One year, I lived for a few days in the Lotus Pond in the center of Jingdezhen. That place is at the foot of Jiulong Mountain, which means that there are nine mountains in the center of the city. Lotus Pond was a park that existed in the Tang Dynasty. Later, Su Dongpo and Foyin drank tea here and talked about poetry.
When I lived there, I walked with the old cat every evening. It was early winter, the water was still and the weather was not too cold. We walked around the lotus pond several times, and whenever we looked up, we could see the lights on the windows of our house. I said to the old cat, do you feel very settled that people cannot rent a house, especially if they are over forty years old, it is related to the quality of life and dignity.
Of course Lao Mao agreed, he could finally order a brand new air conditioner online, instead of going to the second-hand market to carry an old gray-brown air conditioner that will definitely drip water in the future and return to the rental house. He instructed the workers to install air conditioners, install curtains, and erect bookshelves, as if they were going to live for a hundred years. He stared at the seventy years in the red housebook with satisfaction. He even carried the rest of the latex paint to the aisle, waving his brush like a painting to whiten the dirty wall.
I could see that his body and eyes relaxed. What was he like when I met him? A panicked and ferocious beast.
Lotus Pond, as the name suggests, is full of lotus flowers. The real estate agent opened the mobile phone album for us to see. The fair-skinned and beautiful Jingdezhen woman said that in the spring of next year, lotus leaves will be spread out in small pieces, and summer is the most beautiful. You are too discerning to buy here. The old cat nodded, and he told me that he was going to paint a set of four pictures of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter in Lotus Pond. That is to say, he will walk downstairs slowly at any time in the future, and he will stand by the lotus pond, where there are weeping willows, long wooden chairs for convenience, and old people singing in the wooden pavilion. He set up his easel and looked at the hexagonal lens, the whole lotus pond and the Jiulong Mountain behind him were in his eyes and already belonged to him.
The small town was gradually buried in black shadows and golden lights. I remember that although the ancient town was called the porcelain capital of the world, it was particularly deserted at night, and its night was especially dark, and the pond was even darker. An autumn wind blowing through the back suddenly swept over, and the old cat and I hurriedly walked upstairs. Lotus Pond In the Tang Dynasty, a young woman threw herself into the pond to die for love. The old cat said, in fact, there is a lot of yin here. He also said, but he is not afraid of this. He studies abnormal death, and in the Song Dynasty, Su Dongpo and Foyin came here. They are famous and elegant, and they can dispel the yin here.
At that time, we also liked to go deep into the Jiulong Mountain. There was a hotel in the 1950s near the lake at the foot of the mountain. Qi Baishi lived there. He painted a willow drawing of a lotus pond. The hotel and the entire compound were abandoned. There was a rusty lock on the big iron gate. We approached the big iron gate and looked in. The wild cat hurriedly ran past and got into the forest. There was one day when we went up the mountain. It was before noon. The sky was bright and the breeze was gentle. I wore a cotton robe with blue floral foundation and blue flowers. The old cat raised his mobile phone and took a momentary moving image of me. There were tall trees on both sides of the mountain road. Later, when I checked the photo, the woman in it was unfamiliar to me. She was between gods and ghosts. Maybe it was the Tang Dynasty woman who threw herself in the pond that made me think too much, so my soul moved with it. I sometimes look up at the old cat and look directly at him impolitely. He avoids my eyes, and his voice is soft and waxy. It is not in life, it can be said that it is not in our common life. Total, so what do I long for him to say to me? Or that I long for this man who truly belongs to me – what is the right thing to say?
We strolled on Jiulong Mountain for a long time, and it was a very strange feeling, like the immortals in the painting flying down on the continuous mountains, with feathered fans. There was no one in the mountains, it was a working day, and everyone was at work. We encountered a strange deep pit, and we could see that there were stone slabs in it. The old cat said that it was probably an ancient tomb in the Qing Dynasty, and later the tombstone disappeared. The old cat also said that this mountain is too big. Obviously, we can only walk here today. There are many days to come. We have to walk all the nine mountains, and we have to walk to Poyang Lake. Once the dry season reaches the ancient trees in the Qing Dynasty The stone bridge is exposed, it is a long bridge, people can walk up, walk from the lake to the lake.
