From Aesop to Tchaikovsky

  Without going through too many ups and downs in life, the experience on which my literary life depends may have come from reading experience, and the people who influenced me to start writing were either the people who wrote the book or the people in the book.
  The first person to give me the book was my grandfather, an elementary school math teacher. I still vividly remember the scene at that time, when I was about four years old, I was told early that day that my father, an ocean-going sailor, was coming back from Hong Kong. During the day, my grandfather rode me to the bookstore and bought me a copy of Aesop’s Fables, which I chose by myself. It was dusk before my father got home. I sat on the wooden sofa and opened the picture book. A crane pecked its long beak at the fox’s shallow plate. The plate was broth… I lived in the countryside when I was a child, and I had never had such a strong drink. I was drawn to the thick Western-style broth, gulping in the fading light.
  ”Why hasn’t Dad arrived yet?” I kept asking… My grandfather sat beside me to soothe my uneasy emotions, just like five years later, on the day of my grandmother’s funeral, I broke down and cried, and I was on the same sofa. In dark moments, he also comforts me. In another two years, my grandfather passed away, and there would be no one in this world to comfort me.
  In fact, my grandfather was the founder of my literary life.
  One morning when I read the poem of Chen Sanli, a great poet in the late Qing Dynasty and the early Republic of China, and read “Lei Lei Tian Wai Mountain, Slim Mountain House”, I suddenly recalled the past of my childhood and my grandfather living in the village elementary school where he taught. I was five at the time, and every Monday when we went back to school, I stuck to the back seat of my grandfather’s bike like a little thought that could be blown away at any moment, talking non-stop.
  Grandpa asked me, “Do you remember Grandpa when you grow up?” The wheels rattled and he couldn’t hear my answer in a low voice. It took about half an hour to arrive at Lianqun Village Primary School, where we had our small room, with my own small bed and small blackboard. The mountains in the distance are looming, always green and fresh, flowing to the front…
  The poem “Wei this wandering soul” is quite grateful and memorable. My grandfather rides a 28-style big bicycle, which is majestic and suitable for looking into the distance, suitable for enduring failure, humiliation, and hardship, all those things my grandfather did for me. At that time, he had been wandering in that hostile world for half his life, and I had not yet begun this intangible wandering. From that moment on, the image of my grandfather guarded me, and began to shape in me the standard of what a person is. Later, I learned that this is also the standard of literature.
  These are my two earliest memories of my grandfather. Any more? I remember the first time I came into contact with the word “infinity”, I asked my grandfather: “Is infinity the largest number? If so, what is infinite plus one?” How did my grandfather answer?
  I forgot my grandfather’s answer, but I remember that one night, Principal Yao invited my grandfather and I to his dormitory as a guest. Principal Yao is from a farther city. Like my grandfather, because he obtained his education diploma before 1949, he ended up in the “Cultural Revolution” “When I was demoted to teach at this mountain village primary school, the two cherished each other. Principal Yao’s two sons were my playmates on the mountain, but we didn’t frolic that night because Principal Yao took out a mysterious black box.
  The black box was opened and wound up. Principal Yao carefully took out a black disc and placed it on it, and then lifted a tonearm (of course, I didn’t know the name until I grew up) and gently lowered it on the edge of the disc. Then, after the subtle rustling sound, suddenly like a spring water swirling, meandering, ups and downs, a piece of music so rich and subtle that I have never heard before, filling the cottage in the valley in an instant.
  Tchaikovsky, I remember the name.
  Another name is still related to my grandfather. Grandpa has a son and four daughters, only the third aunt Jianqiu inherited his father’s business and was admitted to the normal school. When I was nine years old, my third aunt graduated from Normal University. Seeing that I love painting, she gave me a copy of the “Secondary Normal School Art Textbook: Art Appreciation” published in 1983. The editor of the book is estimated to have something to do with the trend of Chinese modern art in the 1980s, and the selection is very avant-garde – in addition to letting me know the history of world art before I was ten years old, I also talked about pop art from Impressionism, and even light effect art, I remember including Andy Warhol, Boyce, and Hamilton’s What Makes Today’s Family So Different, So Attractive? “.
  In 1985, a child in a small remote county was exposed to the world’s top artworks and artistic concepts. Its influence on the aesthetics of my writing, especially the avant-garde orientation, was decisive.
  A year later, my grandfather died because of quack doctors and poor medicines. In the past nine years, I have published my first collection of poems, “Eternal Night,” with a poem to him: Lights in the Woods – In Memory of My Grandfather, written on March 17, 1994 The poem was very young, but it was the only poem that made my mother cry.