A family trip to Taipei last weekend.
Going to Yilan, then Yeliou, Shifen, Jioufen, then cbd Taipei.
In Shifen, driver drove us to a small village to fly a lantern. The Chinese thing. The superstitious thing. The writing stupid prayer on the lantern, and taking a picture, and then flying to the heavens for a wish thing. Used to hate it. But things that didn’t kill you crush you, bend you to something you didn’t used to. And lastly you find it alright to live with it. A 1984 thing. I don’t mind anymore. After all, I’m a Chinese. I’m getting superstitious. Let’s do it. Just do it. Nike thing.
Not as I had expected, as commercials usually sell it as night activity. It’s only possible if you live in Shifen, a village 2 hours driving from Taipei proper. I don’t want to live in Shifen. So flying lantern became a day thing. So like my life. Always a bit sub par.
Car parked a bit far from the village. We walked a few minutes from the only village road. Along the way came bamboos, a creek coveted covered under the bamboos without my knowing until my way back, stalls selling local snacks, Taiwan music, then more people suddenly in your front, amalgam into hoards, fleets, crowds, chaos. Spots of small lanterns sparse scattering in the sky, gradually becoming the part and props of the chaos on the ground. And then I saw the tracks, with slow train regularly re-grouping the chaos from hoards on the tracks into lines with their mobiles for their snapshots of the slow train. Wondering what I should write in turns.
Most of the prayers of mine written with the Chinese maobi: long live, life, love…and I looked around about myself, peeping other penmanship of the chaos around. Basically the similar prayers. Suddenly I had a thought. We put our wish on the flying paper. Let them out of our hands. Not grasping them. With a fire, and four ceremonial photo taking, the health and life and survive and family left us and gone. Left us. Or we should believe someone somewhere out in heaven would catch our words and do something about them. It’s pretty uncertain and unnerving.
Or maybe I shouldn’t think too much. Just grasp the moment with my loved ones. Do some silly things. Amusing ourselves, and walked away along the same road we got in. The trains, the crowds, the people, the snacks, the river, the bamboos, the music, all rewound into one old village path. In our front came the next groups of people who would experience the same things I experienced an hour or so ago. Physically or even psychologically. The same silly overthink.