Autumn

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I love it when give it a chance, you always generously reveal more about yourself. That’s how I get closer to you over decades, and still fall in love with you all over again.

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I love it when I walk in the middle of your heart, I see what life looks like, without faking or pretending, without the kind of beauty too delicately designed, without writing too much out when I could still see much within.

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The meaning of life

C.J 30 yrs
“Maybe for fun. Sadness is fun, happiness is fun, the most horrible thing is getting bored.”

E.H 30 yrs
“There is no inherent meaning, you have to bring meaning to it.”

G.Y 29 yrs
“Eating, drinking, having fun, be happy.”

H.S 54 yrs
“Make yourself happy; make others happy.”

J.H 28 yrs
“The meaning (of life) is everything you’ve been through.”

J.L 28 yrs
“About this…I don’t know.”

J.S 28 yrs
“Hum, I don’t know. I think people all have different needs in different stages of their lives. In general, I think the meaning of life should be to fulfill your individual value, and to provide yourself a relative satisfying life through the practice of your value.”

L.S 22 yrs
“The meaning of life is to find yourself. Throughout my whole life time, when others drifted wherever life may take them to, I hope I could have my own opinion, understand my own bottomline, and tell right and wrong. The meaning of life varies to each individual, it is all good as long as you don’t let down yourself.”

L.Z 29 yrs
“To pursue the power of keep pursueing.”

P.L 28 yrs
“Keep learning, keep sharing. To experience, to feel.”

Q.F 28 yrs
“Maybe it is about keep searching the meaning in different life stages, but (I) never found out the answer.”

R.Z 28 yrs
“Live along, until there is no motivation to support you. What’s the motives…The motives should be both parents are well, two or three close friends are around.”

S.Y 30 yrs
“I’ve been thinking about this question for countless times, then I think maybe the answer is to experience. We come to this world to feel love hate obsession anger and all other feelings existed. It should be good as long as you live a life you like. The key to answer this question is not to try to search for a final answer. Compared to thinking about WHY, thinking about HOW is a better answer. for instance, when I see a pretty flower, I love this world a bit more.”

T.T 33 yrs
“For me, I think there is value in learning, understanding, and helping people.”

V.K 32 yrs
“Oh my gosh! What a huge question! I wish I knew. I guess my immediate and short answer would be happiness and love. Finding/creating/learning how to do both those things seems to me like what it’s all about.”

X.L 22 yrs
“Just live the life. Work hard to get enough money for living the life without worrying about I have to do something.”

X.W 27 yrs
“I’ve been thinking about this too. Several days ago, a PhD from Bristol asked me the same question. I think for me, the meaning of life is to keep discovering all possibilities without forgetting where you come from. Not forget where you come from includes: love your familes, love your friends, know how to enjoy your life. Keep discovering all possibilities means to keep challenging myself. After all I’m just a normal person, this huge philosophy queston is so hard to answer.”

X.Z 32 yrs
“Try hard to improve your spiritual world when you are still alive.”

Y.Z 30 yrs
“The meaning of life is to enjoy life, or say to feel all aspect of the world. It’s good as long as you are happy.”

Y.L 29 yrs
“The last person asked me the same question is a former Christian coworker of mine. I think the meaning of life is different for everyone. Some want to do ultra good in their career; some want to pursue a happy family life; (this) could be big (general) or small (specific). In general, I think the meaning of life is to practice your own belief, and to realize your goal in the end. When you are old and take a retrospect of life, if your heart has no regret, this could be defined as ‘fulfilled the meaning of life’. ”

Y.X 28 yrs
“To eat.”

Winter- Ali Smith

“Landscape directs its own images.- Barbara Hepworth”

(The last Christmas at UP, the lake, and the sea.)

“But if you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere. – Theresa May.”

(We have to pick, or let it form, let it emerge, instead of letting go.)

“Darkness is cheap.”

(So, brightness is priceless.)

“She gets to her car soaked through. She sits in it in the car park under the noise of rain on the roof, in the not unpleasant smell of wet coat and car seat. Drips run down her from her hair. It is liberating. She watches the rain change the windscreen to a moving blur. The streetlights come on and the blur fills with the misshapen shifting spots of many colours, like someone’s thrown little paint-filled missiles at the windscreen; this is because of the municipal strings of coloured Christmas bulbs suspended round the edge of the car park.”