These words he said are a bit like a common oath when I think about it, but I still don’t think this promise has a necessary connection with me. I didn’t believe a lot of what the old cat said, so before a lot of things might come true, I made other decisions. It all seems to be true if I believe it. I just don’t believe it. There’s quantum mechanics here. Later, when I met Barra, I firmly believed in his words and deeds. Although we actually live in two worlds that have nothing to do with each other, because of my belief, we have always been together. In this comparison, it can be seen that I chose to withdraw from the world of the old cat on my own.
That was my last memory of Jingdezhen. I left Jingdezhen, took the train back to Hankou, and never returned. Lotus Pond and Jiulong Mountain are getting farther and farther away from me, like a mirage with wings. I once walked into it, but it flew away from me. Yes, at that time, I still had a share in that family. Later, we separated. I left that family. That family didn’t belong to me at all. I feel a little regret, because Lotus Pond and Jiulong Mountain don’t belong to me anymore. . And I only feel very comfortable when I stay in the lotus pond, and I breathe heavily in other cities.
Life really can’t bear things that are too light. I am afraid of all lightness, including the lightness of the old cat’s eyes, so I don’t want to go back. The old cat said that if the eyes are light, it must mean that I don’t cherish our feelings? In the late autumn or early winter, I was always two feet away from him. I said, that man in Hangzhou killed his second wife. The old cat laughed, he took off his hexagonal glasses, his glasses really looked like an ancient well, and he laughed until tears came out. I said, since the last time I heard your affectionate phone call with your ex-girlfriend, I always felt that a conspiracy was being created for some unknown reason.
The old cat never turned his back on me. He spread out the drawing paper and drew. We picked a dry lotus pod of sauce color from the lotus pond, and he drew on it. I thought he was pitiful at the time. My heart has been thinking whether to suppress this poor. If I don’t keep it down, I’ll be pitiful. As soon as I understood this truth, I was separated from the kind of life that I had vaguely seen walking all over the mountains.
The reason why I mention Jingdezhen is not to mention the inappropriateness of the old cat and me again. I remembered a guest I received at Jingdezhen’s house for three or five days. The guest is a painter. This is all too common in Jingdezhen, where the shaking faces are either locals or painters or potters. For example, the intermediary who helped us buy a house, she is a local; the small contractor who helped us renovate the house, he is a local. We went to the famous night market Tao Xichuan on Saturday. Most of the hundreds of stalls there are students from Jingdezhen Tao University and artists from other places.
The old cat is also a painter. He first painted on paper, and later painted on pottery blanks with blue and white pigments. Some people buy paper paintings, and some people also buy burnt porcelain vases, porcelain jars and porcelain plates. Old cats live by selling them. When WeChat made money, Lao Mao went to the largest hot pot restaurant in Jingdezhen, where the ancient kiln site not far from the Lotus Pond is now called the Ruins Park. The owner of the hot pot restaurant is also a big bald man. The business is so good that the red lanterns hanging everywhere in the store appear redder and brighter. The owner of the hot pot restaurant could see at a glance who the painter was, and he kindly came over and added Lao Mao’s WeChat. This is where Jingdezhen is different from other places, it seems to be small and it seems to be huge.
Back to the guest from the house I speak of. The guests and I were both born in the 1970s, and we were both born under the embankment of the Irtysh River. He is my fellow countryman, and his hometown is in a county called Burqin in Xinjiang. Lao Mao entered the local painting circle in Jingdezhen. He found this painter from Burqin, and we got to know each other.
Of course I still remember the furnishings in the modest house by the Lotus Pond. The old solid wood floor was once owned by a researcher at the Jingdezhen Museum. Although the solid wood floors have been used for thirty or forty years, the charming golden pomelo radiance they exudes makes us reluctant to remove them during decoration. White walls, tall old elm bookshelves reaching to the roof, blue curtains, camphor wood carved drawers, square tea tables, large blue and white porcelain plates holding hand-painted small tea cups, a pair of old cats consigned from Shantou Mahogany court chair.
This was the first meal I had when I moved into my new home in Jingdezhen – a lunch. Our only guest, my fellow Burqin, is here.
He should be a painter, otherwise he would not be able to appear in Jingdezhen as a stranger. Famous painters or people who are not painters have gone to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, as well as Hangzhou and Chengdu, the modern metropolis where elites gather. The advantage of Jingdezhen is that the pressure of survival is extremely low, and at the same time, it can carry forward the painting skills that are cherished. If you are just an unknown folk painter, then in Jingdezhen you will not be in the tension and anxiety of material conditions. In the past, the old cat paid quarterly rent when he was hanging out in Hangzhou. Now he lives in his own house in Jingdezhen. Even if he can’t sell a painting or a piece of porcelain in a month, he can slowly sleep until noon and walk. Go to the vegetable market near the ancient kiln site to buy vegetables and fish. That is to say, my appearance in the old cat’s life is more like one of his big sisters, helping him to design the best way to live, so he retreated gracefully, disappeared and never appeared.
