Fetching the Lost Inspiration (1)

Ramon stopped in front of a suntanned, appealing adolescent, naked under his shorts, who was selling masks of the faces of Balzac, Berlioz, Hugo, Dumas. –Milan Kundera The Festival of Insignificance  p.5

A cup of Sage tea on the right, it’s my Lost & Found. Midnight inspiration was interrupted by a regular celebration of life from upstairs regardless neighbours, I should feel alive, shouldn’t I ? Realising half of the 2016 has been already left behind, forcing myself to restart with writing on the almost longest day in the year would work. At least, it shows the significance of this fetching of insignificance.

Thoughts started on this Sunday before a trip to Hilchenbach. Living right next to the core of the city often spoils me. The privilege tastes surely better when I complain about the one minute walking distance to the “central park” in the city. No. No. Actually, I do appreciate the advantage.

Climbing uphill after Saturday dinner had been an unexpected adventure, seeing many German gentlemen in green woolen-coat uniforms coming down hill carrying horns in various forms. They were coming from the park where they began a two days competition of playing horns. The next day, a tribute visit has to be paid.

Sunday morning

Typical German gentlemen gathered in the early morning wearing green woolen-coat uniform again. They wear wool hats with feathers on the fringe. Feathers from mallard or some kind of beautiful birds. Trophies in the past? Wait, there are more showing the pride-metal badges on their ties and collars. In the park, it’s certainly a hunting fair. Owls and eagles are present on the tree stump. Arrogantly, they position themselves as the best hunting buddies in competition to a bunch of dogs near them.

Look at our best hunting buddies

Shortly recorded two clips of the competition before I completely sank into my own thoughts.

Jagdhörner Jagdhorn-Wettbewerb 1 @Siegen Germany

Jagdhörner Jagdhorn-Wettbewerb 2 Siegen Deutschland

We are ruled by quotations. — Susan Sontag

However, right now, I couldn’t fetch any quotations in my mind from any great masters of minds, of human intelligence, of creativity that match this celebration/competition, instead, I see faces. There are old faces overlapping on the new and fresh faces, like the masks from Balzac, Hugo, and Baudelaire. That’s how they used to see life. It’s an observation, scrutinisation, but also, more importantly, they engaged in the insignificance of celebration. And their legacies have been passed on unidentifiable faces, lives, human beings. The collection of insignificance became the significance of the Life, the Tradition. It’s the calling of the wild as well as the connecting to the still mysterious nature from the dark ages. Witches in the stone-made prisons are looking through bars, and their glances never could be burned.


Ask where I’m a local

One rare video that I could totally related to. My forging of identity didn’t depend on my parents, since they never had any wish to move to another city or country, neither my identity was forged by copying other people’s life styles–say, everyone in China who is considered a good student should have some sort of studying aboard experience, it is rather from books I read, and what’s more important, my own choices.

The video reminds me one specific place I could call myself a local: Herzliya. Starting from the big black Herzl up to the hill, the city Herzliya begins. Divided into Herzliya Pituach and Herzliya the City, modern or conservative is easy to tell. When people heard Herzliya, they say, woah, you are rich. But I don’t live in Herzliya Pituach where the residence of all kinds of embassies are. Tel Aviv is not far, so its bubble-sized shade completely violates Herzliya’s existence. There is IDC, Interdisciplinary Center, where the most Americans come to study in this over priced private college. All the offices are using Mac, teaching is considered top notch. All kinds of figures made from green landscape are spotted in every round-about in Herzliya. I heard it’s because of a female major. I already like her!

There is my favorite restaurant, Asian as always, due to my ultimate love to noodles. It’s hard to think about those days that I had to make decision of leaving, leaving for good. Because one small tiny thing that I will miss is: when I walk into ChinaClass, Shahar the waiter will already started to put my order — seaweed salad, fried calamari, and 6 shrimps. That’s what makes one a local. At the last day, I got a free salad as the gift. Bitter Sweet.

I can never relate myself to Tel Aviv. It was the place I worked, but I always return to Herzliya. Maybe I don’t get enough chance to know the famous Tel Aviv night life at 2 a.m., but WE got Dolly Parton! The best Schwarm place is called Jamal, where decade ago it was bombed by terrorist. The shop is red, still tons of people go there, bombs do not scare people away. Israel is a very tiny country, where it gives you the illusion of knowing every big city: Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem etc. Later on I realized, it will always be Herzliya.

