Flowers of camellia japonica are blooming
in my neighborhood with an air of Asian
|When I defined my post-retirement project as a "taboo-free web journal," not a few people seemed impressed. They said it was cool. But none of them knew what was cool about breaking taboos. To begin with, they couldn't tell what taboos really are.|
By definition, any issue you haven't addressed seriously before is taboo; and any conspiracy that's been "revealed" over and over by self-proclaimed truth-seekers is not.
I knew from the beginning that my blog would become one of the most unpleasant websites around because most taboo issues I would discuss there would be disheartening ones such as our mortality and the emptiness of our lives.
Lara and part of me
My neighbor Lara, Chen Tien-shi is an ethnological researcher specializing in such issues as statelessness and the Chinese Diaspora. At the same time, she is a dedicated activist who has set up an NPO named "Stateless Network." Aside from the unparalleled intelligence that allows her to address these issues in all their complexity and subtlety, Lara has a very pleasant personality and an excellent eyesight.
One afternoon in early December, I walked past the Chinese restaurant owned by her parents. As usual she spotted me before I spotted her. She left her computer in the farthest corner of the shop, waving her hand at me as high as if she were a little girl who found her father in the crowd. She rushed out to say: "Can I expect you to attend the annual meeting of the Network?" I said, "I'm afraid not. I was just thinking about sending a proxy statement to the secretariat." "Then why don't you join us in our Bonenkai that follows the annual meeting?"
This is not to say, however, I have changed my plan to cross the Styx all by myself.