Chapter 15 - Pistol in Each of Her Pockets
Mom said that she wanted us to have a kind of mom that she herself did not have.
Nai Nai as a lady was too great for a time that women had no social status. Most woman in those days could not even read in Chinese but lived with bounded feet. It was said that the highest virtue for a woman was to have no talents, no intellect intelligence, not even to have the greatest look for the fear of destruction. In order to show their respect to her, men had to treat her as one of their kind. People respected her so much that they had to call her “Sir.” Nai Nai’s own brother called her “Good Brother” Her own nephews and nieces called her “Good Uncle” with great reverence. When I was old enough to know that my grandma was a woman, I was very confused about why my granduncle calling her ” Good Brother ” and why my cousin uncle and cousin aunt calling her ” Good Uncle. ”
Nai Nai was the head for two orphanages during the time of World War II.
She would ride a horse rushing to her orphanages through the mountain roads with pistol in each of her pockets, when the Air Raid Sirens rang. Mom, aunt and uncles each had their own milk-mother to protect them. Deai Deai had his own duties to fulfill, he was not around either. Mom said that every time when the siren rang, she was so afraid that she might never see Nai Nai or Deai Deai or any of her siblings again…
Nai Nai told me that mom, aunt and uncles had much better lives than any of these orphans. Nai Nai was going to give all her might to protect them since more and more children entered the orphanages as days, weeks, years went by.
It was not easy to be a female leader in a patriarchal society in her time.
Those men got very upset when the first day Nai Nai sat on chairperson’s seat in a social bureau meeting. They refused to listen to what she had to say in stead they asked ridiculous questions to insult her. One of the questions was to ask her to explain why the ancient script said that the most deadly poisons were from a woman leader’s heart? Nai Nai did not buy into their emotional dramas. She calmly said to that man that she believed his own mother would have much better answer for such question. She said to those men to not mix their personal confusions with the great tasks upon their shoulders. Together they had so much to tackle during the WWII…
Nai Nai must have won their respect because years later she was elected to be one of the two senators from her own province- Zhejiang. She was a petite young lady with long black hair framed her delicate face, played the best piano, cooked the best dishes… spoke seven International language: English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Latin, and Chinese and she was not even five feet tall. You would not know that she might have pistol in each of her pockets.
Ah! Mom also did the same thing of standing apart from her mom’s value and priorities in life. Where had mom learned to be a Chinese Holy Mother kind of character? From books? Movies? Ideals from the Catholic church? or from her milk-mother?
Deai Deai was one of the representatives for the Chinese Government to sign the paper for the surrender of the Japanese Government. After the war Deai Deai had four major newspapers in Shanghai, two in English two in Chinese. Because of his position many politicians wanted to be his friends and enjoyed so much of gathering in his home sharing intelligence. When Communist started to make waves, both Communist party and Kuomintang wanted him to be the spoke person for them. Deai Deai did not take side, he only spoke for the People. Such attitude had offended some authorities and made himself and his family on the top blacklist.
One day right before he was ready to go to one of his offices, his private driver, Lao Chan, told him to not go, instead they must go to airport to run for their lives before it was too late. He told Deai Deai that an assassination was arranged and everything was in perfect place just waiting for Deai Deai to finally enter the net. In a very short time, everyone in the family was in the car to the airport. Deai Deai asked Lao Chan why did he want to risk his life for Deai Deai’s family. Lao Chan said that he and his family respected Deai Deai and Nai Nai profoundly. They were the hope for the people. His life was nothing compared with what was on the shoulders of Deai Deai and Nai Nai. Hours later, Deai Deai, Nai Nai and mom, uncles and aunt landed in Hong Kong, my youngest uncle was only a baby then. Perhaps about the same time the honorable Lao Chan who saved the lives of Deai Deai’s entire family got killed.
I would not be here to tell such story if not because Lao Chan changed life course.