In the first “conflict” in 2012, I only ran to the shelter once in Tel Aviv University. That was sort of ok. I felt safe at home. But in 2014, during the 50 days “conflict”, my whole world was shaken, one of the reasons was I have to run to the shelter in Herzliya, many many times, in the city I lived. There is one 6 a.m., one 6 p.m., and numerous I don’t even remember. That’s the feeling of getting attacked at home. O, Herzliya was like my home.

The rainbow beach, the empty-yet-full highway on Yom Kipurr, the beauty salon downstairs, the quiet Shabbat, the storm that breaks umbrella, the Sokolov and Ben Gurion.

One day, on my way to work, I finally had the chance to take a photo of that elderly lady. She’s always ahead of me, with a parrot on her left shoulder. 7a.m. in the morning, that’s all what I expected. Life goes on. When I was young, I had a whole family of parrots, green father, blue mother, they had five kids — four green, the youngest was blue. I saw how they knocked their lives out of the shell, I saw how they developed four different birsonalities. Then, life goes on. I don’t feel like a local any more in my hometown, and it is me who has changed. But memory lives on, stories pass on, childhood continues on.


Here are some quotes from the video.

  1. You can take away my passport, but you can’t take away my experience.That I carry within me. Where I’m from comes wherever I go.
  2. We can never go back to a place and find it exactly where we left it. Something, somewhere will always have changed, most of all, ourselves. People.
  3. Finally, what we’re talking about is human experience, this notoriously and gloriously disorderly affair. In creative writing, locality bespeaks humanity. The more we know about where a story is set, the more local color and texture, the more human the characters start to feel, the more relatable, not less. The myth of national identity and the vocabulary of coming from confuses us into placing ourselves into mutually exclusive categories. In fact, all of us are multi — multi-local, multi-layered.


The sank cruise ship for more mourning 

It has already become an annual thing. Lightening the candle, for the death, the present, the past and the future. Been labeled as a pessimistic is burdenless, don’t you feel more free in that way? Being an optimist requires way more energy and much less wisdom. We could not predict future, because the most unpredictable thing is people’s mind. Here lies the meaning of individual, the emphasis of the renaissance, and the value that been striped away long enough.

Magazines are talking about separate identities between Hong Kongers and Chinese Mainlanders, and of course, how to build up a common identity, as Chinese. Sensitive?  Cultural shock? Post-Colonial? Many balls in the air, so it depends on the clown, right?

Hong Kong is not the only place for candles, The Economist made a mistake. One hour jet-boated away, an island bears only casinos could also bear candles. Among all the gamblers, slot machine sounds, faith and loathing like in Vegas, there are candles, songs, and as well as mournings.

Candle is for romantic matters only. No! It could also be an aroma therapy. Holding the candle singing “Sailor”‘s melody with altered lyrics with tears in the eye and throat smothered. SARS probably is only an excuse for wearing masks. Sanitation in people’s mind. Masks or Sunglasses serve the same purpose. They help the human organs hiding behind the reality they perceive. Reactions might be vary, but the action is the same — hiding.

Candles bring us fire, light and in some circumstances, fragrance. Don’t you feel more peaceful in front of candles rather than neon or lime lights? Admit it. Sometimes, the primitive things connect easier to your instinct. For example, touch screen. One of our instinct is touching everything with our fingers, truth! Smart phone offers us this solution and it opens the digital world. But fire also connects with arsonist. Then, you think about water! Two natural “disaster” could devour us.

Therefore, mourning for the 400+ missing people in the latest Eastern Star Cruise Ship sank. Life is vulnerable. Is that why individuals are not valued that much? Maybe scholars should let people know what’s it like in Utopia. People are irritated, but getting more and more understandable. Thoughtful. Public intellectuals are accused for accusing the authority, and vise versa. Their existence give you the opportunity to look what you’ve done in a self criticizing sense, don’t they?

How do people differentiate complaining and questioning?

Media are out there like vultures. It scares me a bit. Trying to read news from various sources, by the way, that doesn’t guarantee me getting the genuine information. Not even the family members of the missing, why would I? Last year, Korean ship Sewol sank causing lots of people’s death including many students. CNN said the captain has been sentenced to life in prison (the news here), however, Reuters says the Korean captain was sentenced to 36 years in jail (the news here). A long way to go for the Media, but not only the media.