Con­fi­dence

Special Focus - - Spotlight - By Che Yan­gao 文|车延高

Back in the days when boats and horses were the main ve­hi­cles in the South and North re­spec­tively, Li Bai (701–762), a well-ac­claimed Chi­nese poet from his own day to the present as a genius and a ro­man­tic fig­ure who took tra­di­tional po­etic forms to new heights, showed his wild and splen­did imag­i­na­tion by com­pos­ing the verse– “In the midst of clouds all glow­ing, Baidi, I left you at dawn. By evening I'll be home at Jian­gling, a thou­sand miles I've gone.”

In an era where slow­ness ruled, ve­hi­cles trav­el­ing “at a snail’s pace” hin­dered not merely the progress of the times, but the men­tal­ity and vi­tal­ity of mankind as well. Even Em­peror Xuan­zong of Tang Dynasty him­self, ea­ger to please his con­cu­bine Yang Yuhuan with fresh litchi, had to wait for delivery by horses rac­ing in re­lay be­tween count­less courier sta­tions and whose reins were grad­u­ally worn away dur­ing the tire­some jour­ney. Thus, Li Bai put

to­gether a pow­er­ful end­ing to his poem–“Ten

在南船北马为主要交通工具的时代,李白能写出“朝辞白帝彩云间,千里江陵一日还”的诗句,足见其想象力之狂放奇绝。

生活于慢时代,蜗行牛步羁绊的不仅是岁月的进程,还有人的心性和活力。所以即便天子情急,想一骑红尘讨妃子欢心,也只能借马蹄追风,让数不清的驿站反复解系越来越瘦的缰绳。所以诗人在最后一句突然豪迈放声:“轻舟已过万重山。”其实是对风驰电掣速度的极度向往。

许多古人的幻想,都已演化为今天的现实。如“坐地日行八万里,巡天遥看一千河”,如气势豪迈的“可上九天揽月,可下五洋捉鳖”,都不再是文学想象和夸张。倒是诗句的作者若九泉有知可能要问:究竟是吾等具有前瞻性,还是后人成就了吾等的前瞻性。

其实对照现实更容易从生活中得到验证,如武大樱花盛开时节,长沙、岳阳一些醉心于广场舞的大妈是要结伴来 赏花的。她们跳舞时非常自恋,认为自己就代表春天。有人认为她们尽管腰腿上绷着紧身衣裤,但已经回不到青春。可她们心有不甘,把广场舞作为一份福利,在这里给自己的心放假。

有意思的是从长沙到武汉是出远门。可她们一定会先去跳完广场舞,然后回家把家务安排停当,才与邀约的同伴踩着共享单车去高铁车站。她们十分从容,好像一切都有人替她们操持好了。其实是现代网络服务和高速交通给了她们底气。她们只需身份证和手机支付宝就可以方便进出高铁站,刷共享单车或呼滴滴打车,就可以自由穿行在陌生城市的大街小巷。当然她们是不白跑路的,如果不在朋友圈里晒晒自拍和心得,那在她们简直就是浪费。她们一路看,一路分享,其实骨子里是自己把自己当风景。

更重要的是,她们看的看了,玩的玩了,还能做到穿梭湘鄂两地间,赏罢樱花一日还。晚上的广场舞还有她们的身姿,依旧花枝招展。

thou­sand folds of moun­tains, my skiff has slipped them by,” a verse that ac­tu­ally ex­pressed the poet’s yearn­ing for the ra­pid­ity of high-speed trans­port.

To­day, many of the an­cient fan­tasies have been turned into re­al­ity, for ex­am­ple, “Mo­tion­less, on earth I travel eighty thou­sand li a day; tour­ing the heaven I com­mand a dis­tant view of many a Milky Way”, quoted from “Farewell to the God of Plague” by Mao Ze­dong (also known as Chair­man Mao, who was a Chi­nese com­mu­nist rev­o­lu­tion­ary, poet, po­lit­i­cal the­o­rist and found­ing father of the Peo­ple's Re­pub­lic of China.) and the heroic feel­ing of “we can clasp the moon in the Ninth Heaven, and seize tur­tles deep down in the Five Seas” quoted from “Reas­cend­ing Jing­gang Moun­tains” by Mao Ze­dong, are no longer imag­i­na­tion and ex­ag­ger­a­tion sim­ply ex­ist­ing in lit­er­ary works. If the de­ceased au­thors had the chance, they might have been won­der­ing: did we pre­dict the fu­ture, or did our de­scen­dants help achieve our pre­dic­tion?

In fact, we can eas­ily seek ev­i­dence from our daily life, for ex­am­ple, when the cherry blos­som in Wuhan Univer­sity starts to flour­ish in ex­u­ber­ant pro­fu­sion, some Chi­nese gran­nies, with a keen ap­petite for square danc­ing, come in pairs from neigh­bor­ing cities like Chang­sha and Yueyang to ad­mire the flow­ery scene. Those gran­nies are con­vinced that they are a liv­ing em­bod­i­ment of spring. Some peo­ple say, the tights cov­er­ing their thighs and waist can­not cover up the fact that their youth has long gone, yet they refuse to give in, and they take square dance as a re­liev­ing sanc­tu­ary for their heart.

The trip from Chang­sha to Wuhan is a long-dis­tance one. In­ter­est­ingly, how­ever, the gran­nies can go danc­ing first, and then re­turn home to set­tle all the house­work, and ul­ti­mately ride a shared bi­cy­cle to the high-speed rail­way sta­tion with their dance­mates. They are calm and

un­hur­ried, as if some­one else has ar­ranged every­thing prop­erly for them. In fact, it is the mod­ern in­ter­net ser­vice and high-speed trans­port that back them up with such con­fi­dence. With an ID card in hand and the Ali­pay app on the phone, they can ac­cess any train sta­tion with ease, scan the QR code on a shared bi­cy­cle to un­lock it, hail a taxi, and feel free to roam the streets and lanes in a strange city. Cer­tainly they would not travel just for the sake of it, as in their opin­ion, it is such a waste of time if they do not post self­ies and travel blogs in the Wechat (equiv­a­lent to What­sapp, one of the most pop­u­lar mes­sag­ing apps in China to­day.) All along the way, they ad­mire the scenery and share the beauty of it, but deep down in­side, they re­gard them­selves as the real beauty.

More im­por­tantly, af­ter all the sight­see­ing and fun, they could still man­age to shut­tle be­tween the two cities, and re­turn home af­ter en­joy­ing the cherry blos­soms within one single day. In the evening, you will find them danc­ing at the square, as gor­geous as the cherry blos­soms as ever.

(Trans­lated: Zhu Yaguang )

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