Thursday, 28 October 2010

mandarin lake

yesterday i saw an old lady with a back so terribly hunched her head was touching her knees. she could only follow the gravel as she walked. i wondered how long since she last gazed at the sky. maybe that would be the least of her worries, with aches like that. sadness lumped in my throat, i felt embarrassed to witness the scene without lending help. she was enfeebled yet still hauling a huge cart of cardboard, presumably to sell. i wanted to be of use, but old people with cardboard in hong kong are gravely protective of their belongings.

having spent childhood walking from home to anywhere seeing poverty. children begging, mothers with babies begging, old people with their heads kowtowed to the ground begging. i use to wonder what spot i'd pick in the city if i had to beg for survival suddenly. while normally seeing these incidents would throw me into heartache, yesterday it kind of left me with a bittersweet feel. she had been doing something i didn't expect anyone of her physic to do. which made me realise, maybe i judged too early, maybe what i saw wasn't tragic, but another paradigm for encouragement, grit, courage, life. what's that line again... (and forgive me for quoting him):

because I am bigger than my body gives me credit for.