This post started writing itself in my head in Chinese, rather than English, something that’s never really happened before. I feel awkward and plodding when writing the language, but here goes.
“”My own country, saving it myself”
I love this slogan, but that phrase, “my own country,” maybe isn’t really appropriate for the odd kind of Taiwanese that I am.
Since March 18th, every day I’ve looked for new developments in the protests and occupation in news, on Facebook, and on Twitter. When I find sources in English, I share them because easily accessible English language media on this is woefully inadequate for your average American. When I’ve had the time, I’ve helped the text broadcast team translate portions of their live transcripts from the protest.
Yet If I was in Taiwan, this would be about all I could do too. Participating in a student protest while carrying foreign passport could impact my visa status, preventing me from coming back into the country next time, keeping me away from home.
Twenty four hours a day, I have access to news, which has its pros and cons. All day, I’m thinking of Taiwan, worrying for Taiwan. I haven’t been sleeping too well or focusing on school. The little everyday things of normal life seem especially annoying, given how they pale in comparison to the Sunflower Movement.
Taiwan is the country I feel to be my own, but I’m unable to save it. Doesn’t that make one feel useless?
This morning, after tiring of my survey of news, Facebook and Twitter for developments in Taiwan, I felt out of sorts and distressed.
I shut my computer and sat quietly, thinking about how cold it still is here in Chicago, and how that emphasizes how far away from Taiwan I really am. And how there aren’t sunflowers here.
But I have a crochet hook, and I have yarn. I made myself a sunflower. As my hands moved, my mind quieted.