Monday, June 05, 2006

Encountering an Old Writing

This man, who told me the story of the wind-up bird chronicle, has long eyelashes. In his eyes, once set upon me, I can’t read what I see.

He gave me this Open Letter from Birds. He feels their anger and contempt.

During his crazed day, he thinks of the mystery between birds and language. I am touched.

This man, walking besides me, on the street of New York, makes me smile and silent. He talks, and he stops. I almost can’t bear, when he stops talking. I will want to touch him, when I don't listen to him.

To me, it is the essence of truth, the feel, the touch, the reaching out to and withdrawing from, the uncertainties of certain certainty. He makes me feel alive.

Like in a birdcage, we live on separate floors and separate cells, we do not see each other often. They are not real to me, those moments between our encounters.

They are prelude to anything, however trivial and meaningless, that happens during those brief pass-bys, controlled and quivering. What comes out of my mouth is never what I want to say. I no longer know myself.

"Like a little bird, my lover left and never comes back..." so told me by an ancient Chinese folk song. This man, who handed me the letter from birds, is not my lover, yet.

The time I took over the letter, I know all the birds in this big city is no longer nameless to me. I name them after him and I shall recognize them. Lovely birds.

They come and go, these birds of his. I hear them but never see them. Like those kisses and touches under the night sky, at the corner of some unknown street, I do not know where they have gone, or if they have ever been.

Like a little bird I once held softly in my hand, when I open it, it is not there. Not a stroke of wings, but it has flown away and never comes back.

Only the gentle and trembling feeling, from a falling feather, left little warmth on my skin, on my icy-cold hands, that he once held in his palms, but no more.


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