Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Fireworks and Incense

Fireworks and Incense

It's strange how people still bother to give me angpows during Chinese New Year. I realized yesterday that I still have not opened last year's angpows! Even when I was a kid, I never really did look forward to receiving angpows; everytime I received one, I'd chuck it into my drawer and would instantly forget about it. Perhaps I should make it a point to donate my angpows to charity next time.

I suppose there's more pleasure in giving than receiving. But being single, I'm not qualified to give out angpows yet--that privilege belongs only to those who possess the "good fortune" of being married.

So every year I continue pocketing these red packets from relatives and couples who will without fail take the opportunity to advise me to do something about my prolonged state of bachelorhood. I don't really bother, because I treat their remarks like how I treat those angpows--receive and forget.

One day when I have the time and inclination, I'll take the trouble to open up all the red packets that I've accumulated in my drawer and who knows, I might find enough there for me to retire. Perhaps then I'd start doing something about my bachelorhood :-)

But there must be something that I like about Chinese New Year. Let me think... as a kid, I used to like the fireworks. These days I find them kind of disturbing--they remind me of gunfire and bombs. It pains me to hear of children getting hurt playing fireworks every festive season. But I can understand the excitement that kids find in them. Sometimes the smell of fireworks do bring back nostalgic memories of my own childhood...

Once upon a time, I used to think that life should be lived like fireworks: one strives to pursue one's ideals to the very extreme and one must not shy to go out in a blaze of splendour. That is a very romantic notion of life, inspired by Byron, Rousseau and perhaps even James Dean.

These days I'm a much more mellowed person. I don't even see myself as a candle, glowing steadily in the dark; instead I'll be very happy if I can be likened to a stick of incense, burning and spreading its fragrance ever so quietly, into the night air.

And with every word that I write on this blog, perhaps a bit of that fragrance gets spread into cyberspace too.

No comments: