Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Spirit of the water










For the Lunar New Year, the Chinese have long believed it auspicious to have flowering  narcissus  in the house. The narcissus, or sui sin fah (which means water fairy), represents purity of heart and spirit and the hope of prosperity.


The old woman remembered a swan she had bought many years ago in Shanghai for a foolish sum. "This bird", boasted the market vendor, "was once a duck that stretched its neck in hopes of becoming a goose. And now look, it is too beautiful to eat!" Then the woman and the swan sailed across an ocean many thousands of lei wide, stretching their necks toward America. On her journey, she cooed to the swan, "In America, I will have a daughter just like me. But over there, nobody will say her worth is measured by the loudness of her husbands belch. Over there, nobody will look down on her because I will make her speak only perfect American English. And over there, she will always be too full to swallow any sorrow. She will know my meaning because I will give her this swan, a creature that became more than what was hoped for." But when she arrived in the new country the immigration officials pulled the swan away from her, leaving the woman fluttering her arms and with only one swan feather for a memory. For a long time now, the women had wanted to give her daughter the single swan feather and tell her; "This feather may look worthless, but it comes from afar and carries with it all my good intentions. - opening narration, The Joy Luck Club (1993)


Now playing: Toni Childs - House of Hope

3 comments:

Pigtown-Design said...

I have some blooming at the house and in the office!

Kerstin said...

These flowers were my grandmothers favourites. Brings back loads of memories...

townhouseturnaround said...

What a sad and beautiful story. Here's hoping the new year will bring joy and luck.