The guest’s name is Wang Gangqiang. When the old cat first told me the man’s name, I laughed and made sure I didn’t know the Burqin boy – since we spent our childhood and adolescence in Burqin, then We will feel that each other is always Burqin boy or Burqin girl. Wang Gangqiang came from a mountain village 50 kilometers outside Jingdezhen. Lao Mao said that he bought a hill and planned to build a cultural base or a homestay. Wang Gangqiang posted on WeChat every day the flowers he planted in the yard, so when he came, he was holding a pot of flowers and a pot of orchids. His appearance is calm, not tall, with a small flat head, and he firmly retains the temperament of a Burqin child, which is very simple. Although he is actually a painter who is good at painting cattle, horses and sheep, I took a look and saw that they were all cattle, horses and sheep in Burqin. Moreover, he worked as an art director in a large-scale gallery in Shenzhen in his early years and made a lot of money. He bought a suite in Shenzhen very early. Later, he sold the suite and came to Jingdezhen to buy this hilltop. Wang Gangqiang’s origin is probably like this, it sounds clear, but the more he thinks about it, the more strange and confused he becomes. Of course, maybe I was also a strange and confused person in Wang Gangqiang’s place. For example, I married a man, and this man in Jingdezhen has an identity between aboriginal and “Jing Piao”. I used to be an accountant, but now I write every day, walk around wearing a floral robe, and look at the world and people with a very literary look. We all have a history, and the history is unclear. I made a judgment in an instant. Simplicity is his weapon. Silly Bai Tian is my weapon. We have all experienced some major events in the past 20 years, and finally we have become who we are today.
The family dinner that day was perfect. The walls are painted white and white, the large carpets are spread out, and the wind blowing from the north to the south swings the new nostalgic blue curtains. The south wind comes from the ancient kiln site, and the north wind comes from the Lotus Pond and Jiulong Mountain. Old elm and old camphor wood furniture and old floors give off a golden teak color. I gradually learned that the furniture that I have been with me for ten years will not be taken away. I don’t like to leave a mess to anyone. It seems that the old cat and I are indeed going to break up. The old cat has no idea what I am thinking, or the old cat likes to walk in muddy water and step on what it is. If I really quit, he is actually a winner. All he wants is a stable life and a sensible ex-girlfriend, and As long as I voluntarily exit the stage, he will have the things and feelings he actually wants to have the most in his cuteness. At that time, his eyes were no longer erratic, and the eyes behind the hexagonal lenses were fixed on his ex-girlfriend, the Hangzhou woman who looked like a combination of Liu Xiaoqing and Ning Jing, and had a temperament like Wang Ji.
I’m like a tough little mole thrown on the wheel. We went to buy fresh vegetables and fish early in the morning. There are Chaoshan roast goose and foie gras prepared in advance in the refrigerator. I want to make mapo tofu, the specialty dish, and the old cat suddenly wanted to make pineapple sweet and sour pork. Golden chicken soup is simmered on the stove, white fungus and lotus seed soup is boiled in the rice cooker, and dishes of Chaoshan dim sum are placed on the square wooden table, and the aroma is permeating every room. Wang Gangqiang is here.
So whose child are you? Wang Gangqiang asked me. I said that I was the daughter of the tailor’s shop that was converted from the small iron warehouse next to the Burqin Supply and Marketing Cooperative. Wang Gangqiang shook his head, saying that he didn’t even remember that there was a tailor shop there. So whose child are you? I asked Wang Gangqiang. He said his family was actually famous in Burqin because he had seven sisters. He can keep smiling when he is talking or not. This smile is not fake, but a kind of self-discipline and self-discipline. What I am very dissatisfied with the old cat is that if he sees someone he judges as weak or useless, his face is always down and his eyes are cold, as if giving such a person a smile is definitely not worth it. Cost-effective.
