I'm not sure if this is something I'll get over, but I will try.

Another thing is the somewhat troubling knowledge that a big part of why I weight train is because I'm obsessed with self-empowerment. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse I'm absolutely haunted by a sense of powerlessness and I go 3-4 times a week to the gym to make myself strong enough to defeat an enemy who is DEAD. But alive to me every time in my nightmares. I'm not sure what kind of revolution needs to take place in my life before I can shake that off. So excuse me if I look very tense while I work out.

Finally I'm mortified by how bad my rowing technique is and how I thought I was doing good all this time. I hope no one else at the gym has noticed (please, ground, open up and swallow me).

Sunday, 22 December 2013

When

can I stop making up for the deficit? 

The more you can feel

... the more you are inclined to? This morning I had the strangest dreams of being attacked for who I am, for my neediness, and my endless array of intimacies and attachments. Sometimes what I have in my pocket is a chasm and an urgent need to be soothed. 

Friday, 20 December 2013

on tattoos and piercings

... it's so that I can be as scarred and beautiful on the outside as I am on the inside.

A little piece of grief

It's a fairly embarrassing thing to sometimes get drunk and cry. But I guess it shows that deep down somewhere all that grief hasn't yet gone away. I just don't let myself indulge in it at all, if I can help it. But today the tone of your voice, caring, concerned, felt like one more of those things that tips the scale toward life being a fantastically wonderful place and well worth living. Like the time when, speaking candidly about the abject misery that I once felt, my friend, sitting next to me, shot out an arm and gave my shoulder a quick squeeze, and said "that's awful." Times like these I feel as though I can break off a piece of my enormous grief and give it to a friend to hold. And I walk away feeling enveloped in warmth knowing I don't have to carry it alone.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Occasionally I remember

what it was like to walk alone and feel the absence of your hand in mine. What it was like to stand waiting on the platform and feel the shape of you hollowed out in my silhouette.

Then I remember to keep looking forward rather than back. 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Minor Milestones

Today (for the first time I): plucked my eyebrows, used a curling iron, set my hair in a pin-curl. I'm thirty in 2 months and I've never learned many of the basic girly girl skills before. My teens and twenties were a fiasco in some respects and these things just never figured high enough on the list of priorities. But it's never too late, is it?

The other day I had a long chat with Yang about what it means to be a survivor. 

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The good old days at home sweet home

On Monday my mother washed.
It was the way of the world,
all those lines of sheets flapping
in the narrow yards of the neighborhood,
the pulleys stretching out second
and third floor windows.

Down in the dank steamy basement,
wash tubs vast and grey, the wringer
sliding between the washer
and each tub. At least every
year she or I caught
a hand in it.

Tuesday my mother ironed.
One iron was the mangle.
She sat at it feeding in towels,
sheets, pillow cases.
The hand ironing began
with my father's underwear.

She ironed his shorts.
She ironed his socks.
She ironed his undershirts.
Then came the shirts,
a half hour to each, the starch
boiling on the stove.

I forgot bluing. I forgot
the props that held up the line
clattering down. I forgot
chasing the pigeons that shat
on her billowing housedresses.
I forgot clothespins in the teeth.

Tuesday my mother ironed my
father's underwear. Wednesday
she mended, darned socks on
a wooden egg. Shined shoes.
Thursday she scrubbed floors.
Put down newspapers to keep

them clean. Friday she
vacuumed, dusted, polished,
scraped, waxed, pummeled.
How did you become a feminist
interviewers always ask,
as if to say, when did this

rare virus attack your brain?
It could have been Sunday
when she washed the windows,
Thursday when she burned
the trash, bought groceries
hauling the heavy bags home.

It could have been any day
she did again and again what
time and dust obliterated
at once until stroke broke
her open. I think it was Tuesday
when she ironed my father's shorts.


by Marge Piercy

Thursday, 5 September 2013

What I think about when I do yoga

I think about a cycle of things.

