Saturday, August 7, 2010

Oh the smell of Taiwan

I love the smell of Taiwan.

Taiwan is a country of faith. Incense are burned as a physical manifestation of prayers being sent to heaven on delicate wisps of smoke. In homes are alters set up for worship and prayer, outside doors have thin, hollow pockets holding incense which burn as greetings to dead ancestors. Each street, each store, in scattered temples there are incense burning.

Taiwan is an Island. With humidity and rain it is a constant human struggle to fight back the effects of nature. Greenery grows profusely wherever it wants, strings of green grow from gutters, mature plants grow from the sides of buildings, and trees from abandoned cars and roof tops. If it’s not growing it’s rotting. Before a twig falls to the ground it begins the quick process of decomposition. The smell of rotting wood steams up from the earth.

As I open my door each day a musky, thick smell embraces me…incense, wet earth, rotting wood. They say smell is the strongest link to memory. I sure hope so.

1 comment:

Michelle Croft said...

This almost makes me a little sad for you! I know how much you love it there, but then my sadness is replaced by joy when I think of getting you back to the backwoods of Montana. I hope these last few days are wonderful for you, but please hurry back!