Thursday, September 14, 2017

a Tayal myth

Here is a story that lies deep in the Taiwanese clay that makes me.

Long ago, two suns ruled the sky. There was no alternation of night and day, and the earth was scorched. The grass withered, the flowers faded, the rivers too were parched. The people of the land convened to speak, and determined that one of the suns had to be shot down.

Three noble warriors volunteered themselves. Each packed his own provisions and carried also a young child on his back, for the journey to the sun was very long. Along the way, they planted seeds. Year by year, month by month, they pressed on. The men grew old and and died.

The children they had carried were grown now. They continued on to the place of the suns to shoot one down. On their journey back they were nourished by the fruit of the trees planted by their fathers. 

"The obligation of anyone who thinks of himself as responsible is to examine society and try to change it and to fight it—at no matter what risk" said James Baldwin in his "A Talk to Teachers."

Sometimes we plant for the seasons and sometimes we must plant trees. We who labor to change the field(s), must take the children and seeds along.

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