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Clouds over the Seashore of Wanli Township

At that time I always thought I would not have any other places where I would cherish and linger.  I was beaten by this world.  When I raised my head, I saw his eyes fixing on me.   Years later, I finally found out that he had also been a person who had been a failure, but then he had turned into an encourager.  He said, “Pine trees, once I know you are lit, you will have a function.  You will have the effect of being a person, to lighten up the dark parts of this seashore of Wanli and the mountain ranges of Wanli.”
People may stand up again from the encouraging words.  This is what this person in Wanli Township has taught me.
That summer, I was a man full of titles and money urge.  The material world, with its exciting entices and unpreventable energy, urged me to come to this little village on the Dayong Road of the Wanli Township.  I would like to dip in the spring, to let the water cleansed off my dirt coined by faked fame and pretentious materialism.  I left the city and drove on the zigzagging north coast shore.
I walked into the small church in Wanli. No one was there.  In front of the cross, a bouquet of lilies and roses was placed on the desk near the platform.  I walked on the platform, and the sunlight came into the modest house evenly thought the windows.  The church goers might sing here sometime later, letting the sun keep falling and letting the sea keep rising from the nearby shore.  They would sing a variety of songs, with no exact dates from their birth to the day when they depart.  
I really believed.  I believed profoundly the quiet self being attached to a paper kite, and the wind took me to the sky, flying over the north coast shore, floating towards the west, of the Yanmingshan Mountain Range.  My shadow followed the rising of the fields and winding streams, floating over the free birds, and overlooking the whole afternoon into my childhood.  The boats floated off the shore and the cape of Yeliu and Candle Islets were dipped into the sea, watching my shadow up in the sky.
I could breathe with my own rhythm in nature.
& & & & &
I stood in front of the podium, and I sang the songs that I knew, like the rain, that had swept through the waste land in my heart, through the barren river bed. 
A voice told me, there was a song which was left unsung. The song was called, “He will take care of you.”
In the surging sea, he will. That is what I had believed.
I had no right to decide the strength of redemption: someone, in the geography, in the clouds, among the mist, and up in the sky, could arrange a journey for me.
One man with dark skin stood by the door and he said, “Your voice…”
“I got a touching feeling, which brought me to the north coast shore.”
His eyes seemed to ask me, “Why did you get to this small village.”
I came to the north coast shore, because I made a lot of errors in the big city. My heart was corrupted and my suits wrapped me and hid me desperate soul.  It seemed that I had abundant confidence, allowing all the staff and bosses to admire my capability, but it was wronged.
When I walked out on the street, I held a cup of sacred water, afraid that the purified water would be spilled from the people who fought against me.
The water of my live was poured in the troop of business enemies became I was empty.
The songs in the village of the north coast shore made us closer.  We entered the world of light, and the peace was inserted into the unspeakable death water inside my heart.
In the battle between materialism and poverty, between fame and humbleness, the soul needs to pay the price.  In a raining wintery afternoon,  I walked into the elementary school of Wanli.  It was very cold that day.  A group of stray dogs, drenched and smudged with dirt, curiously passed me.  They were hungry.  I could see that they had not been eating for a long time. 
I took out a few toast slices from my backpack and threw them on the mud playground.  The dogs quickly ran towards the toast slices and the most malicious looking ones got the food first, running towards the direction of the sea.  Those dogs who did not get the food looked at me as if saying, “Do not leave us.  You still have functions. You can be used and we can be fed.”
I had not had even the energy to start at people. I only had a playground in a small seaside village—that felt like the only thing that I had got.
The pastor understood the reason I left the city.  My failure slowly flew in his heart, floating in a transparent stream.  I believed that he would sit in the seaside village, listening to the winding turns of the stream, and he would lower his head and said prayers for me.
He said, “Even a joke has it function, not to mention each poor and mean person.  They all have their functions in this world.  Their missions may not be seen at this moment, but they do make the universe working.”
I walked to his home near the Wanli Old Street.  The curtain was made of colorful beads. A cat tried to sneak into the food cover under which several dishes of vegetables could be seen.  The cat stretched its claws, trying hard to get a bite of food but in vain.  It was a baby cat and it did not know how to get the food yet.  The cat thought the dishes were fish.
He talked to the ca, “Don’t be impolite. Come to the Grandpa.”
The cat climbed up to his shoulders. 
What he ate was very simple: a dish of cabbage, and two side dishes of salt fish and dried preserved pork leftover from last night.  And a small portion of rice lay there.
“Let me give you a new name,” he said. “A name that fits you.”He stopped, then he said again, “How about Hayung.”
“What is the meaning of Hayung.”
“It means pine trees’ bark,” He said.  “The bark, after it is burned, will not stop giving lights to the dark.”
I could burn myself, but to whom I can light for?
I had lost my father, and my mother was something that I would least think of.
But I knew what the pastor meant.  I could be used like a fire source, as if a selfish mummy, waking up from a dark pyramid, sees the drifting clouds over the sea.
# # # # #
My father had been waiting for me in front of the train station.  I got off the train and saw him wearing the raincoat standing in the pounding rain.  He said, “ Are you cold?” I shook my head.  I could not tell him that I had wanted to call him from the school, but I had to line up.  I could not tell him, that I was afraid of giving him a call because there were many classmates waiting in line to use the phone call and they would hear.  They would hear that I would be scolded by mother.
I walked away the phone on the booth, and walked on the city street.  The moon had descended and a few cats were stirring the garbage tanks to look for fish bones.  I had wanted to vomit. But now I was with my father. Father’s motorbike zigzagged in the drizzle.  “Are you cold?” I shook my head.  I held my fahter’s smell on his back: the flavor of seaweeds and fish and crabs, letting the rain silently falls and seeps into the silence between he and I.
Later, I got a habit of hugging people.
I was ready whenever to hug, a Mr. President Hayung the Hug Giver.
I accepted all, from the original total refusal.
From the deed of hugging, I felt the existence of human beings.  The fishermen and the women who sold vegetables on the old street could feel that I was sincere.  There were no any alarming worries and there was no relation to immorality and taboo.  Like quiet bamboos, the wind flows in and the bamboo bends, and there is no need to speak, to let the freedom and trust come in.
I had travelled a lot and had gone to many places far away from home, walking on the lands that had not belong to me.  We had walked on many roads that we had not known of.  When we looked back, could we find where our homes were?
I believed we could.
“Have you even seen the polar lights? “I said.
“Yes.  But even if I have not, I would believe what you said.”
He trusted the most miserable and mean individuals, like me, and believed that each had its working magic.
I once was lost and forgotten at the edge of the world.
And I hugged the women who worked in the seafood restaurants, and I hugged the young men who ran in the rain, and I hugged the children who lingered on a cold wintry street looking for candies, and I hugged the old old men who were looking for a hot spring that they had long time ago visited.
There are two dimensions in this life: one is an up going direction, and one is the power of solitary.  I saw the both on the pastor’s nature on the north coast shore in the seaside village.  We did not stop pursuing our mission.
We had knelt saying prayers by the window of the sea: we blessed the fishermen, and we blessed for the drunkards lying by the street, and we blessed the girls being drivin in luxurious city cars.
We went upward, going to the place where there were many clouds and where many plants would bear fruits. 
We walked on the seaside, and tomorrow we would depart for the tribes in the mountains, to the villagers and our friends, to tell them what I had witnessed in the seaside village.
I thought of that summer, when I was at the end of my journey, I sang out loud alone in the podium.  And he asked me, “Why do I come to the small village in Wanli seashore.” I told me, “I will sing off all the songs that I have known.”  He said, “Sorrow brings us together, and blessings will bring us even closer.”
I walked along the seashore.  I entered the hotel in the dark; there was no light, only the street lamp shedding a slight of the light, slanting its vague yellowness into my room.  I walked through the hall and enter my room.  My contour of body, my lightness and heaviness, and the defeat dipped into the sound of sea waves.
I will go to the new place in the clouds.  Friends, I will meet you.  Once I was defeated by you, but now we will go together up to the high mountains in the deep misty clouds on the mountain ranges. 


