date of essay posted on steven-ma.org : 2008-10-10
Impression of Steven based on his essays 1874, Landgull and caption in his book 图文并谬.
note: Just one of the many well written book analyses and reviews by Steven fans
A cup of tea, a pen, a sheet of paper, gathering thoughts, jot, 1874.
I was born of a wrong era, in a blink of an eye, 100 years had gone by. I, was late by a century; which is why to this day I still yet to find my soulmate.
The extreme solitariness, the persevering struggle, and the reverberation of occasional lamenting; bemoaning heaven for having him born erroneously into this confusing era. Wandering irresolutely and self-disengaging from this world, he indefatigably searches for a yet unknown place of belonging. His heart is like an unearthed piece of jade, uncut and unpolished; its exquisite translucency, its brilliance and fragility concealed underneath.
He is a simple person, so simple that one can readily guess his thoughts from his words and deeds, and from his writings. He is quick with an often childlike smile; lacking guile.
Yet paradoxically he is a man hard to fathom, his warm smiles concealing his thoughts; he is like a pool of calm spring water seemingly an open book at a glance. Just when you thought you had penetrated deeply enough into its depth almost reaching the bottom, he would unexpectedly confuse your eyes; a flick of a hand, a blink of an eye; in a split second the pool of spring water muddies.
Take his writings; can write about situations or about people or about relationships as an allegory or as an anecdote or as an essay; sometimes lighthearted, sometimes profound; sometimes invoking the dynamism of action, other times the restrain of quietude…. He is like a magician unveiling his happiness and sadness through each and every unfolding word before your eyes; little by little provoking your being, little by little entrancing you into his world. However, when the dazzling camouflaging layers are peeled off one by one, it leaves only one feeling to me; loneliness.
I, too, became alone, like him.
He does not know how to find happiness now. He longs for merriment yet is afraid to, feeling out of place in its hustle and bustle; he drinks, he dances, but after a night of indulgence, he is still all by himself. (tn: re one of Steven's book captions)
Written words, like silent cry out; each word, each sentence; accusatory.
He was born of a wrong era. He always feels that he belongs to a different time period, the period of zhong shang costumes.
He was willing to be by himself talking quietly to a bird perched on the ship bow. He was willing to pay for its ship fare and wished it would stay with him because it was willing to quietly listen to him speak his inner thoughts, and it would not turn on him. (tn: re Steven book)
But the bird flew away. They were not of the same world.
I suddenly recall “The Little Prince” in which the little swallow willingly stays forever with the prince with no regrets or complaints. When will he find his own little swallow that will stay with him, one who even in death will leave behind its heart with him.
He is so alone. Unable to snuff out the calling of his soul, he relentlessly searches, he relentlessly forges ahead, but he is like a person trapped inside a maze; turn after turn, bumping wall after wall, hitting dead end after dead end. However, he never gives up on himself or ceases his efforts, as he indefatigably and persistently searches for the right path that will lead him out of the maze.
source:steven-ma.org now defunct
Note: I thought I had the original essay originally posted on steven-ma.org (defunct) transferred here but I guess I didn't. Too bad 'cause I really love this beautifully written essay with much insight.