L E N O R E L O O K To leave home very young and to return very old, With accent unchanged, but hair grown thin, They see but know me not, the smiling children who inquire: "And from where do you come, Honored Guest?" He Zhi-zhang (T'ang poet, a.d. 659?744?) On the morning of Tuesday, February 3, 1998, during the first hours of the Year of the Tiger, my father abruptly stopped our chauffeur-driven minivan just short of his childhood village in China. It was the end of an anxiety-ridden journey for him, one that he felt he had been dragged into by my mother and me: I was on a search for my roots, and Mother was fulfilling a lifelong dream of returning home. In the stubborn, juvenile way that he resorts to whenever the women in his life get their way and he is all but flailing helplessly, my father was making one last desperate attempt to abort our trip, thwart our schemes, and show us that he was in charge. We had come halfway around the world--my husband and I from New Jersey, and they from Seattle--to the threshold of reunion and discovery,
Manoa – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Oct 1, 2000
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