Liu Zirong

Singapore

- INTJ/INFJ
- typical Libra
- Ravendor
- literature fanatic
- author of 1 book
&1 more in progress!
- tennis & track team
- painting, writing, reading!
- animes!!!
- singing & song writing & flute
- a perfectionist and a dreamer :)

Message from Writer

Dreamers can never be tamed :)

We are leaping gleefully up and down, hugging one another, singing, shouting, and saying, "It's so hot out here!" -- like the children we will never, ever cease to be.
-- Paulo Coelho, *Aleph*

The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

Answer.
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
-- Walt Whitman

When I Say Lit

October 19, 2020

I am not the super perseverant type, nor a fan of the sloth philosophy. For the past years, while simply being myself, I have clung to only a few things, one of which is literature.  

Maybe it's just meant to be. I prefer to imagine some epic missions assigned to me by Fate. Yet I know the ordinariness of this impulse all the more explicitly second by second. Or perhaps I should say "down-to-earth" instead? As I continue writing, the sense of distance, sacred yet poignant, gracefully melts into a sense of belonging, an ever-more ardent craving for Home. 

I grabbed the pencil on my desk at the age of 6, and wrote some simple stories which I would now wow at with a nostalgic smile. A slightly more formal attempt began at 9 when children's literature robbed my heart and, as nothing is ever impossible for kids, I scribbled down around 100 thousand Chinese characters in my notebooks by the end of Primary 6. Those stories, of course, are mostly laughed at when I now return back to them. But something embedded deep under the graphite or ink would make my eyes light up each time, with discoveries that never repeat. At some random moments it feels as if my whole primary school life breathes within the pages, and becomes more lively as lines progress and words flow. That, I suppose, is the power of written words, the power of literature. Reflections of life. Glorified pain that makes my heart throb with the lovely vanity of an artist. Pride and joy carefully encapsulated and frozen shine through the canvas of Time. 

As I then passed the station of secondary school, I felt a bit at loss, but mostly grateful. With the time squeezed out from those precious three years, words that live emerged from their cocoons. They may not fly high as dazzling butterflies over the literary world. In fact, they dwelled on the signpost of growth as I journeyed forward, graciously as they should be. But that is more than enough. These are the best souvenirs for my wide-eyed 15-year-old self, who could remember nothing but a big dream in a small city. 

My journey with literature appeared smooth enough until the end of 2017. I still remember the pinky promise of organising a literature club together in the best high school in my city, where the sparks from me and some other literature lovers could finally collide into the most sublime firework. But it slowly slipped in my memories without ever coming into shape, as I signed on the contract for international scholarship. On one side of the balance, there was a fresh new world of which the door I've longed to open. On the other side, there was this small city I wrote so many poems to complain about but at the same time am madly in love with. It is where my dream started, everything started, where fingered were hooked and laughters burgeoned. I staggered in the middle of the scale and tried not to fall, yet many times my tears broke through my control and streamed down. There was no going back. So I waved goodbye to all, then lost touch with many, and am now missed by few. 

At least that was what I thought through the whole 2018. 

I didn't expect the road of studying abroad to be so bumpy. When I first stepped onto the new soil, I felt surprisingly relieved. Here they were. The education system I've heard too much of. The new possibilities that await me ahead. It may not be so easy to move on from the past, but the future is what I should focus on. With this in mind I deceived myself through the first half of 2018, gazing steadily ahead with overloaded nerves, ignoring all the voices around me. For once I believed this was the right path of my life, and indulged in false satisfaction, until eventually the day came when inspirations turned away from me for the first time in my life. I was no longer able to squeeze out a single word that was not pathetic or awkward. At first, blinded by reality, I didn't take this seriously. Then I started to panic and flipped through my early works like a madman, but could not find a clue. The characters paled, like the bleached years. They became mere strokes. I could not sense any breath between the lines. My passion was dead. My life was rapidly decaying without my notice. 

What was the choice left? Sure, give up then.

And I did give up, for several months. I could not recall what I did during that period of time, but absolutely nothing meaningful. I did achieve superficial peace and perfect grades, but they barely left a colourful trace in my life. I knew there was a hole and I needed to fill it, but I, I just couldn't. Gradually I stopped reading altogether.

I have never felt so lost before. 

She called me.

She was in the pinky promise, and the few by whom I was missed. She called me to confide her regrets, about literature of course. She called me with the wish to share my passion and regain her strength. But I could do nothing but disappoint her. She sank into silence, but did not hang up. 

In the end she said, "I guess it's fine if there's no regret." And at that instant, regrets overwhelmed me, and together with them, inspirations gushed out, ebulliently hugging me like a long lost friend. 

I hid my insecurity from all, faked a smile to many, but was eventually saved by her. 

Only then did I realise: the power of literature should walk hand in hand with the power of connection.

Now I've taken up literature in English, and embraced my new home, which is here, at Write the World. 

May the power be forever with all of you, my dear listeners. 

 
word count: 999

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  • October 19, 2020 - 10:29am (Now Viewing)

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