(I remember a rainy morning like this, the morning at Belmont. The smell of the rain, my heavy coat, the blurred windscreen. By then, we’ve just apart; by then, I still believed that we are together.)

“for instance, I could tell you a very verifiable fact or two-
(very very fiable, ha ha!)
-about a man called Mr. Kepler, who studied time and harmony and believed that truth and time were kindred-”

(Truth and time are kindred only because we learn how to excuse ourselves and to find persuasive explanations to things. Truth is relative in this context. It is WE who finalize it makes it absolute.)

“It was meant as a warning. Take a look at what your saints are truly made of. It was the demonstration that everything symbolic will be revealed as a lie, everything you revere nothing but burnt matter, broken stone, as soon as it meets whatever shape time’s contemporary cudgel takes.
But it worked the other way round too. They looked, those vandalized saints and statues, more like statements of survival than of destruction. They were proof of a new state of endurance, mysterious, headless, faceless, anonymous.”

“We all mine and undermine and landmine ourselves, in our own ways, in our own time, Sophia thinks.”

“Cymbeline, Lux says.
A play about a kingdom subsumed in chaos, lies, powermongering, division and a great deal of poisoning and self-poisoning, his mother says.
Where everybody is pretending to be someone or something else, Lux says. And you can’t see for the life of you how any of it will resolve in the end, because it’s such a tangled-up messed-up farce of a mess. It’s the first of his plays I read. It also happens to be why I ever wanted to come to this country to study. I read it and I thought, if this writer from this place can make this mad and bitter mess into his graceful thing it is at the end, where the balance comes back and all the lies are revealed and all the losses are compensated, and that’s the place on earth he comes from, that’s the place that made him, then that’s the place I’m going, I’ll go there, I’ll live there.”

“But what will the world do, though, Mrs Cleves, Lux says, if we can’t solve the problem of the millions and millions of people with no home to go to or whose homes aren’t good enough, except by saying go away and building fences and wall? It isn’t a good enough answer, that one group of people can be in charge of the destinies of another group of people and choose whether to exclude them or include them. Human beings have to be more ingenious than this, and more generous. We’ve got come up with a better answer.”

“He thought is was because he was too old. He was older, and compared to the age I was I did think he was ancient. He was in his sixties then. Well, now I know that your sixties feels the same as all the other ages, and your seventies. You never stop being yourself on the inside, whatever age people think you are by looking at you from the outside.”

“He’s got into the habit of thinking up something conceptual and metaphysical to ask them both every week or so. He copies them both into everything he sends them. This infuriates them. Good. They’re of the generation to enjoy infuriation, and the fury keeps them in touch with one another as well as him.”

Greenbay, early March, the end of winter, and then back to Spring. But there was no Spring at both homes. Ali always brought me back, to the specific period of my life, but I’ve never thanked her for being the lighthouse lighting up the darkness of the night sea. Charles Dickens and Shakespeare, a small town almost nowhere on the island, always connected me back to the lake, four seasons, all those people. 

It was quiet in the nursery kitchen. I don’t want him to be there. He’s still alive, but I feel death there, peace and forever and death, no big difference.

We’ve packed up many of his books, I took all of his Ali Smith with me. I introduced her to him, but I never knew he had gotten so many of hers during the two years we’ve apart.  I remember his favorite drink at the coffee shop, blonde brew and three pumps of vanilla syrup in a tall cup, a vanilla blonde. I went to the bookstore we used to go together, lingered at the board game section for a while. We’ve never been there before, neither him nor I used to interested in board games, neither of us technically has a squad to play a big game with. 

We went to see him, all of us, at different times. That’s one of the moment of my life, when it strikes me so hard that the nausea felt surreal, that I uncovered a part of the essence of life, the truth of living a life. What could it mean when all mean so little to someone.

I see too many in him, like I see so many in both men I loved, he’s my Mr.Gluck stuck in the Autumn, my parent, my friend, my tutor, my memories and my understandings. When summer comes, I secretly wish that the garden outside his room coming into full blossom that could light up the nothingness of his life in the simplest way.

 

New story in old narrative 

I explore the city, all over again, with my old friends, for my new friend, with old stories merging from behind, and new ones align ahead. This is when I learn that love is something relative, like time, but nothing else.  

E asked me to recommend a love story taking place in Beijing. “You know, like the Norwegian Wood happens in Tokyo.” 

I thought hard, I really did, only came about nothing. 

But here it is, when scrolling down pictures I took today, I found the love story you asked for.