It starts: "God this is hard I hate warming up". I think of all the primary series ahead of me and the poses seem to stretch out to all of eternity.

Then I remember the story of the monk who is disturbed by a giant spider each night when he tries to meditate. He was advised to draw a big circle on the spider's belly so they might identify it during day time. He wakes during the day with the circle drawn on his own belly.

Then I think: "God this is still hard could I just stop after the sun salutations?"

Then I start to feel good:
  1. This is just for me, not for anyone else. 
  2. I feel so good doing this rather than thinking I should do this. 
  3. It's good I'm no longer lying on a hospital bed recovering from a major surgery. It's good that I have the use of all my body parts with no aches and pains and no debilitating injuries. 
  4. I should do this more. 
Then I think of nothing at all. No niggling anxiety of what remains undone. No comparing myself to others. No fear of my own failure. 

Mostly just concentrating on how to use every part of my body optimally. To relish, or at least, endure, the burn and the tingle and the pain. 

Then it's all over and I'm absolutely ravenously happy.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Dreißig Giraffen im Einkaufszentrum

Dreißig Giraffen gehen ins Einkaufszentrum. Die Giraffen wollen Schuhe. Die Giraffen brauchen einhundertundzwanzig Schuhe,aber die Giraffen haben kein Geld.

Die Giraffen weinen.

Die dreißig Tierpfleger kommen, um zu sehen, was passiert ist. Die Giraffen sagen, wir wollen einhundertundzwanzig Schuhe, aber wir haben kein Geld. Die Giraffen wissen nicht, dass sie Geld brauchen. Die Tierpfleger bezahlen für die Schuhe mit Einnahmen von Eintrittskarten in den Zoo.

Die Giraffen ziehen viele Besucher an.

Die Giraffen gehen zurück in den Zoo mit jeweils vier Schuhen.

Die Tierpfleger geben den Giraffen dreißig Euro als Taschengeld, damit sie nicht mehr im Einkaufszentrum weinen.

Friday, 5 July 2013

後來

車子在老闆南遷之後好幾次覺得被吊去殺肉(台語)也還不錯,因為當時老闆每週北上南下,兼顧家庭與工作,讓車子好吃不消。「我老了!!!」車子每次開上高速公路看到年輕小伙子飛快的跑著就越發的感受到了他自己的年紀,而這時老闆其實也慢慢在籌備要換新車的費用了。雖然雙方都漸漸感到在一起的日子不會太長久了,但是還是各自盡力充實的度過所剩的時間。不管太陽再烈,馬路上的柏油再燙,車子還是盡責的鞭策自己(每次終於到了停車位的時候就馬上昏倒),而老闆也很大方的帶它去自動洗過了好幾次,讓車子再也不覺得自動洗有什麼稀奇了。

因為老闆與老闆娘初期相遇的時候就是開著著車子,而且還暱稱它「小豬肝」(被太陽曬到退成豬肝色的紅車),所以連老闆娘想到車子就要退休了也覺得有點依依不捨。「這樣下去不是辦法的,我哪天毛病發作就會很不安全了」,車子自己私下盤算等到自己真的撐不下去了以後就乾脆不再發動了吧,寧可這樣也比在路上拋錨或失控來的好... 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

After I quit my job

... I started doing mostly what I liked except when I sometimes had to do things I didn't like. I'm intensely happy almost all of the time, even though I make very little money now. But that will change - I'm trying to get a lot of projects on the road.

Half my time is spent turning down the things I don't want to do, and that's the hardest - saying no to an opportunity. But I try to remember that I'm doing this to do what I want, not whatever other people offer me.

Unrelatedly something I saw today.


Monday, 11 March 2013

You never thought you could



But you can, and it's a lot better. 

Today's lunch: egg salad mayonnaise with pickles.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Insecurities

隨時感覺到的是自己的痛處 - 小小的弱點跟其他人完全無關, 但是受了恐懼的慫恿, 卻攻擊了他人, 真是不公平.