the shadows on the wall just appeared and then disappeared again. the wall is now more about the cracks and the uneven spots. it is not a screen for thin stripes of shadow and light.
i would like to write something about the architecture of the chinese house. but all that comes to mind are my limitations in understanding. it might also take a bit more time for me to really understand things. it is dangerous to write without understanding?
but perhaps language itself is so imprecise that even the most understanding writer can easily be misunderstood. or misinterpreted.
language is alive. and language is ever evolving. words that sound harmless today, could be potentially deadly tomorrow. words that look friendly today, could potentially be dirty little animals tomorrow... and words that seem harmless to me, could appear without intelligence to those looking for my weaknesses.
and we should probably not fool ourselves that solid objects do not change with us and our intentions and understanding. even objects and houses and cities and countries are in some way connected to the way we want to see them. and the way we see things changes. it should change, i hope, it should probably change all the time?
some of the changes are very subtle. and sometimes the changes are massive.
it will take a really long time for me to understand the chinese house. it will take a long time to understand not the theory of it, but the reality, the true emotional meaning of it. and by the time i will understand it, it will probably be late in my life. i will finally know what it means, but that meaning will probably be a story i will watch disappear?
i do not know, i do not know.
the first time i arrived in china was for just two or three days. and i only saw and smelled the things i knew. everything was drenched in preconceptions. i had expected things i did not really like. and all i found were things i did not really like very much.
and most of the things felt somehow familiar. it was as if i had stepped through a magical door and had arrived at a place that was supposed to be foreign. but it was assembled out of things that i had felt before. and the more i opened myself to them, the more the familiar and the known, replaced the prejudice and the rational barriers.
slowly, visit after visit i was able to unfold my personal understanding of the place. and the wonderful thing was that i knew that it was incredibly important for me to do so. and the more i was able to unfold a china in myself, the more interesting things became.
i now might be at a point where i do not understand anything again. but i know that i need to give it all some time. i need to wait and patiently, wait for the next gate to open. and it will open. and i will probably forget what it was like before it opened itself.
almost like a child that can not stop recognizing words, once it has managed to learn the symbols that are letters. it is almost impossible to remember the world that was filled with unrecognizable objects. suddenly everything speaks. and it speaks not with an external voice. it speaks form the inside.
i guess as a child one does not understand that this is a path of no return (unless some tragedy strikes, of course.) but as an adult, i understand that the more i learn, the more i will forget how little i knew just a few days before. i will discover new layers of ignorance. i will discover new layers of non-knowledge. there will be new gaps. new missing pieces.
and the journey progresses.
i now barely remember what it was like to see the chinese house for the first time. i now barely remember what it was like to see the idea of the hutong. but i obviously know that i have not seen anything yet. i think the only time i have been to a proper court house was on my most recent visit to beijing.
we drank tea. and it was in a house of a perfect size.
it felt perfect to me.
but there are so many reasons why something can feel perfect.
the shadows on the wall are not coming back until tomorrow. near the corner of the room two little dots of light are the indication that the sun is out and moving across the sky.
i know so little. and i know that i know so little. and that's one of the biggest joys of life, i guess? i know that i am just barely beginning to see a surface.
it is a surface that has been scratched and it has been bruised by others.
so much to learn. so much to learn.
what is the name of shadows that are actually bright projections of light?