Where the Water Runs Slow

Posted by on Sep 28, 2017 in Documentary, essays, places, Taiwan | One Comment
Where the Water Runs Slow

Pingtung, the southernmost county of Taiwan, appears to be forgotten by time. Lying between mountains and coastline, this fertile farmland is scattered with small villages connected by narrow strips of road. Traditional red brick farmhouses, sitting dilapidated and empty, dot the countryside. As we arrow down the road, through signless corners and level fields, the landscape unfolds into a long horizon. Silver water reveals precisely turned furrows neatly combed into rows. Concrete channels and eroded swales carry runoff water into streams. Shadows wobble on silent river currents as life spills out onto village streets. Farmers tend to their fields — while the water runs slow.

They listen to the sound
of the flowing water, and
rehearse stories we know
they will never
quite tell us.

They smile their way, but
don't like to talk much
until it's almost dark.

Without asking,
they know where the
young men are going,
and the young men know
where the old have been, and
have been, again and again,
and again.

— Cliff Crego

location: Pingtung, Taiwan
date: 2013-2017

1 Comment

  1. Mariuca Brancoveanu
    November 3, 2017

    You nailed the sadness of a place so far away and so forgotten that even the water runs slow there.
    There is sweetness there though; a man encounters a dog (or is it his?), a heron looks in the distant darkness, two fish made peace with their fate and the man from his car sees it all, beauty and neglect, present and past.

    Another great addition to your Taiwanese soft murmuring.


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