Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/18/2012
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Mandarin
So my dad’s grandfather, my great-grandfather, had three wives and they all lived in the same house – yeah, it was fucking messy. And then my grandfather, my dad’s father, was the favorite son, or so he says. And so they had this huge family – you know, cause it was three people’s families, basically, of like twenty kids. And they had like nannies, cause my dad’s side of the family made a lot of money in the timber industry. And so one day my grandfather got super super ill. It was gastrointestinal. And they didn’t know what to do with it. They tried herbal medicine they tried purging and bleeding. And so my grandfather’s mother, as a last resort went to see a Taoist practitioner. And she was like, “what should I do? My son is so so sick. And he’s about to be married off. Like we want to see him get married and start his own family.” So this Taoist drew a picture of this pentagram and then he told my great- grandmother, take this to this specific field on this day in the evening and burn it under the night sky. So she went out and did that and then apparently magically he was better after that. Cured him of his illness.
This is a family story that was passed down in my informant’s family. It attests to the luck and perseverance of a large family as well as to the power of magic. Life works in mysterious ways, so my informant’s grandfather “magically” being cured reveals his fortune. Also, his healing may be related to him being the favorite son within the context of Chinese culture.