Ji Xianlin’s prose: Years
Year, like light smoke, and like the distant mountains of fine haze.We can’t hold it. We can’t see it.When it comes, it just lightly brushes our hearts and we know it is coming.But what exactly is a year?But no one can say.When we walked along a road, looking at the boundless road ahead, there seemed to be a lot of patterns.But when he comes near, he throws himself like his shadow into the water and finds nothing but emptiness.Look further ahead, still very slim.At such times we often look back.In fact, looking back, any time.But we don’t.What most often causes us to look back is when we come to a road boundary stone.There is no boundary stone.It’s just a little mark on our hearts.Of course the marks are very empty.So it’s not easy to say.But if no matter easy to say not easy to say, said the word, is years.I said it. This year, it’s still pretty vain.Perhaps because of this, it becomes more ethereal.But there’s nothing you can do about it.Didn’t I say we need to look back?Let’s start with what we look back on.What do we see?Gray, as if white clouds, as if light fog, hazy into a group.All sorts of faces and colours float in it.This seems like a real trick.But on closer inspection, it’s not.It’s still flat flat.Look back, for example, from the nearest boundary stone.First I saw the white snow congealing on the branches that were branching against the graying sky.Further on, I could see the cold yellow mist falling from the clear blue sky.Further ahead, the thick green drops of melancholy spread in the forest after the rain, spread on the hill.The sun shone golden.Further on, the red shadows of flaming flowers flickered everywhere.Interspersed with bright days and dark nights.During the day, we tried to fill our bellies.In the dark, we snore wide-open in bed.And so day followed night, and night followed day;Rolling down, like pearls on a jade plate….So he crossed a boundary stone.I still see the white snow, the cold yellow mist, the dark blue, the red shadow of fire.Bright day and dark night continued — and another boundary stone was crossed.So it goes on — another boundary stone, another boundary stone, another boundary stone, no end.Bright day;The dark night interlaced.Snow, yellow fog, thick blue, red shadow, mixed into a group.But the shadow gradually faded down.Our memories have been dragged far and far away into the misty darkness of Chou.What do we see?More vast.However, nothing new.Isn’t it new?But there’s something new after all.It is as if we had crossed the first boundary stone — too early indeed — as if we had set foot on the world, and the curtain fell before our eyes.We can’t see clearly what’s in front of us;I just feel my way up.Little by little the curtain recedes, as the day fades, and the night fades.But we don’t.When we feel, it is often the moment when we step on a boundary stone and look back.We panicked again: “Will this happen to me?”In fact, while this was happening, we were enthusiastically participating in it, or performing it.Now when I feel it, I make a fuss.We assured ourselves that no such thing would befall us.We felt as if we hadn’t planned for this to happen.What’s the use of planning?Things have been arranged for us behind the scenes.It’s just that we can’t see it.And I didn’t really plan on it.Later we proved to ourselves that such things had indeed happened.And by this surprise, by this strange thing, we seem to have become wiser than before.”This is what I’m going to do,” we thought.Seriously, this is what we’re gonna do.However, walk to a boundary stone, look back, we wonder again: “how can have such things happen to me?”Yes, I did.”I’m going to do this,” we thought.A boundary stone, passed in the midst of this ever-present novelty, is still a curtain before us.When will the scene be over?We agonized.But it was a consolation.Although everything is arranged behind the scenes, sometimes we suddenly think of something.Many of them lack things that make us sweat, shudder and gasp at the thought.We know they’re going to happen, we just don’t know when.But now that we look back, many of these things, only in the light of the curtain, leisurely exposed, we do not know how to get through.Looking back at that time sweat, trembling, breathing, early into residual elephant, only in the depths of our hearts left a little trace.A smile came to mind.Looking back on the endless gray fog, but also their own step over the tiny white footprints in a long winding road, a straight to the heel now.When I want to step on this road, I see the curtain in front of me. I feel surprised, afraid or happy when it opens a little bit, and I want to smile up the corners of my mouth.So the long, slightly white road wound its way to the heel.Now a new boundary stone was under foot.Without our hesitation, the road led us on again.We can’t stop;I don’t want to stop.If I look up and look ahead — a long, pale road, stretching away.There was another grey mist, into which the road wound.Where do we stop?Who knows? We just walk up.The past, confused, I don’t know why.The future, chaos and confusion, do not