When Wang Gangqiang said that he had seven sisters in his family, my brain made a silent hum, which is usually a bang. I still kept a smile and said to Wang Gangqiang with a silly and sweet expression, I don’t even know any of your sisters, because I don’t remember any family in Burqin that had so many children. I said to Wang Gangqiang, my sister is the same age as you, maybe you are in the same class. I said my sister’s name. Wang Gangqiang said that she was in the class opposite us. She had big eyes, liked to laugh, jumped up and down, and did well in school.
That is to say, the atmosphere when we met together that day was very good. The pot of the orchid was in a quaint style, the hexagonal one. Wang Gangqiang said that orchids will bloom this year, so don’t water them frequently. The old cat smiled and showed great interest and placed the orchid on the camphor wood cabinet, and the orchid was carved on the cabinet. But I don’t believe that the old cat will take good care of orchids. If he goes out for ten days and a half months, he drags a few pieces of clothes into the box without folding them, opens the door and walks away. When he comes back, he will find that the refrigerator door is not closed tightly. A large wall of ice was formed, and all the oranges on the table were white and rotten. The fate of this orchid must be worrying. I would love to ask Wang Gangqiang to take it back, but it is obviously not etiquette, that’s what the victim of fate means.
We drank XO that day, which was sent by Lao Mao’s Chaoshan buddies. The old cat sent paintings and china to my buddies, and those buddies would definitely send foie gras and XO, Phoenix Dancong and Dahongpao. Almost all the old buddies of the old cat are in the local politics, and they have risen all the way. The old cat said that if he hadn’t traveled far for art and writing, he would be a prince now. I said I didn’t believe it at all. I said you were neither sincere nor shrewd, and you couldn’t get along in officialdom, because no one was willing to support you. Is the old cat angry? When I attacked him, or when I exposed him, he never got angry, he laughed to God, he said, “I see it better than anyone, I’m an expert on abnormal deaths from ancient times.” It seems reasonable for him to say that he is an expert, because his works that I can’t avoid are all published by excellent publishing houses in China, and there are over 10,000 followers on WeChat.
Wang Gangqiang, who drank cups and cups of XO, continued to smile and talked more. He was actually an introverted person and a good drinker. Opening the chatterbox on the wine table means that the words will be more and more subtle. What does subtle mean? It’s a topic of a somewhat private nature that is very trusting. Wang Gangqiang said that he will be able to fall asleep tonight after drinking. He went on to say, you know what is the biggest characteristic of depression? I came to the spirit, I said, I have depression, intermittent attacks, very depressed mood, difficult to endure every minute and second, and feel that everything in life is meaningless. Wang Gangqiang asked me, can you fall asleep then? I said it wouldn’t matter, my heart was too big, and I slept soundly in the basement when I was drifting north. He said, then you are not depression, the biggest feature of depression is long-term insomnia.
That day, we drank until the early hours of the morning, and the old cat also talked a lot. Wang Gangqiang said that he would build a gallery on the top of the mountain. The most welcome is the old cat, an artist who has both paintings and porcelain works. The laughter of the old cat has always been generous to useful people. Am I mean? Good at watching the market situation silently on the side. The old cat talked about Hangzhou, which was his golden years, because several beauties appeared one by one. The old cat said, how can Jingdezhen be compared with Hangzhou! I lived next to the ancient bridge of the Grand Canal at that time, and a street was full of ancient bluestone slabs. Speaking of this, the old cat raised his eyebrows and smiled slyly, and then said, once a guest came to the house, we were talking with a candle, and when it was very late at night, she said that she wanted to sit in the coffee house opposite, so we raised our feet and went there Well, the candles didn’t blow. When we were in the coffee house, the house I rented for some reason caught fire. Fortunately, the neighbor was a military-transferred professional and was enjoying the cool air in front of the door. He grabbed a fire extinguisher from the street and rushed in to put out the fire. Yes, I didn’t lock the door, luckily I didn’t.
The old cat made a summary, he said: “If the ancient street of the Grand Canal is burned down, I will be in prison now, and I will never be able to get out for the rest of my life, and my parents’ mansion in Shantou is expected to be sold. .”
He spoke with great enthusiasm, and I slowly stood up and went to the kitchen. I went to the refrigerator and took out Burqin’s milk pimples, wrapped it in a large kraft paper letter, and packed a bag of Chaoshan dim sum. I handed these two bags to Wang Gangqiang. He liked them very much, he walked downstairs, into the very dark night of Jingdezhen, he would get into the car that came to pick up his friend, and walk fifty kilometers of mountain road to the top of the mountain he owns.
