My Haunting Question
A couple of days ago, I was behind the eight-ball. I was finishing up an essay about Archie and royal racism. I had spent a lot of time researching the royal we and the royal's relationship with God. I watched Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Meghan and Harry, which further rattled me. It was interesting to listen to how Meghan felt, as an American, who was biracial marrying into the royal family.
That was one issue, but Meghan and Harry’s first child added insult to injury regarding racism and who could be considered royal. I was fascinated by listening to Harry coming to terms with what Meghan felt about herself vis-à-vis the other royals. Nevertheless, he understood Meghan’s feelings about the skin color issue of Archie, which concerned some royals.
It was a fascinating dance that Meghan, Harry, and Oprah had doing the interview. You had two American women, both of whom saw themselves as blacks discussing racism in the British royal family. Then Harry was a counterweight who was a white British male.
I had just finished up my essay about Oprah’s interview when Moh Moh, my daughter, and Ti Ti, my granddaughter, had our scheduled chat on Messenger. For some reason, my Zoom had some technical issues. Nevertheless, during our chat, I mentioned that I had just finished my article about Oprah’s interview. In retrospect, I was attempting to deal with my feelings for Meghan, Harry, and Archie and the issue of racism.
I started off venting about Myanmar and America both obtained freedom from the British colonial empire. However, in the first two months of 2021, America and Myanmar had attempted coup d'états. On January 6th, white supremacists stormed the Capitol in Washington, DC. On February 1st, some generals staged a coup d'état also, but they were successful, at least for the time being.
It was interesting how the essay regarding the royal we and racism morphed into the present-day in Myanmar. The royal we in Myanmar was based upon the assumption that some generals were given the right to do what they thought best for the commoners in Myanmar. Moh Moh and Ti Ti allowed me to voice anger and disbelief about Trump and the generals.
After venting, I started talking about my relationship with my family. I reminisced with them about fond memories that we shared. We spoke about Ti Ti wanting to play Scramble with me on my first visit and how Snow held hands on a walk. On my third trip, I recalled how Ko Ko planned an elephant ride for my three granddaughters and myself over the Myanmar Alps. I went on and on with one story after another. Again, they were patient with me as I recalled our times together.
However, I went back to my mantra, which I discussed the transformation that I experienced due to discovering my family. Interestingly, Moh Moh and Ko Ko had similar feelings. Therefore, both my family in Myanmar and I enjoyed this unique experience.
The discovery of my family had a profound impact on me. Now, most normal people would be grateful for their good fortune and enjoy remembering. Nonetheless, I question everything in my life, from this most important experience of discovering my family to questions about totally unimportant issues like why is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan connected to Wisconsin and not Michigan?
Just over a year ago, I asked Moh Moh and Ko Ko why my experience was quasi-euphoric. Ko Ko responded that it had to do with reincarnation. Ko Ko wasn’t questioning the reason for our similar feelings. He merely accepted reality and dismissed my questioning with a nonchalant reply about reincarnation.
After I left my family, I flew to Yangon, where I spent some time with another friend of mine by the name of Tin Tin. Since I wanted to fully grasp the reason for my experience, the first thing that I said to Tin Tin about what Ko Ko said. She smiled and said that she agreed with him.
Nevertheless, my wanting to understand my Weltanschauung has caused me to reflect upon my Myanmar experiences. I have a handful of reasons, which I deem as accurate. A part of it was happenstance. My family in Myanmar cared about a total stranger, which started our relationship.
Another factor is that I’ve danced with death twice, and I know that my time journeying down my yellow brick road of life won’t last forever. I’d better live in the moment and enjoy it now. I get that in my gut.
Moh Moh noticed what interested me when she was my tour guide on my first trip. I loved building, pagodas, scenery, open-air markets, etc. All of which is true but put me near a young child with my camera; I’ll show the picture that I took of that little one.
Still another partial explanation is what Gilgamesh taught me and millions of others. My immortality isn’t tied to my physical immortality but being remembered.
If you looked at all the photos that I have around my home, you would see pictures of my families here in America and Myanmar. That is normal. Everyone loves to treasure photos of family members.
However, there is an exception to that truth. There is a picture sitting on my desk next to a picture that I took of Ti Ti studying for her exams before starting college. I look at it every day and wonder. Why?
I understand that I love Ti Ti and her sisters; they are family. This little one wouldn’t remember me the next day. However, I will not forget those few moments that we shared. For those fleeting minutes, an 18-month old child and an old man connected. But why?
My ponderings about all the whys of my life haunt me. My questioning is a newer version of the song, What’s It All About Alfie. The only difference is that the name Alfie is Aldie, which was my nickname when I wasn’t much older than that little one.
What's it all about Alfie
Is it just for the moment we live
What's it all about
What's it all about
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind?
And if, if only fools are kind, Alfie
Then I guess it is wise to be cruel
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie
What will you lend on an old golden rule?
As sure as I believe there's a heaven above
Alfie, I know there's something much more
Something even non-believers can believe in
I believe in love, Alfie
Without true love we just exist, Alfie
Until you find the love you've missed
You're nothing, Alfie
When you walk let your heart lead the way
And you'll find love any day Alfie, Alfie
This is where this essay returns to what I wrote about Oprah’s interview. I was fascinated by Oprah’s interview with Meghan and Harry. Besides the three of them sharing a deep friendship, Oprah would ask a question and get an answer from Meghan or Harry. Yet, Oprah didn’t stop there; she continued probing for more clarity in either of their responses. The drive for an answer did fascinate me in her interview with Meghan and Harry. Nevertheless, I was intrigued watching Oprah’s interview technique.
Oprah would be the one who could ask me questions to explore what made me tick. However, what I would love the most is her follow-up questions constantly probing. That is precisely what I need.
Oprah prefaces her interview with several disclaimers. I would preface my answers with what’s it all about Aldie with the assertion, “Oprah, push me for clarity to my answers to your questions because I am the one that will see more clearly.”
If you wish to see photos and videos of Set Set Yo village, click on this link.