Last updated:2017-12-19
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  • Office (Baisha Bay Visitor Center)
  • No.33-6, Xiayuankeng, Demao Village, Shimen District, New Taipei City, 25341 googlemap
  • Phone: 886-2-8635-5100
  • Fax: 886-2-2636-6675
  • Sanzhi Visitor Center
  • No.164-2, Putoukeng, Puping Village, Sanzhi District, New Taipei City, 25245 googlemap
  • Phone: 886-2-8635-5143
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  • Jinshan Visitor Center (Yehliu Service station)
  • No.171-2, Huanggang Rd., Jinshan District, New Taipei City, 20844 googlemap
  • Phone: 886-2-2498-8980
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  • Yehliu Visitor Center
  • No.167-1, Gangdong Rd., Yehliu village, Wanli District, New Taipei City, 20744 googlemap
  • Phone: 886-2-2492-2016
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  • Heping Island Visitor Center
  • No.360, Ping 1st Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Keelung City, 20247 googlemap
  • Phone: 886-2-2463-5452
  • Fax: 886-2-2463-6987
  • Guanyinshan Visitor Center (Guanyinshan Service station)
  • No.130, Sec. 3, Lingyun Rd., Wugu District, New Taipei City, 24844 googlemap
  • Phone: 886-2292-8888
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  • Jhongjiao Bay Visitor Center
  • No. 180-3, Haixing Rd., Jinshan Dist., New Taipei City,208003 googlemap
  • Phone: 886-2-2408-2319



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