Why did Wang Gangqiang suffer from depression? Why did he stay alone on that mountain? If I bought a house in Shenzhen, would I be willing to leave Shenzhen? Although Jingdezhen is the porcelain capital of the world, it is actually very lonely and even desolate. I don’t want to talk for a while. I slipped my hand while washing the dishes in the kitchen and wiping the salt jar. The hexagonal glass container fell to the ground with a crisp cracking sound, and the broken glass splashed against my feet in plastic slippers. The house is very quiet, the lotus pond in the middle of the night, and the whole row of glass windows in the kitchen is the lotus pond. There is no one there. The street lights are gentle and quiet, shining on the darker pond, the woman of the Tang Dynasty. It was almost midnight when I packed the kitchen.
The bedroom is covered with a large carpet from Hotan, under the window is a Japanese tatami, and on the other side of the room is a single mat, which is spread directly on the carpet. I slept on the mat for those days. It was warm outside in early winter, but at night, the room was still a little cold. I put on thin cotton pajamas and fell asleep when I lay down. Only then did I know that I was not Depressed patients, this is more or less good news.
The old cat said, go to the big bed and sleep. I opened my eyes as bright as my sister, looked at the cast line on the wall and said to the old cat, will you be sad if we separate? The old cat was silent for three seconds and said, “Sadness is something I won’t do for a long time. They leave me. If you leave, I’m used to it, but why should we separate?” Haven’t the good days just begun? I said, I also thought that this decision would take a while to make, or not in the future, but the fact that the salt jar was broken just now made me make up my mind that we should separate. The old cat said, I didn’t hear you shouting, that means the glass didn’t stick to you, so I didn’t go to the kitchen, maybe I was wrong, but isn’t it a small thing?
Writing this, I remembered that the color of the refrigerator in the house in Jingdezhen is snow white, which is the color I think the refrigerator should have. I also remembered that the rice cooker for Tremella soup was made of cast-iron inner pots. I ordered them, and then I took the train to Hankou at noon the next day, and I have never been to Jingdezhen again. I would occasionally think about Jingdezhen. I was always worried that the old cat accidentally burned the lotus pond and Jiulong Mountain. He heard me say this on the phone and burst into laughter, tears coming out of his eyes. He took off the old well-like eyes and wiped them on the T-shirt. The old cat later told me that Wang Gangqiang sold the mountain, but I didn’t hear about where and what he was doing with the huge sum of money in his hands.
In fact, when I was a primary school student, I knew that there was a family in Burqin with seven daughters. One summer morning I followed my mother along the river bank to the tin tailor’s shop beside the supply and marketing cooperative. The cloth bag on my mother’s shoulders contained the fabrics that had been cut the night before, and she would spend a day working them into Many skirts, many pants. When I got to the bridge, my mother said, go home now and see what your father is doing. I was puzzled, but I used to be a very honest kid who listened to adults, so I immediately turned my head down to the embankment and trot home along the embankment. My father was asleep in the innermost room. It was a Sunday. He didn’t have to go to work at the Handicraft Union. He is a carpenter. Of course, as a person who relies on craftsmanship to eat, there is no rest day at all. If you have a job, you should work hard. You should go to the wood case and get a wood planer and chisel.
I approached my father and called him Daddy, Daddy. Father opened his eyes hard, and he said in a loud voice, what’s the matter? what time is it? I said Mommy let me see what you’re doing. My father said, “I’ll go to the carpentry shop to eat something.” Then I trot along the river bank to the tailor shop to find my mother. Mom was standing behind her cutting board with a tape measure around her neck, and I said Dad was getting ready to eat, and there were rice porridge and oil cakes we had left for him on the table, as well as fried sauerkraut.
My mother was very pleased with what I said, and she went to work humming a song from her era.
There was a big incident in Burqin, a man hanged himself in his home. So my mother would be worried that my father would hang himself too, because they had a fight the night before, and they didn’t sleep all night, and everyone on the riverbank could hear their quarrel. My mother was arguing with my father while cutting fabric under a huge one-hundred-watt light bulb. My sister and I were embarrassed and the voices all came out the window, but we never hated our father and mother. They have been arguing all their lives, and neither chose to seek short-term reconciliation.
Why did the man hang himself suddenly? To this day I don’t know the reason, maybe his wife is always fighting with him? Or is he fed up with always having daughters coming one after the other? He had seven daughters at the time of his death. A day after his death, his eighth child, his only son, was born, named Gangqiang.