Wednesday, April 6, 2016

北京麻雀 - Beijing - 6

8
At night, in a condominium
in Beijing, Near south of Tiananmen Square, just barely in the First Ring
2008

The master of Go thought about the new position, as the author described it.

He shook his head, and tried to begin again, but nothing was shaking loose from that tree of wisdom which was his brain. He knew by the shaking in his head that he was to feign sleep, but he knew on a much deeper level that sleep was the farthest thing from his mind. He would even say, that wrapped up in an enigma, slumber was not part of the shufflings of the deck. In fact, he went through at least a have dozen different ways of saying that he wanted no part of sleep, just to confirm the ravenous undertaking which he did not want to say what it was. But languid repose was not what he was trying to say. He pictured himself in the condominium – they were stationed in the small room which she had appropriated for herself. One came in and stared at kitchen, with open double doors to a TV room with chairs scattered about then to the side were two bedrooms – the largest one was cluttered with things that were for the two parents. Who were long since dead. The smallest room which - was twice the size of a small bed – had one teacher in it, a very large window, just installed, with no distraction of a curtain. One could look out over the city and one could just glimpse Tinnaman Square in the distance. They were just barely at the Second Ring – and the like from the outside drifted in like water. Everything was carried away by constant fireworks, because this was the new year, as it was reckoned in the old calendar. And everyone was excited. There were no lights on inside – except one bedraggled beige candle, which stared back at him with no remorse.

A candle that she had left out when going to bed. Wandering is eyes over the flame that he had lit, it seemed that the ringing in his ears corresponded to something about the flames warm eternal vision was connected – but this could be just and illusion, and nothing more than cohabitation of two thoughts that were only loosely joined together, as if It was a French poet of the 19th century, one that he could not remember – Stefen popped in to his mind, actually, Stèphane, but he could not remember the last name. It was a decadent feeling, with tumultuous bohemian lives that clashed. Possessed by some demon now a negress. Quand l'ombre menaça, le vierge, le vivace, victorieusement fui le suicide, ses purs ongles trés haut. The the words were running through his mind, but it was an agglomeration of text which he learned when very small and did not know what the poems in French were talking about. Nor would he learn until many years there afterwards.

Then in his mind he began working on the Go problem that perplexed and bemused him at the same time – have prayed and prayed that this would not have happened. It seemed as if he were meditating on the illness that the Go player who first encountered the situation, and then fell ill thinking about the different ways that he could play through the position. It was almost as if there were two struggles going on simultaneously. One was the position on the board – joseki, that leads to both of the players having some benefit – and the struggle with the Go master's own body trying to rebel against the endless searching and innermost weighing as to what would be the sanest method to play.

Then a thought came from out of the blue – Mallarmé was the last name of the poet, though how this related to the joseki he did not understand – but there seemed to be a connection. Though what he did not know. He looked outside at the greying sky with a number of towers both far left and far right, leaving Tiananmen Square as a sacred place, lower down a missed the buildings on either side. He then looked at the face of, not just her, but Her in all of her aspects. As a particular woman she was nothing special, but that was just her flesh, alas, is sad, and he has read all of the books. But inside lies the mind, and in that mind was imagination alluring. She had said many things – though they were not important of themselves- that attracted him to not the woman of the flesh but the woman of the mind. He had read many stories of a man wanting the flesh of a woman – but it was not the flesh or the skin, but the puzzle that made her all of the Hers in the world. How does one do that?

 Because while asleep she was a mystery to him much of the time. Occasionally, she would furl her brow, or crumple her cheeks. This way, for just a moment, she took on a specific feature. More generally, however, her face was smooth and asked “what could be calm of me?” what indeed good become of me? It must be upon this that the tangle of the Go problem and the problem of Stephane Mallarme word superimposed upon her bewitching face. Though he did not know how, yet.
It was as if a throw of the dice will never abolished chance. He thought this as he was reading, a lonely quiet concert in his mind; all of his mental faculties were present in this symphonic exultation. But he knew that this was not his words, though he might try to make them his own by transliterated them from their original language. In his mind however, he knew better. Then he glanced down on to her face, and realized, that it was all just a dream; and all of his thoughts were really an etching wrapped around an expression which was not his. He was trying to express something which all ready had a voice made in flesh. It was hers and Hers alone.

Though he still did not know how to place words with values, with the face which was soft and subtle. In his mind a picture that was not of something, but about something, and it was soft and subtle.