They stayed in low profiles in Hong Kong about two years. Nai Nai then was known not by what she did before but by her excellent sewing skills that allow her to make a living for her family. In the meantime their lives were still in danger. Finally they made the decision to move to Taiwan, a tiny island with a history of colonial cultures with Dutch, Japanese, Chinese… and native people.
In the Chinese history, Taiwan was given to the invaders often when China lost the war, then it was back to China again, when China won. In some dynasties they send the real criminals mixed with political incorrect people to Taiwan. This is not unlike Australia and New Zealand to the British. So the offsprings who lived on this kind of lands often were either misfits, rebels, or extremely out of box, independent thinkers who were not interested in building more height to the so called ” traditions. ” Now this island was the last place for the Kuomintang to retreat to.
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The founder of Kuomintang was Sun Yat-sen who was a medical practitioner turned into a Chinese revolutionary and the founding father of the Republic of China. Do you know what does this mean? This means that this humble man from south China ended thousands years of ruler-ship by the Emperors, kings and queens to allow common people to have some human rights. There were all kind of rebels throughout the Chinese history, most of them either got killed if they failed or becoming the next Emperor if they won… Sun did not take that path but truly wanted the best for the People of China. He was the provisional president who did not have military power. In his ideal of uniting China he ceded the first presidency to the military leader Yuan Shika. This Mr. Yuan did try his best to become another Emperor but he did not live long enough… After his death China was divided by warlords while the Kuomintang was able to control only part of the southern China. Later led by Chiang Kai-Shek, the Kuomintang formed the National Revolutionary Army and succeeded in unify most of the Chinese provinces in 1928 until its retreat to Taiwan in 1949 after being defeated by the Communist Party in China. Kuomintang is the sound translation of two words: Kuomin is the citizen of the Nation. Tang is party. So Kuomintang means The National Citizen Party.
My father was only a young boy who joined the student army for Chiang Kai Shek’s visions of defending China against Japan, later against the Communist party. It was then called A Hundred Thousand Young Men, A Hundred Thousand Soldiers. In fact, not all of them were even young men yet, many of them were teenager boys. After Japanese lost the war, more troubles everywhere from the inland. Father had a different view about how the Communist ” defeated ” Kuomintang.
Father said that most farmers had no ideas about which side was which side after the Japanese invasion, warlords, this group and that group… Some Communist armies would enter a village, capture the old and weak, women and children to march with them. They came up with a pretty good ideal of putting these people marching in front of their tanks and soldiers,,, no weapon, hands raised crying for mercy marching to the next town or village… the armies that defended those towns and villages could not shoot these innocent old, weak, women and children… so the Communist armies took one village, one town, one city after another… and their newspaper said that the entire China welcome the communist armies to liberate them, they did not even fight back. They said that every village, every town and every city was celebrating of being “liberated” by the Communists.
Propagandas are ancient games since the beginning of the human politics. It was defined in the Oxford Dictionaries as chiefly derogatory Information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or a point of view … Any country with huge populations but little support of good living standard for its people often suffered from propagandas.
Now I shall invite you to take a look from your mind’s eye – father as a young boy fought for his country and taught himself about life every step along his way marching with the student Army; mom was only a little girl with her blacklist family running for their lives… They could be killed at any moment in their youth but somehow they survived and arrived in the island of Taiwan in their own timing. Who was the invisible choreographer behind the scenes?
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As soon as the ship arrived at the island of Taiwan, Deai Deai was arrested by the already stood by army as a “spy” from the Communist. Nai Nai was in an island with her six children in total shock. She then wrote to Chiang Kai-Shek about their history of serving their country and People… she also wrote about why they chose to came back to the old China to serve their country instead of having better lives teaching in the Europe… Chiang Kai-Shek then released Deai Deai and offered Deai Deai to be his spoke person for his official newspaper – The Central Daily News.
