The bird headed gods of Egypt, Thailand, China, and Central America reveled in their divinity; empowered by it, they were bold, confident, and without fear. Within each of us is this divinity, which is easy to forget. For too long we viewed ourselves as outsiders, creatures that belonged hidden in the shadows rather than soaring out in the open sun. We’re over it. Our sacredness is immutable, our divinity reclaimed in the act of embracing our fears.
The museums and the experts show us relics that harken back to days long passed, showing us objects of use and purpose: a comb, a potter’s bowl, or jewelry meant to adorn the wealthy. Its display gives the relic legitimacy and validity, as though we could possibly validate, with a simple viewing, the lives, loves, and passions of those gone long before us. Unburied, the relic only hints at its master’s story. Porcelain has been around a long time, but it is not the only relic here.
She was from the south of Italy, really sweet and beautiful. Sitting on the stone bench in the center of Milan, I knew she wanted to kiss me…so I pulled my winter hat over my face. “It’s a kiss, it’s not like climbing a mountain,” she said in her heavily accented English. She lifted up my hat and gave me a hot, deep Italian kiss, without the reaction she wanted. Sometimes coming to terms with a truth is exactly like climbing a mountain. It took me years to get out of the foothills.
Chinese New Year is a time of family gatherings when everyone rushes home. But for those “marriageable” singles, waiting for them is much more than your average New Year’s greeting. “When will you get married?” “When will you get a girlfriend?” “How is work?” “How much do you earn?” All these aggressive questions scare tons of young people away from going home for CNY. Inquiries that should be none of your business instead form a suffocating pressure that we call tradition. A happy life is a journey to enjoy, not a race in which to compete. I am curious whether “marriage” is defined the same in other counties and nations as it is here.
When stripping things down, there is an irreducible minimum that cannot be denied. Bones represent our structure, our foundation. To strip ourselves to bare bones in a foundational examination can be terrifying, as tampering with such structures can cause a collapse. And yet without an examination, change cannot occur; new structures are built solidly upon the old only when the bones are first understood. To grow up we must first dig down.