onsdag, februari 24, 2010

Varnhem to Stockholm

For the past several months I've been accustomed to awakening most of the nights at about 4 a.m. and getting up only to drink something. I always thought coffee was the culprit, but today, after picking up Mark Obama Ndesandjo's novel "Nairobi To Shenzhen" and spending the last hour reading along, I was just stunned.

"It was the angst that roused him from sleep." Ohhh, that drumbeat of unease has struck me lately, too. It's weird at such moments the mind tends to become so alert, hardly befuddled by the immediately precedent period of slumber. Memories "ebb and flow, enter and exit the consciousness". Talking about the verses from my own high school that suddenly leaped out of obscurity and are as clear to me now as yesterday, it's Thomas Gray's musing from year 1750:

"Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds:


Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way."

It's 6:10 in the morning now. Everything seems to have stopped.

My photo gallery of Sweden at Pbase:

lördag, februari 13, 2010


川端康成的《雪国》我在每天往返的火車上斷斷續續將它念完。 恰好這段時間北國的大雪一直接連不止地飄落著, 整個月份都被一種靜謐的氛圍籠罩, 好似時間又被拉回到聖誕那天, 就此停下腳步。 “穿過縣界長長的隧道, 便是雪國。 夜空下一片白茫茫, 火車在信號所前停了下來。” 每次我一翻開書, 就是開頭這一句。 透過車窗, 外面天空廣闊, 風中揚起一片片雪塵, 白色的樹林在身後流動。

離開家鄉來到這片土地是在一個年初, 記憶也總會在冬季的某一天突然蘇醒過來。 一層淡淡的煙灰, 帶著溫熱, 會從生命的某個角落徐徐升起, 時而隱沒, 時而顯現。

川端康成的世界裡, 也許一切最終都是徒勞的。 但是對于流亡者, 確是福音。 釋懷的春天, 就在冰雪融化後。

tisdag, februari 09, 2010


I hated boxes. There are still so many things in life that have the potential to box me in. Reading Oscar Niemeyer this evening makes me feel good. "It is not the right angle that attracts me. Nor the straight line, tough, inflexible, created by man. What attracts me is the free, sensual curve." I can safely say "ditto" to him! Well, if I could ever go back to my teen years and choose what to study in college, I think I'd definitely wish to become an architecture student with all those sweeping curves tangoing on my own design sketchbook for sure. Don't you love it? ;)

"God has no recent posts"

Humans do curious things and harbor curious thoughts. Just today I got pointed to a Facebook fan site called "Getting a text as soon as you pick up your phone and feeling like Jesus", under the page category "Other Business". Meh blah. Typically Facebookish, the system at times feels just like writing on sort of a dry-erase marker board. It easily ends up overly indulgent in its execution.

But I got to say, amidst the constant flow of those little snippets of mundane lives, there's a chance to take a deep breath once in a while - even in a virtual cyberspace. That's what gave me pause when I ran into this FB page:

The first thing I read there: "God is on Facebook". Woah. :) Some of us mortals might remain skeptical, but hey, see, computers could simply leave no doubt whatsoever. Immediately next follows a gentle Facebook reminder, that in order to connect with God, all you need to do is to sign up. Not complicated at all.

And the most stunning. What appears to be a machine-generated statement in the middle of the blank. Revealed as such.

"God has no recent posts"

Not since Kierkegaard have I ever read anything similarly profound as what was said there, or more accurately speaking, what's really been unsaid. Now comes the ONE.

Me definitely not a religious type. Just when the long holidays are drawing near, spirituality tends to ring in my little world.

I wonder if David Hartman was right when he quipped: "to say that God's thoughts are not human thoughts is only to admit the limits of human understanding".