Deai Deai thanked the offer but very skillfully asked the permission to retire from being a newspaper man. He said that he was “too old to think clearly,” He would be grateful to just have a peaceful “old age.” “This was the way Deai Deai kept his principle to only speak for the People and not to be used as a political puppet. He got a mercey of retiring from his brilliant career as a newspaper man at the age about his early 40’s.
As a child,I did not know much about the Kuomintang nor the Communist party, nor wars, nor any long histories these people carried in their lives. I did not know the persona of being successful and the deep sadness of great souls feeling frustrated with political bull poops, personal endangerment and a sense of incompletion for serving their People… I did not know that mom and father were from totally different social background… I only knew that I need to behavior extremely well at my grandparents’ parties where many important people whose names were all over the newspaper were coming.
Father would be eagerly shaking the hands of these people saying something like: ” I have read all your articles on the newspaper and I am totally with you.” or something like : ” Your speech last week was so brilliant, i am very honored to meet you. ” Mom would be so busily introduce us to these people and displaying how well taught her children were. Uncles and aunt were handsome and beautiful, all well dressed and well mannered. Nai Nai would maintain a smile of serenity observing everybody including how father shaking hands with those guests and keeping her thoughts to herself… I was embarrassed for father again, wondering why he could not attune to Nai Nai’s feelings like I could… and why he could not simply say the right things even though I have no ideas about what was the right thing he supposed to say. Deai Deai would just drink one glass after another while carrying on conversation with his natural dignity… then in the height of the party, suddenly he began to lecture those politicians and famous people alike about how foolish were their views and their ridiculous articles… since he seemed like already drank too much, so he could say anything he wanted to say without being arrested in time of ” public enemy went to jail.” He even said to Nai Nai in front of the guests that the reason why the country was so weak was because it was run by foolish politicians and women like her…
Nai Nai would be so well mannered and lovingly helping Deai Deai to retreat into his private room, then immediately pulled me aside, asking me to go upstairs giving Deai Deai a massage while being the most gracious hostess making sure every guest was in good spirit. Nobody seemed feeling offended by Deai Deai’s lecture because he was just “drank too much”… they respect Deai Deai as always but Deai Deai was out of the game quite long ago.
Sensitively knocking the door asking permission to enter his room, I greeted Deai Deai with the most pleasant manner taught and rehearsed often by my mother since I had memories. He was neither angry nor much drunk to my eyes…
He would sit there like a Buddha telling me : ” Never touch politics, when you grow up, understand?! ”
Very pleasantly I would say: ” yes, I shall not touch politics. ”
He then asked me what would I like to be when I grow up… oh! I had to be careful to not tell him that I wanted to be a great dancer flying like a swan. So I simply lied and said to him: ” I shall be a good doctor or a good lawyer.”
He then clapped and nodded to me: ” Good choices, I shall always support your dreams.”
Then he would ask me: ” Do you know how to count from number 1 to number 100?”
I said: ” yes. I know how. I can even count to 500 for you, if you like me to. ”
He then asked me to use my tiny fists as hamers to hit on his calves, counting from number 1 to 500, while he snored away…
Nai Nai then would open the door waved me to her and let me know that I had completed my mission…
This happened more than once, and it became like a theater ritualistic performance…
As years went by I could count from number 1 upto 1000. In the very beginning Deai Deai was not drunk at all, he was using drinking as a way for himself to speak truth to those who still having influence on the governmental decisions… then he did drink more and more, and snored away much sooner. I would look at his deep resting face worried about what if someday he would die? And began to cry… what could my tiny fists do if he passes away?
I was too little to truly understand the deep pain in his heart, something like how did he feel when he remembered Lo Chan? He knew too much and he could be killed at anytime if he was still a newspaper man… he was not made to be a puppet… So he dive into other realms of knowledge like Chinese I-ching, mythology, healing, studying Japanese, International Trade, playing golf…almost everything with sophisticated disciplines except politics, Then he drank and spoke his truth… He became more and more isolated into his inner realms, talked less and less, contemplated more and more. His presence was felt wherever he went, nobody dare to mess up with such presence. The older I become the more I understand those significant moments of being with him… I am utterly grateful.
