If my mind flows around like water, my heart would be the motor of running the torso – the form which enables what the mind wants to do. Sometimes I would have caffeine rush when drinking black coffee with an empty stomach, that’s the moment when I would sit down quietly and feel the loud heartbeat as if it’s a system check to reassure it’s being okay.
I can’t stop thinking about the hot days on the islands: grab a snorkel and a pair of fins, dive my head into the ocean and just live for a while upside down. No route, no timer, surrounded by fish and corals, and occasionally an invisible kiss on the cheek by jellyfish – stinging and endearing.
There’s a huge playground behind my parents’ old apartment. Back in the days I would always go there and play with the neighbor kids. During the spring when petunia would blossom in the field, everybody would do this trick to snip off a petunia from the stem, pick out the pistil and taste its sweetness.
During the rainy season in Malaysia, it pours every day for almost the whole day. When the night falls, lightning brings a visit and strikes through the whole space outside. For the first time, I saw the sky turned purple with the gold branches of lightning stretching down to the ground. The craziest movie effects do seem to have inspiration from real life.
I used to live in an old house in Taiyuan with my parents. We had a small back yard attached to it where a tree and some plants grew. In the summer after the rain, I would go on ‘snail hunting’ in the yard. They normally were tiny and liked to chill on the leaves laying low to the ground. I loved the gentle tickle on the arm when the snail crawled along.
For a long time during middle school, I believed I was a persona made in a lab, injected into a human body by a strong beam of light shot down from some UFO. Everything I did, every movement was pre-programmed for the rest of this human’s life. I was probably bored out of my mind.
It is Tomb Sweeping Day every 4th of April in the Chinese Calendar, a moment to remember the deceased ones. The preschool would gather all the kids in a group and visit the memorial in Yingze Park. Each kid was required to bring a flower. My grandma would use a white plastic bag and some metal wires, layering up, twist and turn and hand me a white little flower. It was like a magic trick. I walked to the park with eternal love in hand.
~ Ice Shard~
My grandparents live in a house with traditional Chinese roof tiles. The tiles form a wavy shape by the edge. In winter, we could easily see ice shards hanging on the tiles. To pick them off had become one of my favorite things in winter.
Remember those days during primary school being so obsessed with Harry Potter. One night in my dream, I was in a dark tunnel being chased by something evil. Daniel Radcliffe was hand-in-hand with me and we were running madly towards the light.
~Collection of Rainbow~
We don’t see rainbows very often in big cities in China, and so it is always madly posted on social media whenever one appears. This project has given me the power of making my own rainbows at home. I can just wear them on my face and body.
High school biology class, observing onion skin under the microscope. It was probably the coolest thing I had seen with my own eyes. Enabled the power that the naked eye doesn’t have and just spend time peeking through an onion. I barely passed biology exams but looking back now, it was one of my favorite subjects in high school.
There are weekend markets around most neighborhoods in Malaysia. One week I went with friends and one of them bought a black fantail fish. It swims so elegantly and has a blue hue on the skin. It was named ‘Moon’. The next time when I saw this friend, she told me Moon had died.
~A Town with Crabs~
According to my citizenship registry, I have a ‘Place of Birth’ and also a ‘Native Place’, which indicates my grandfather’s place of birth. That’s a town on the east coast of China by the sea. Every time I went with family, the local relatives would steam a pot full of crab and host a typical seafood meal. The love of seafood runs deep in my blood.