A Mother’s Soliloquy



Thump thump….


That night,


Son kicked me from inside of my body.


That kick


didn’t only wake me up


but also    awaken the memory of me in Mother’s womb.


It is an indescribable experience,     like I am still in her.



like,   I am still connected with her.



It has been nine years, since I’ve moved here. Away from Parents.




I’ve lost the track of time.


Nine years, is just a number I use as a reference for people.




Once I longed for settling down but this idea irritates me now


and the fantasy of returning to my homeland starts to creep all over


when I am only with myself.


Then, I look at the memories,



With so much force, so hard.    Then the memories shatter.


I collected them piece by piece.


fixing them, I decided to keep them in a box.




Gradually, I became the family-story collector:


The stories about my ancestors: those captains of boats and those women and children who waited at home for their husbands and fathers to return.



Around 200 years ago, Ancestors crossed the Black Ditch by sail boat, wanting to immigrate to Taiwan for a better life.


Half-way, they arrived in a small island and started a new life.


They were fearless, as I was told.



Grandfather said his father and other strong men’s boat encountered a typhoon. They all died.



Knowing the possibility of no return, they still went and so did I.


Knowing the possibility of no return, they still went and so did I.



That’s the fate of seamen and diaspora.


I’ve become the seaman of the family.


What is home and where to return?




Father insists on sailing the oceans, even after he got retired from being a deep-sea captain


He said: that makes him happy.


Leaving us to work on the boat.


I think he must experience certain unhomely feeling when he actually returned home.




Where does he feel more at home?  and  How about me?


















Map of Odyssey



I am the seaman of the family.


Navigate  the ocean to return to the abandoned Formosa, the beautiful island.





Thump thump thump thump....


I was lying on the bed in the hospital. The machine monitored the heart-beats of my children.  They were still in my womb.


The contractions got more and more frequent.


We were waiting.


An opening started to appear. It led to an ocean and a boat.



Where will they feel more at home?  What is the homeland they want to return?


The image of the homeland is fading but becoming more and more appealing to me.



The candy will be offered to my children. My desire to return home will be forgotten.


They will listen to Sirens’ beautiful lullaby so the folk songs from my homeland will not be remembered.



Generation after generation, Homeland will become a symbolic place.


The idea of returning only stays in the imagination.