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For the longest time, I always thought that I was not interested in politics because I was an artist. Our arts never lie to us. When the deep voices came out through my works, I was so surprised about how true artists were actually very political people because it was about well fair of the people and the fundamental principles of Life.
Those precious and intense time with Nai Nai and Deai Deai taught me many things that I could not have learned from schools, nor from books. They were the living books and they were everything excellent apart from being mediocre. It seems that today’s school system was about programing our youth to fit into the systems and teach them to be nice mediocres without questioning. Mediocre can be a nice thing as long as it does not against the excellency with self-imposed limitations. The systems do not need independent thinkers. All they need is technicians in different fields to keep the matrix functional. Those systems are crumbling, signs are everywhere. As humanity, we need to dive into the depth of our eternal essence instead of becoming robotic technicians, living in the compartmentalized mental boxes, only to deliver certain tasks to make a living but have no time for life itself.
There are some spiritual teachings that preach about ” no-past.” They ask their students to not even mention the past – a new taboo by a new rule that prevent people to be in touch with their life experiences. No-Past could be interpreted as everything happens in life does not exist but only this moment counts… Some spiritual fanatics become masters of denial because the past does not exist anymore, why bother? This moment shall become a past moment, therefore no matter what I am engaging now, it shall not exist next moment, again, why bother? There is nothing to integrate because all the past were gone… This kind of mentality only showed that whoever invented such philosophy did not realize that all past. present and future co-exist simultaneously. Without integrating our past, the entire humanity shall have no future. Maybe the reason some people were lingering in the past was because they had not finished the unfinished business yet. Why not allow these innocent souls to complete what they wanted to complete, to integrate and to allow the wisdom to be realized?
All those great beings in our lives who seemed to only belong to our past are still exist right in this moment with us all. They are in our breath, in our deep psyche, and in our heart and soul… They are fully present with us in this eternal Now.
Many fundamental beliefs in our world were part of the mind control programs. One culture’s sacredness could be the profanity from another culture’s point of view simply because they live differently. Evil is only the backward of l-i-v-e.To be a free person we need to be free from some old mind-sets and look deeper beneath the surface of these seemingly best selling “untruthful truth…” We need to see clearly why these kind of beliefs are promoted and why they are not our circle of trusted friends.
There were countless brilliant people bought into Communist beliefs just like those followed Hitler. How can we tell if what presented to us were beautiful propaganda packaged under leaderships like Lenin, Stalin,Hitler and Mao who were charismatic at first then turned into tyrants? Or something genuine like a wake-up call for the humanity from Martin Luther King?
These slogans below were powerful, but the fruits from them were nothing beneficial for the People except mass destruction.
” Workers of the world, unite.” – Lenin
Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed. – Stalin
EinVolk ein Reich, ein Führer – “One People, One Empire, One Leader” – Hitler
Service to People – Mao
They all brought lots of “hope” for their followers and made tidal waves in their times, had they lead their people to the Promised Land? Or surprised them to the cliffs of no return?
Now take a look of these two:
I Have A Dream – Martin Luther King
Yes, We Can – Obama
Well, I Have A dream truly inspired us all to continue our dreams for a better world and a better humanity. We are with you. In all ways – always. Dr. Martin Luther King!
Yes, We Can – Of course, we can. And you? Are you still with us? Mr. Obama?
Perhaps one of the ways of freeing ourselves from propagandas is to educate ourselves to be responsible and to be in touch with our innate knowing. We then shall be clear enough to not buying into the seductions from the land of toys, games, foods and drinks… and the land of no schools, no disciplines, no responsibilities… then slowly turned ourselves into donkeys. and got sold as donkeys… just like what happened to the puppet boy Pinocchio and his donkey friends.
Even though I do not carry pistols in my pockets, I do have a mind and a heart of my own. I am my grandma’s and grandpa’s granddaughter.