Laugh, make the world laugh with you; Weep, you'd better off weeping alone, loud and proud, such aloneness is a gift. Love, let the words of the heart speak for you; Hate, may you find the rare courage to forgive, succeed or fail, fight your own dragon battles. When weary, don't shoulder the burden of mankind; When bitter, curse the evil like that of a spunky child; When merry, spread the lights around and beyond; When achieve, award yourself with a King's crown. Too many friends will burn you out; Too many confidants will sell you out; A few trusted company is a heaven sent; and aim for one love is the higher route. Sing, and the hills will answer; Sigh, it is lost in the thin air; To write therein more fresh stories of delights, Live with all your wit and love with all you have!
Poet’s Journal : The Beginning
Seeing the familiar name printed on the large billboard that my train swiftly passed by had sent a chill down to my spine, I was reminded of my high school classmate Charlotte who once secretly told me that she did not want to live surpassed the age of 30 because she would not like to look old when dying. And as she had wished, she indeed did not make it till 30.
I was too young and too self-absorbed in my own goals and dreams to savour the meanings and the stories behind Charlotte’s words. Now I am more matured and experienced, I could feel her unspoken pain and see where she came from in retrospect.
The first sentence of Leo Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina is: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” How very true! God knows there are some of us had grown up without any positive female figures in our lives and with the absence of reliable adults. We were never taught how to be a girl and how to a woman, and we stood in this world on our own. Only “the lucky few” would survive and many many had waned in misery.
As one of “the lucky few”, I wonder often who I am to make it till this point of my life and who I am to deserve the goodness while others who came from the same way were swallowed by the dark nights. But whenever I have those moments of doubts, I find myself going back to the beginning, to my roots, and to the glory and the sorrow of a long-suffered ancient lineage.
During my vacation in New York last month, I headed straight to the only one destination of my true interest — West Point. I stayed in the peaceful town for quite a while and toured around the West Point Academy, where both my great-grandfather and great-granduncle were nominated to study there as two of the very first international students to attend West Point. They went on to serve during World War II after graduation.
I still remember that there were stacks of family books locked in the back chamber of our ancestral temple which documented the life facts of every person in each generation of the family lineage, yet only male members were carefully included and the women were briefly marked solely by names and life spans. Each generation shares the same middle name preordained by the family name books so that they can be easily distinguished from the rest. By the time I was born, I was the 253rd generation. Albeit time and political turmoils vastly altered the life experiences of each generation and overtime, we obtained different nationalities and exposed to diverse cultural norms, we are still bound by one blood that belongs exclusively to the ancient Mongolians.
“Don’t you ever forget that we are the great grand-daughters of Genghis Khan, the King of all Kings and the warrior of all warriors! ” These words were written in a yellowed page of the family book by my one female ancestor. Her words were illuminatingly powerful that could light up even my darkest night….
One day, I might be repeating my great grandfather and my great granduncles’ favourite quote and telling my offsprings that “Hey, we came from the land of Genghis Khan….”.
At West Point, NY
The sky was so blue, and the sun so bright, crossing oceans and traveling in time, I revisited my ancestors’ footprints.