Magnificent Life

Zhang Sanjian 2022-02-22 14:22


I have seen many people traveling with me on National Highway 318. They had smaller body sizes and simpler equipment, but we met on the same road.

I have received help from others during my journey, and I have also helped others. I once met a young man who started his journey from Qingdao to Lhasa by bicycle. He was riding a single-speed bicycle, carrying only a set of spare clothes, and had a worn-out tire hanging on the back.

I was curious, so I struck up a conversation and asked him why he wanted to embark on this journey. The reason was simple: his job wasn’t going well, so he quit and wanted to do something he had never dared to do before. He ended up here on his bicycle journey.

I remember my travel companion during that time.  He experienced hallucinations due to exhaustion during the early stages of the journey. At rest stops, he often thought the bike was about to tip over and couldn’t help but rush forward to support it. There were several times when we couldn’t reach our destination before nightfall due to slow riding speed, so I had to ride behind with lights to escort him. Surprisingly, this same guy in the middle and later stages often woke me up from my sleep, driving away my laziness, and telling me that we had to set off.

At times, we may not truly understand the meaning of persistence. However, when we persist, our goals lead us further and further, from one thousand kilometers to two thousand kilometers, from two thousand kilometers to five thousand kilometers. In this process of persistence, we expand the depth of our lives.

I always draw boundless energy from the people around me, the encounters I have, or the books I read. Just like after reading Mai Jia’s “Magnificent Life”,  I realized that life is like a lone boat floating on the sea, and you don’t know what unknown challenges and storms lie ahead. But people always have the ability to unleash tremendous strength in the face of unforeseen difficulties. There are many seemingly ordinary people in this world, but they possess extraordinary resilience and courage. They endure greater hardships than I do, yet still love life.

This book’s perspective is somewhat similar to “The Last Duel” as it records the Colonel’s “magnificent” and “tortuous” life story from the perspectives of multiple characters.

“In the village, famous people have nicknames” – This Colonel also has an unflattering nickname, “eunuch.” His background is mysterious; he learned carpentry, later engaged in business, and self-taught medicine. However, he never married, which seemed to solidify his “eunuch” moniker.

He was resourceful and courageous, possessing both wisdom and bravery. He operated undercover in the Japanese-occupied area, and during a special operation, he was captured by Kawashima Yoshiko. She even carved a mark on his lower abdomen, which became a lifelong disgrace for him and marked the beginning of his tragedy.

The Colonel once secured the position of Assistant Deputy Director at the hospital due to his exceptional medical skills. However, it seemed like fate had other plans. Just as he was on the verge of ‘success,’ a woman accused the Colonel of sexual assault. In that era, such an accusation directly led to the downfall of his career.

In the book, there are many more stories about the colonel that I won’t go into detail here. I recommend everyone to read them when you have the time. What I want to emphasize here is the “power of living.”

After the Colonel returned to his hometown, he continued to experience the village’s idle chatter. In the book, the primary antagonist is named Little Blind. He peeped the Colonel while he took a shower and went to the bathroom.  Hence, he discovered the mark on the colonel’s body.  While the colonel was sleeping, he recklessly used a flashlight while attempting to pull down the Colonel’s pants。

In the end, the Colonel had his tongue cut and tendons in his hands severed. Still unwilling to give up, he spread rumors in the village that the Colonel was a rapist and wanted to publicly strip off his pants to expose his years-long secret. The Colonel finally went mad, and his intelligence plummeted to that of an eight-year-old child.

I suppose, for him, this may have been a good ending.   Facing life and death in the national war, experiencing life’s ups and downs in the workplace, and enduring the cruelty of human nature in the village, ultimately returning to childhood might have been a form of liberation and redemption for him.

Always talking about the Colonel’s story, neglecting the role of ‘I’ in the book.

My father was a good friend of the Colonel, and in order to help the Colonel keep a secret, he was willing to be slandered as a ‘homosexual offender’.

In order to protect my father’s innocence, my grandfather, regardless of the facts, spread rumors that the Colonel was a ‘eunuch’ and secretly reported him, resulting in the Colonel being sent to prison.

Grandfather’s actions were right, as he protected my father’s innocence, but they were also truly wrong, as he betrayed the truth and his own conscience by fabricating lies.

I would like to share a story —–

I once met a friend on a plane, who was deeply troubled by a personal matter. His driver, while drunk, had crashed and totaled the car. He was distressed, both by his driver’s staunch denial of any wrongdoing and by the issue of dealing with the wrecked vehicle.

But I said to him, aren’t you grateful that you weren’t in that car at the time? As long as you are healthy, no matter how big the trouble you face, there is always a chance to deal with it.

To be alive and healthy! No matter how big the trouble, it can be solved!——

Of course, a positive attitude and the love of those around us are also very important. Love helps us grow strong. So, we should maintain a good mindset and not bother about people like the Little Blind kinds!

People may have more or less of a past they are reluctant to mention, like the Colonel’s tattoos. We need to learn to respect others and tolerate the imperfections in them. Respecting others is not only an attitude but also a skill. Putting oneself in others’ shoes and considering their feelings can in turn earn their respect.

Romain Rolland said, “There is only one heroism in the world: to see the world as it is and to love it.”
Mai Jia said, ‘Life is so despairing, yet people live it with high spirits.’
Nietzsche said,  “If you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you. ” When you think the hand of the devil is reaching for you, maybe the wings of an angel are also calling to you.

Salute to everyone who bravely lives on! Heroes, be strong!

Life is like the magnificent sea, where tides rise and fall.  Riding a bicycle or rushing to catch a bus to class, returning to the familiar alleys passed time and again, pushing open the old classroom door. On the way home from school, wanting to blend into the crowd heading home, I find that the vibrant bicycle has disappeared to who knows where. I long to run laps on the sports field again, passing by the familiar basketball hoop, reliving those moments of trying hard yet never reaching the basketball rim. I can still see that tireless figure practicing dribbling under the night streetlights. Reflecting on life’s most radiant moments, those bursts of energy, what remains? What remains! What remains is…

Like a path of thorns is my fate, yet with vitality, I bloom flowers amidst the thorns.

A friend (or you could say a ‘blog friend,’ someone I know through social media) left me a message: Life is like a big pot; when you are at the bottom, no matter which direction you go, it’s always upward.

When you’re at the bottom of the pot, you might think someone will reach out a hand to you. But unexpectedly, it’s oil and a succession of seasonings – sweet, sour, bitter, spicy – that come one after another, making you slip and suffer. But then you think, fortunately, you can swim. When the pot is filled with oil, isn’t that the perfect time to climb out?

My mom doused my idea with a bucket of cold water, asking what if only half the pot is filled with oil? And then they light a fire underneath, giving you a ‘hot oil fried frog’ scenario. (True to form as a mom.)

Maybe this is what is called becoming ‘mature’ ( ̄▽ ̄). (Translator note:  “mature” in Chinese can also mean food that is thoroughly cooked.)


0 评论