know why.But all the time we are moving forward, all the time the long winding road recedes and stretches out before us.And still it drew back, away from us, away from us, narrower, narrower.Buried in the mist.Just see things, in a twinkling of an eye, with the road back, gradually unclear, clouds, smoke, buried in memory, and disappeared in memory.There is only this little moment before our eyes — a minute, no, it is short;A second, no, not enough;Too short to say, let there be a little time;There is light before us;Lifting my eyes, I can see the long branches of flowers on an abstruse table moving in the wind, see the books lined on the shelf, see the clear light reflected from the glass in silence, see the dim shadow of the dead tree jackdaw outside the window, see the silk ears of the electric lamp shade spreading slightly, see everything in front of me shining.However, in a twinkling of an eye, all these shrink back, gradually unclear, clouds, smoke, buried in memory, also disappeared in memory.When I looked up the second time, everything I saw was different.I said, we only have that brief moment of light.The long winding road stretched out, and the light followed.Until we are unwilling or unable to go, there is still only one light before us, and we walk away with the fool.While we were still walking along the road, we had to follow it, though there was only that light before us.Stepping on a new boundary stone often causes us to look back;But we should always be aware that there is still a way ahead.Did I not say before that we see a long, pale road leading into the fog?Slim, natural;But don’t be discouraged.For example, when you travel in the mountains, it is of course very interesting to look back at the coming road while you are still breathing.If I look forward to the road, there will be more blue mist, will not increase the pleasure of travel a lot?And, because it’s slim, it’s all the more interesting.When I looked forward, only to see the sea of fog, a vast expanse of mountains and rivers, clouds and trees.We can put any imagination on it.We can paint pink, we can paint red;All dreams, all mirages, all mirages.After it is made, press it freely.Compared with looking back, only the remnants, only the shadow of the past, the interest is naturally different.At this time, we should probably be filled with joy and vitality, happily go forward.If you know everything, you will find everything.I could see my own grave.No use for its coloring;More no use of its mirage, only lazily raised the heavy legs and feet, helpless to pace up, not also ruined the scenery, all lost fun?However, the words are coming back.Though we can paint the future with color, and make dreams, mirages, and mirages;To think that the long winding road into the grey mist is still only a long way, and not so different from that which meandered out of it;We couldn’t help feeling frustrated again.We know we’re going to see the same thing, though maybe a little different.Really, we see the same thing.What’s slightly different is that the order is reversed.Here and there we shall first see the red shadows of flowers flashing;Later, to see the thick blue drops of depression;Then I saw the cold, cold yellow mist;Then I saw the white snow congesting on the branches of trees that pierced the gray sky.Still bright day and dark night interspersed.During the day, we fill our bellies.At night, we snore with our mouths wide open.And so day followed night, and night followed day.Then we came to a boundary stone, and we still had only that brief glimmer of light before us.When you step on this boundary stone, you may even look back to the present.Now it’s in the fog, buried in memory.Perhaps our feelings would not be so different from those of standing on the present boundary stone and looking back.How could I laugh at the faint white footprints from the foot now to the foot then?Come up to the corners of your mouth?Disconsolate?Indifferent?Saw in front of the curtain bit by bit to withdraw, surprised?Fear?Xi?I don’t know.Then they passed a boundary stone, and again they looked like red shadows, blue clouds, yellow fog, and white snow.Bright day, dark night, pushing one another, rolling into a ball, rolling up, like pearls on the jade plate.What do we finally see?A grey;Not novel, however.But it made us shudder again.At the end of the long, pale road, in the depths of the mist, no one knows where, there is a black hole full of menace, grinning at us, and that is where we belong.Neither shall all the curtains be removed from our sight to the end.With only the flash of the present moment before our eyes, we entered the black hole with a great chaos.It’s not so bad to go into this black hole, because we get rest.But it’s not that simple.In the middle of how many patterns, through how long to reach it?Who knows.When we tread a boundary stone before we reach it, it is our destiny to look forward or backward.Looking back, grey 00, no novelty.Look ahead, gray, not new.However, we can dream.Ask again: What kind of dream are we going to dream?Who knows.Let fate arrange everything.