9
Unreal Unlife – Some notes towards a Story
Nowhere, nothing, a year uncertain


It was on a day that was on a day when the bright light streamed through the glassless window, a window that was out on to the Aegean. The lines of paint from the naked sun streamed into the painless pain, and on to the little girls face, she could just see Nana stopping to rub the little boys face, and speaking damn about something that she could not quite here; but it was how he should look to the world. She was slipping away from reality and to that unreality which only she knew of. In fact she did not know if anyone else would drift between a real-life, and the mystic sheen of dreams that was her unreal life. In fact, she would be embarrassed to reveal it.

In her own world she imagined that the figure from the newspaper was real and both she and Nana were lecturing the little boy about paying attention and being erect. Nana was a big believer in Νέα Δημοκρατία; which was not something she understood, but something that commanded her attention. Almost as much as Patera. A man so terrible that he did not actually appear in her dreams, but was on omni-present in something like a shadow of a terrible will. A shadow which, if it gazed upon you, you would terror and grovel.

In the real world she looked over a molted glass bought from the store with about one third honey. There was another in the lower basin, which had not been opened. She was trying, in the real world, to find out whether she should look above or below to get a better view of whether she should have another spoonful of honey to go on her, home bought no less, bread.
One thing you must understand, however, in her private drean world, everything looked like a picture out of Maurice Sendak. And the second thing is that she was actually searching for her real mother.

Since Nana was busy with the boy, and what she was doing looked childish enough, it did not occur to anyone that walked was really going on was that inside her head absorbed all of her thoughts. After all, she was just a girl; not even a woman. If she had been, perhaps Nana would have at least looked at her; and wondered which boy she was thinking about. Because once the Blossom of the kiss of womanhood was upon her, people begin thinking that they might have something in their minds. But a girl would never do that. This was a reflection on how Nana had forgotten what it was to be like a girl with all of the faculties except sex. It was all so long ago. And far a way, because Nana was not from this land, but another one which she whispered in the dark was much colder, and the wind blew from the north, as opposed to from the south. But the little girl was not frightened of this, but looked through the pictures of a land far here; she would then imagine herself as a princess. It was the correct thing to do in her mind. In her inside world, she would whisper on the wind “μάνα”, her real mother. Not the imitation mother that trooped around and ordered people. “Nana” had wild connotations in her dreams, though she would never say so in public.

In her dream world she was on the bank of a small stream, which ran directly into the ocean. Unlike in the real world, there were trees here. She had read that thousands of years ago the whole mainland was covered with them, and people did rituals to the Elder trees so that they would slumber; and then the people would chop down the youngest trees for ships. But they left alone elder trees to form the next wave of younger trees. Every so often a tree was straight and true, and they left it alone. And every so often one of these elder trees would volunteer to be cut down, to form the prow of a kingly vessel. She imagined that she was talking to just such a tree.

“Why are you letting your self be cut down? I thought this would be the most important thing in your life. It would be for me. I would tremble and shake before they cut me down. And afterwards they would feel the blood on their hands.”
“Little child,” began the elder tree, “ what you do not understand, is that the world does not live as straight and true. Even high am bent, just a little bit. And that means that the world is not straight but bent, just a little. And because it is bent, that means that it is a circle (kyklos).”

Where does that word come from?”

“From Plato course.”

“But Plato is ancient, and we are descended from the Byzantine Empire.”

“Your descendents in other countries do not understand this. They think of Greece has old, and you think of Greece as medieval. ”

“Why is this important? I know I have heard it, but I do not understand.”

“All of their imagination is of Greeks in togas, because they only understand the beginning, and not the middle or the end. Look at Machiavelli, and understand that the three orders of government are all in Plato or Aristotle. They do not understand that Greece the country kept on going, which is why you look at Byzantium, and see your selves. But that does not translate, especially not into the West. And say mean something completely different by writing circle in the Greek.”

“Could I have some honey? Because it is time for me to go, and placate” - she missed the word, but not by much, and the tree for gave her. He knew that it was time to be going, because she needed to learn a simple lesson: the Greeks were going to have two decide whether there upper class belonged with the other upper classes, or instead with the Greeks. The rebels in the outer world answered the Greeks, but in Greece they still thought of the lower people as not part of the same family. There was an order in the Greek mind.


 And she knew that order was different from what the outside wished it to be.