It is good to remember some things.
It is good to forget others.
Recently we traveled to Harbin, a city in the North East of China.
It was during the time of Spring Festival.
One night, on the banks of the Songhua River, we stumbled on a crowd of people sending lanterns into the air.
Those who had come before them.
As one lunar year drew to a close and another pressed forward, as time always does, flowing steadily onwards, days dropping off the calendar, like autumn leaves.
For the year that might be ahead.
For a little happiness, in whatever they believe might encourage felicity to visit.
My little Tribe and I also lit lanterns.
Swooped up by the exquisite moment.
And as they drifted towards the stars, I remembered.
My grandfather whom I never knew and the one who taught me how to use a saw and hammer.
My grandmothers, their resilience, and all of their children.
My uncles and aunts.
My nephews and nieces.
And our parents.
I remembered the good things about them all.
Consciously pushing the brokenness of our being aside, for we all are broken, sometimes consumed by our inability to see beyond our emptiness.
I remembered the stories my father used to tell us at bed time, about the two brothers ‘Monkey’ and ‘Baboon’, and Policeman Pig and Mr Giraffe’s store.
I remembered the smell of my Mom’s baking, in early December, as she would kneed and fold and fill tin upon tin upon uncountable tin with the most delicious cookies, for our few precious weeks at the Ocean.
I remembered late afternoon walks & early evening fires.
Green plaid trousers, carefully sewn together with patience and love.
Playing in the deserted sand of massive dunes, with my brothers.
Playing with my sister and her dolls, for hours on end, sitting flat on the carpet, unaware that boys shouldn’t really enjoy it so much.
And as I remembered, my best hopes and wishes drifted up above, for each of them, as they were and as they have become, wherever they’ve been and are and would be.
For our minds fixate with great ease on that which was never as we hoped it would be.
But it seems to be with difficulty, that we hold and rub, with our rough fingers, the memories of goodness and kindness.
My thoughts, on this night, easing themselves somewhere else, forgetting with intent the stuff my grubby hands are so eager to grab, washing them, over and over again in an orchestra of light, letting the light in, to push away my own darkness, and see, fumbling lives, fumbling from moment to moment, from a single Origin, towards a common destiny.
After all, there is a moment in which we all can see, even if just a brief one, with great clarity, the beauty of it all.
And – to forget that which is less than ideal, to forget it often, is to set free, your self and the self of others, so that we may become the beauty we’ve been all along.
And so I hope, we can remember selectively.
Forgetting, and as we forget, forgiving and setting free.
Enabling happiness to flourish.
In our selves.
And in those to whom we are bound, by blood and history.
As we paint over the ‘loss’, with bold bright strokes of gain, always hidden in loss, again and again.
The moment becoming lighter.
The door to love slightly more than ajar.
The hopes we have for ourselves, a bit nearer, as we hope them for others.
It is okay.
It will be better.
Even if, in this moment, those to whom you are tied, are not what they could be – remember, who they are, before they became what they seem to be.
Remember that we all become, at any given time, what we seem to be, instead of what we truly are.
Remember, we always have the hope.
As we are planted in our Origin, to be our beautiful self.
And the lanterns merge with the stars.
And the moon’s light reflected is a little brighter.