Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Alice in the Mission LandMom likes to say, “沒有經歷過長夜痛哭的人，不足以道人生” (Those who haven't experienced long nights of weeping cannot speak about life).
Having been in Shanghai for a few months, I can't say I've gone through that many long nights of weeping, but I have certainly had my share of long-night thinking and contemplating.
From such late-night thinking and contemplating, I've come to realize one thing - I am here for a cause, a cause that is beyond what the worldly pursuits are interested in or what the worldly standards define as success. Sure, it isn't like there are no physical/financial rewards that come along the way, but they hardly amount to anything significant in this ever transforming, ever transitioning city called Shanghai.
It's like I am living a life of a missionary without even realizing that I am living one or jumped myself into one. It's like Alice falling into the wonderland and suddenly, with every possible aspect of your surrounding begins to change and your own version of reality begins to disentangle and dissolve, you realize that while you simply made a careless fall, now you have no choice but to keep on walking, until you find a way out of this wonderland (or until the wonderland is done with you and finds itself out of you, perhaps).
Not necessarily missionary from a religious sense but missionary from the perspective of running upon some kind of literal "mission" that seeks to challenge the mainstream, go against the tidal wave of monetary allure and addiction, overturn the established mindsets, and inspire the simple yet long-forgotten awe in the geniuses of a free and independent human mind, the better side of humanity, the beauty of physical and human nature, and the core elements that allow such nature or humanity to sustain itself and not fall into the other side of the equation - elements such as respect, consideration, compassion, and love.
But a missionary needs to eat, and a missionary needs to sleep. Just like anyone else, a missionary needs a firm roof over her head to rest, a safe shelter to retreat to, a drink to de-stress and relax, a good movie to laugh or cry for awhile for, a fresh meal to fill the stomach and refresh the palate.
Or at least she wants to.
And all of such still require monetary means in order to sustain and support.
Or perhaps not? Perhaps I haven't fully understood what it truly means to be a missionary?
Or maybe that too is part of the mission, the letting go of what you think you cannot live without, the stripping away of all that you used to cling onto for security and happiness so that you may finally realize what such mission that you are running after really is all about?
So yes, tonight, I wept, at last, not for a long night but for a long while, hoping that all such hot and salty tears could wash away my sense of utter frustration and release myself from this sense of control and composure that has been out-stretched and finally reached its breaking point.
So that I may go out, return, and fight the same battle again.
After I finished this entry, an email came and reminded me of the following:
梅ちゃん at 2:31:00 AM