Wednesday, October 26, 2005

WOMAN: I was created of Nu and Wa, the sister and brother whose union marks the beginnings of the human race.

NARRATOR: (Sage Chinese accent) She is sometimes described as having a human head but the body of a snake or fish. Bi-zarre.

WOMAN: Having the head of one species and the body of another may sound bi-zarre to you, but if you think about it with the Chinese part of your brain, it will be easier for you to understand. You see, it is very difficult to imagine a goddess with bound feet. Can you see me as a two-year-old goddess held down on a bed with cotton in my mouth to gag my screams while my foot is bent inwards into itself until the tender arch snaps and breaks? And can you see me, lovely ephemeral creature that I am, unwinding the stinking bandages from my feet once a week, to squeeze out the pus and cut away the dying flesh? But for many years, you couldn't be a lady without bound feet, and can you imagine a goddess that isn't also a lady? So, the solution... if you have the body of a snake or fish you can still have a beautiful face and be a lady without having bound feet.

--- Ovidia Yu, The Woman in a Tree on a Hill

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