i met madeleine last year at the runnymede library. she mentioned something about staying in touch and possibly asking around about my malaysian family, but like all other potential leads, nothing materialized. there’s something kind of haunting yet comforting about her jacket photo, and it would seem that we’re both a little preoccupied with ghosts.
“I remember the stories my mother used to tell me, stories that had been handed down by her own grandmother’s grandmother, who had married a merchant and travelled from the villages outside of Battambang. My mother once told me that when a child is born, threads are tied around the infant’s wrists to bind her soul to her body. The soul is a slippery thing. A door slammed too loudly can send it running. A beautiful, shining object can catch its attention and lure it away. But in darkness, unpursued, the soul, the pralung, can climb back in through an open window, it can be returned to you. We did not come in solitude, my mother told me. Inside us, from the beginning, we were entrusted with many lives. From the first morning to the last, we try to carry them until the end.” (253)