When there is health, there is joy in the conciousness of the divine.
OK. I was paraphrasing (Tolstoy said life instead of health.) but it just felt
right. According to the Bible, a person is God's living temple. I would assume
God would have prefered a well-kept one.
I kinked my back in training and spent the lunar new year week recovering. Nothing
felt 100 percent. I trained little, read and wrote less, barely talked during meals,
and mechanically went through the pages of the dictionary. So I was very thankful
when the lumbar healed and energy rushed back toward the end of the week, energy
that induced thoughts, imaginations, and interests in little things.
At Friday supper, Tim told me he had to pick a song for his Chinese school
graduation. (He did well studying the mother tongue and would place in honor
classes in high school. Mom's plan worked.) He was thinking of 'Forget-about-
Love Water' (忘情水）which he first heard a couple years ago at a bullet-train
stop in SuZhou. He thought not much of the lyrics, he told me, but the tune
stuck. My first response was "Sentimental Hogwash!" but then it reminded me
of my high-school and early college days.
It was in the late 1980s when I discovered pop music, long being banned and only
recently imported from Hongkong and Taiwan. It expressed in fresh lines what
young boys had in mind, mainly longings for girls. The songs were generally sad
and specialized in subjects ranging from bitter-sweet unrequited love to simply
being dumped. Given the chance, many of us guys wouldn't mind the latter. Most
would have dreamed to have a girlfriend to kick off the process and to see what
getting dumped would be really like instead of whining in others' lyrics and imagining.
But we didn't know how. We were awkward, callow youth torn between studying hard for a better future, as
the world told us to, and what mother nature had intended us to do at that age
by sending those hormones. Most of us were just confused and frustrated.
Those songs expressed self-pity well, I guess, and helped escaping the boring
cycles of preparing for exams, the exams, and reviewing the exams. Self-pity was
not sexy but it could be addictive and pop culture only stoked it. Looking back,
I sometimes wondered how some grown-ups could conciously produce the stuff to
profit from the naivety of their young. The mushy airs from the sirens, however
touching, were at best a deliverance that didn't deliver. In the end, we still
had to face the tests, on paper and in life.
I might have been too harsh. The pop culture I bumped into in the late 80s and
early 90s might not be necessarily that bad simply because I believed it wasted
my time. Something in me definitely survived intact. Nonetheless, I was happy
that Tim finally decided on 'A Little Apple' (小蘋果) which fitted his voice range better.