Sunday, November 17, 2013


"It must have been in another lifetime..." she thought, maybe out loud.

She looked at the words, listening to them, even. Swirling, in her head, together and then apart, leading, following, swing and then turn...choreographed by wisps of desire. Hauntingly beautiful words, strung together by flurries of melancholy, creating perfectly sensible meaning. Their meaning seem captivating,  the stories they make...maybe even beautiful, too.

She doesn't need to come back to the words again. She can see them when she closes her eyes. And, for some reason, she can even recite the rest out loud. Without having seen them! No, she must have seen them before. She was the choreographer who had woven the steps together.  But she's having a hard time relating to those words.

She looked outside at the snow slowly accumulating from the pretty snowflakes. She can see two little toddlers all bundled up, excited about the lovely white fluffs falling from the grey sky. Their moms must be nearby. Do they remember what it was like before having children? Do they miss it? Was it also a different lifetime for them?

How many lifetimes does a person get to have? One stack here for one lifetime, and another there for a different one. Or are they organized that neatly? When did one lifetime end and another one begin?

The gaps. Must be the gaps.
Beautiful, heartfelt stories do not create the lives that lived. They are records of the lives that ended.
The gaps are where the living is found, where the lives are lived. Stories are the most beautiful at the expense of death. The irony isn't lost on her.  Suddenly she fears that the day will come when she will write beautifully again. Peace and bliss don't make good stories. But she doesn't want to write good stories anymore. She doesn't want another lifetime.

She puts away the stacks that she stumbled upon while looking for that vintage necklace her mom gave her. She wants to find it and give it to her daughter to wear for her wedding day. She chuckled to herself and thought about what her husband said to her before she ran up to the attic an hour ago, "what is a 1 month-old going to do with that?"

She'll look for it in a couple of decades. Sometimes, her imagination runs too far. But she's just that good at making stories, even if they're not beautifully written. Not yet anyway.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Grammar and Manner

It is okay to say:
"What is your background?"
"What is your heritage/race/ethnicity/ancestry/lineage?"

It is not okay to say:
"Where are you from?" if you want to ask someone for their ethnicity
"Where are you REALLY from?" after asking "where are you from?" and getting a literal answer
"Why is your English so good?" without asking for a person's background first
"Your English is perfect!" without knowing the person's background, unless you are editing a written piece of work.
"What is your REAL name?" after asking the person for their name.
"Are you Japanese? Are you Korean? Are you Chinese?" if you want to know what their background is. Why are you guessing and making assumptions based on your own silly stereotype????

It is also not okay to:
  • Shout random asian languages to me as I'm walking down the street, such as "konnichiwa" or "ni hao"
  • Attribute how i am or things i do to my race/ethnicity/ancestry/lineage, no i don't like shopping because I am Chinese, no the pasta im cooking is not chinese, no i don't like the cold even if i'm from canada, and no I don't speak French in Toronto even if I'm from Canada