You are twenty-two, or you could be 24, 30 or just 16. Emotions often escape words, but writing the act preserves that moment of struggling to give sentiments an outfit. Keep writing: let realities come through the cracks of grammatical and syntactic fabrics. 確定是22歲,或許24, 30;16歲可以嗎?情緒和感覺往往挑戰文字的限度;裹不住,盛載又不完全。只有「寫」,作為行動,以「演」為述。抓著那個時刻,殘酷的現實或許找到那片刻的機會綻破文字規格的裂縫而迅出,飛向渺茫。

 

 

Twenty-two: reflection on experience – a starting point / Ryan Chung

Pushing through.

How would you describe the age of twenty-two? Close your eyes and imagine or reimagine it. Of all the events that happened that year, what left the heaviest imprint on your mind?

Twenty-two – a year of turbulence; twenty-two – a time of imploding excitement for life; twenty-two – an age of not knowing better whilst always desired to know better.

I was in limbo for a long time deciding what to do after graduation. I wanted to believe in destiny, but my past experience did not inform its definite existence.

The city’s social conflicts were suffocating, everyday and lastingly, while combined with the outbreak, both have left me slightly unhinged. However, the stars aligned, I felt as though, for me when I was offered a stable position to afford myself and my family. I began to develop plausible prospective expectations. All of a sudden the waves settled themselves. Didn’t they?

One day, I sailed to the fantasy land, detached from the consensus realities…

I pushed the earbuds in, nice and secure, laid on my bed with my head propped up by the pillows and looked out the window at the calming, soothingly slow white cotton ball floating in the blue sky. My body frail, rested against the mattress: the very support I needed at the moment it seemed. Then, I let go and fell, very deep into the spectrum of instrumentations. It was wide and many intertwined, yet near and all so clear. Every voice sent straight into the faculty of hearing in my heart, not my ears, if there was one; every drumbeat hit and quivered my eardrums with the bass humming its lines of plots. I heard the breaths, the glottal stops, the echoes in that space of complete darkness and hyperfocus. They captured me. The many distracting noises in my head quieted. For once, I was sheltered but freed. For once, nothing came between me and myself. In this lightless place, one can dream of anything. But, I did not. I saw myself. I opened my eyes to the lights of the street and the cars glaring far across the hill. It was the same window I stared at and the same bed sheet I shed my skins on. The world, however, was not quite the same.

Twenty-two – what a year to be alive; twenty-two – what a time to be young; twenty-two – what an age to know the worst for the better.

“Find escape, make opportunity, settle not for less…” I prompted myself. Disheartening news dare not throw me off the boat. They kept me grounded, instead. I refused to take refuge in passive resistance.

Pushing through.

Don’t mention it…

There were myriads of emotions never felt before that upheaved from the ocean contained within the boundary of my body. Never have I felt the fear of loss so profoundly real; never have I seen the light of unknown so forcefully drawing me towards it; never have I heard the sound of conscience so luring and loud. I wondered, many times, what am I? “I” am surprising and unknown. I am taken aback. This is only every day. Every day, a notion that makes you numb, albeit rather tensioned. Every day was a foreground; then, it stood behind the stage of tomorrow, when light shines on it, stirs up the current that ever-so-slowly picks up the hidden treasures beneath the space where light could reach. It is in that region where I lost myself.

Twenty-two.

(15 July 2020, Hong Kong)

image courtesy of author Ryan Chung

 

RELATED READINGS:

To read all previous posts by Ryan Chung in the “Let the Mind Speak” series: http://floatingprojectscollective.net/tag/let-the-mind-speak-series/

 

 

 

Last post in the Series:

Ryan Chung: “A Retrospective Look at Video Lessons…”