Friday, May 24, 2013

LIFE | Dim Sum in the Morning, Laundry in the Afternoon

Today is Vesak Day, as well as one of those rare days when my brother and myself are not working at the same time. The whole family went down this morning for a bit of dim sum brunch. We used to have dim sum as a family many years ago, when I was still a teenager. We have stopped doing things together for a long time.

At the end of the meal, my mom brought out tissue paper and handed it out to everyone. Our family have a bad habit - my dad, my brother and myself - none of us ever learnt the habit of bring tissue paper out; mom always was the one to bring the tissue.

My mom has early on-set dementia. She is not the same person I grew up with. It has been difficult these last few years. These days I feel more like an adult, trying to mother my mother. But this morning, she still does what she used to do - hand out the tissues.

Sadly life will always have its moment. This afternoon, my mom and I argued over the laundry again. Seems like we are always arguing about this absurd need for me to have autonomy over my laundry. My laundry is the metaphor for my relationship with my mom. I want to live my life on my rules. All I want is for her to leave me alone - and she always replies, "But she is my daughter!"

My mom will never let me go. It is both good and bad. It is neither good or bad. It is what it is. Our parents can only love us the way they have been taught, the way they know how.

Sunday, May 05, 2013


Haruki Murakami's essay on the Boston Marathon bombing, here. He still amazes me, not just as a writer, but now that I started running, I am somewhat in awe that he ran the Boston Marathon six times. He ran marathons all over the world, at Athens, Chicago, New York, Honolulu - and of course Boston. He has a personal fondness for the Boston Marathon. This essay reminds me that I have yet to read his book on running, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.

To overcome this kind of trauma takes time, time during which we need to look ahead positively. Hiding the wounds, or searching for a dramatic cure, won’t lead to any real solution. Seeking revenge won’t bring relief, either. We need to remember the wounds, never turn our gaze away from the pain, and—honestly, conscientiously, quietly—accumulate our own histories. It may take time, but time is our ally.

For me, it’s through running, running every single day, that I grieve for those whose lives were lost and for those who were injured on Boylston Street. This is the only personal message I can send them. I know it’s not much, but I hope that my voice gets through. I hope, too, that the Boston Marathon will recover from its wounds, and that those twenty-six miles will again seem beautiful, natural, free.