And the stone word fell
Upon my still living breast.
Never mind, I was prepared for this.
Somehow, I shall stand the test.
Anna Akhmatova (1888 - 1966)
Gong Xi Fa Cai are words that you would not hear if Soeharto was still president of Indonesia, lest you want to risk a serious penalty. Seeing the city decorated in the spirit of the Chinese New Year was assuring. No matter how corrupt and busted this country's systems are, some words still proclaim diversity and laugh at the face of xenophobia.
A solar eclipse occurred on the day of the Chinese New Year, and since the Chinese are super-superstitious, it is considered as a very ill-omen. So they brace themselves for a rough year. What is worse than rough patches and ill-omens is not to be prepared for them.
We may not be as superstitious as the Chinese, but we follow suit and brace ourselves just as well.
Just in case.
Yes, we can. And we have. These were the words that the new US President somberly stated in his inauguration, not because it's a funky motto to repeat to your ears' sick-content, but it's an omen, that we should brace ourselves for whatever rough patches coming in our way.
As the cynics, we should be the ones most superstitious, since we are the first to chew and spit and "I told you so" at calamities.
I woke her a breath before dawn broke. "Mama, bless me. I'm about to go, Mama."
"Take care of yourself," Mama said sleepily. Some things are sensible through the thickest fog, the darkest shades of twilight. "My prayers are with your every step, child."
"Let there be light," said the Lord, in which to these words the universe shifted, and there was an eclipse no more.
For words, my fellow cynics, are often all that it takes to start the change, or to bear standing through it.
Gong Xi Fa Cai card from here.