Fire

  The night before yesterday, a friend of mine in Hong Kong passed away. He is a few years older than me and is a very successful photographer. The last time I saw him was only a month ago, he was standing on the roof of a building in Hong Kong with a glass of red wine, where was the opening reception of an exhibition. After the greeting, I didn’t know what to say for a while, pointed to a bay exposed in the distant buildings, and told him that during the day I had seen the sea, which was green and beautiful. He looked at the small cut of the black and lacquered sea, and approached my ear in his consistently broken and hard-to-understand Mandarin, as if to say a secret: “That harbour specializes in transporting garbage. It smells bad.” Then he smiled secretly and summed up: “Many beautiful things can only be seen from a distance, don’t delve into it.” After finishing these few sentences, he seemed to feel tired suddenly, sighed and turned around. Go away. There were so many people at the reception, we all had some socializing, and there was no time to say goodbye. Poor now, yin and yang are separated, and after that, they will never see each other again.
  When I was twenty, I once had a fight with a middle-aged man. This person also has long hair and claims to love art. He brought me and a few young friends around to pick up some mural painting lists, and often talked with us about painting and music. I used to admire him a little bit in my heart, but then I found that what he said was one thing, but he did another. It was particularly treacherous. Not only did it deduct the rewards, it also separated my relationship with my good friend. I knocked him to the ground that day and pressed my knees on his side of his face, his face flushed red and unable to move. I don’t know why I said such a sentence: “Why are you embarrassed to live to forty, why don’t you die?!” At that time, I was not a sharp-edged person, and I was also passionate. In fact, I wanted to say in this inexplicable remark. It means: you talk about art every day, talk about Van Gogh, talk about Jim Morrison, talk about the lead singer of the band “Bad Fingers”, talk about so many people who burned their lives when they were young, but you didn’t. You died when you were the youngest, and you fell into a shameless and tired old man, doing all the things that you want. At that time, I especially wanted to burn, I just wanted to throw myself into a certain raging fire, burning it fanatically and with all my strength, not afraid of pain, not afraid of becoming ashes, not afraid of anything. The moment I cursed him, I definitely didn’t think that I would live beyond forty years.
  In fact, today I am still alive shamelessly, which is really ashamed. The brazen boy will one day be short of breath.
  I sighed for a while, thinking of another friend of mine. He is a composer. He used to film me with music for the messy commercials. To be honest, I rely on him a lot. Those little films are not very good. Because he uses music to polish, the results are always unsatisfactory. In a closed recording studio, I often work with him all night, sometimes we talk about ideals. I always point to my short films, and smiled and said, these are just to eat, but in order to learn some skills; I am not here, I must make my own film in the future. He also told me about his experience. He studied comparative literature in the UK, but because of his love of music, he dropped out of school and re-read his degree, which made his parents very unhappy and the relationship with his parents was very rigid. He left his hometown of Taiwan to make a living on the mainland to escape the pressure of the family. He didn’t want to inherit the family business, but only wanted to live the life he wanted. In the middle of the night, the two fat men had a frank conversation and met each other frankly. We agreed that in the future my first movie must be scored by him. From that day on, I regarded him as a great friend.
  Ten years later, I finally got a chance to make a movie, so I promised to call him. We were all very excited and agreed to meet and talk in detail after my trip to the plateau. At that time I was about to go out to meet some of my monk friends in the snowy plateau in the cold winter. A few days later in Lanzhou, I was buying books in a bookstore, and suddenly I received a call from another friend, saying that he had a heart attack and died on Christmas Eve. I squatted down as soon as my legs were soft and curled up in a corner of the bookstore. I tried to stand up a few times without making a sound and tears, but my legs didn’t let it.
  In the snow-filled plateau temple, I burned incense for him and kowtowed, asked a group of monks to supersede him, and fasted for three days to see him off. On the last day of the ceremony, I bought many bundles of pine and cypress and burned them in an altar under the guidance of my Tibetan friend Tashi. There was heavy snow that day, and the altar was in an unmanned courtyard in a remote part of the temple. I lighted the cypress branches and slowly gathered them into a high pile. The fire was stuffy under the branches, making the sound of crackling fruits. . A pigeon suddenly flew from the eaves, and slowly fell through the heavy snow on the other side of the fire. Tashi waved to drive it, but it didn’t go, but stood far away, as if looking at me. It was a very white pigeon, as white as snow.
  The black smoke billowed up, making the snow all over the sky even more desolate, but the fire never ignited. We had to walk half a circle around the altar from time to time, because the smoke that changed direction with the wind was too choking. Through the air distorted by smoke and flames, I saw the pigeon staying not far from the fire. Later, Tashi helped me buy two bottles of white wine, taught me to read a few verses, and let me pour the wine on the cypress branches in one breath. The suffocated fire suddenly rose into the sky, calling out with the wind on the plateau. Ignited a few meters high flames. I saw that the pigeon suddenly opened its white wings, passed through the black smoke, and suddenly rose up, looking up again, the diffused snow was blowing, like the pouring white feathers, the pigeon was long gone. . I suddenly regretted that I shouldn’t use those two bottles of wine to support the combustion. I didn’t have time to take a closer look at it. It must be my dear friend. This is his farewell.
  From that day on, I became greedy, and I began to want to live earnestly, using every minute of my life to start and end well, because I knew my luck. And let it burn slowly, no longer rush to add fuel to the fire, just let it light up, a day is a day, and a moment of warmth is worth the moment. Everything should be viewed as such, without further investigation.

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