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名师专栏 《自愈之旅》中英文连载 8

时间:2015.11.05 12:11 253 0 0

    浪迹大理与泸沽湖
 

    老友薛铮在云南大理的苍山腰下买了一套房子却没人住,便怂恿我到那儿住一段时间,说那里适合写作和云游。我经不住诱惑,便在2006年底云游到大理。这里有点世外桃源的味道,坐拥苍山,面向洱海,头顶蓝天白云,就是一个“闲”字。一对来自上海金融界的年轻夫妇与我为邻,他们卖掉上海的房子,搬到大理过上了悠闲的日子。朋友知道我在寻找民间中医,就介绍我认识了一位在乡下收购古董的商人老郑,因为他成年在乡下转,认识的怪人多。老郑开始有点担心我吃不了苦而不敢去,结果我不仅立刻决定去,而且提议汽车的油钱由我付,令他喜出望外。于是我和他儿子一起坐上他开着一辆破旧的“夏利”,以收购古董的名义开始在川滇藏交界的大山里长途跋涉。
 

我们在川滇公路上的“铁骑”--- 破旧的夏利

 

    没想到这车实在太破,刚出门就开始冒烟,原来电线烧断了,只好停下修车。再继续往前开,驾驶座的座位也歪了,他试着修了几次,可始终没正过来。反正歪座暂不妨碍开车,所以就一直歪着开下去了。好在老郑是个不错的修理工,于是我们边开车边修车,走乡串户,各得其乐。云南温泉多,凡路经温泉,我必然要求一泡。在丽江见了一个古董商后,我们继续前进,到达宁蒗县,在那里给我印象最深的是一个乞丐。


 

塑料袋的乞丐,一个环保主义者
 


 

早晨起来才发现的风景




 

    她到处捡人们扔掉的塑料袋和塑料纸并穿在身上,一个全然的环保主义者。某天半夜,我们抵达泸沽湖,黑乎乎什么也看不见,次日清晨推门一看,才发现门口便是传说中的泸沽湖水。跟老郑在周围村庄转了一天,只有些古董生意的谈判,始终没见中医奇人的影子。入夜,我们转移住处,夜宿泸沽湖美丽的里格半岛,客栈年轻的老板思格是老郑的老友,他从四川木里县的一个摩梭族原始村落走婚到此,原来也是个动人的故事。次日,我们天刚亮就启程,车沿湖边山腰行驶,沿途可居高临下观湖。从山上看凌晨的泸沽湖,湖面弥漫着一层薄薄的雾气,我们住过的半岛更如同仙境一般飘渺妩媚,于是我不断要求停车拍摄。


 

黎明,云蒸霞蔚的里格半岛,我们在此度过一夜






 

 泸沽湖的摩梭族家庭

 
 

 跟着老郑收古董,我给自己买了件传统服装
 
 
 

传统织布


 

村子里的风景
 


 

带孩子的老人
 


 

做作业的学生
 

    我们的目标是四川木里,可从云南到四川境内的路极其糟糕,当地人告知只能乘摩托车到达。我们已经为乘摩托车买好了棉帽等防寒用具,但几经思索后,老郑还是决定冒险驾车去。几经艰辛,这破车居然被老郑开到了木里,我们直奔思格所在的原始部落后。老郑对这里很熟,一到便忙着收古董,我的兴趣则是寻找中医、藏医。可除了一些稀有的中药材外,我再没发现中医高人。老郑开玩笑说,你不如干脆在这里走婚算了。我笑着问,有懂中医的摩梭姑娘吗?他反问,你不走婚怎么知道谁懂医?看来他也是个行动派。返回大理后,有人给我介绍了昆明的名医,可始终无缘见面。那时圣诞快到,大理阳光灿烂,我除了看书写字,就在阳台上晒阳光浴,有时温度不错,就干脆脱光衣服裸浴。这个社区的临时住客较多,一帮流浪至此的各国浪人凑到一起,用“文革”期间的词汇描述,我们算过了一个“革命化”的圣诞和元旦。这时李老五不断来电催促我赶赴湘西。


 

 回到大理,给来自世界各地的好奇的邻居们看沿途拍摄的照片
 

    于是我登上火车,第四次来到湘西,这时春节即将来临。
 

    过年本应团聚,但我以为那是针对处于分居状态的亲友而言,如果本来就处于团聚状,何团聚之有?相反,应该分开才是,这更符合“中庸之道”与“阴阳平衡”之理,而云游就是一种过年的美妙方式。否则过年仅仅成了大吃大喝的借口和激发各种社会矛盾的诱因,还令交通紧张,疾病增加。所以春节时我常常孤身在外云游,这样可以远离喧嚣的人群和大吃大喝的主题。记得1987年快过年时,我妈妈让我回家团聚,我笑问,难道我活100岁,您就得让我过100个一样的年吗?结果那一年,我听着崔健的《一无所有》在川藏公路上过年。后来我还在越南南方、缅甸的古城、陕西的村庄等很多地方过年。今年的春节与往年不同,因为我不仅云游异乡,而且开始了学医生涯。这是一种全新的游戏:一边学医,一边读书,一边练气功。“气”对医者极为重要,所以我每天早晨起床后先对着冉冉升起的太阳站桩练气功。点穴须用手指,站桩练手指的气感,一直要练到手指能感到呼吸的脉搏。“练气”其实就是东方式的实证方式之一,而且必须在活人身上实证。想想西医在死人身上解剖,却将结论用在活人身上治病,而且信誓旦旦,就有种闹剧的感觉。
 

    师带徒学医是直接在临床实践中学习,中国的传统技艺几乎全是用此法传承,琴、棋、书、画、戏、武等等,无一例外。我学习的第一天就直接在师父身上点穴,他也在我身上点,以便我体会。由于种种原因,学习进度极慢,每天真正跟师父学习点穴的时间只有几分钟,点穴的时间只能在早晚太阳起落之时,所以我早晚可跟着师父在病房中临床观察半小时。即使这样,我每天学医的时间合计也不超过一小时,其余的时间都可自由支配,于是我比在家有更多的时间。 

 

    湘西趣事

    在湘西师带徒的学医生活就这样开始了,如同玩起了一种新的游戏。我很快入乡随俗。年关快到,为办年货,我跟师父和其长子从家门口乘他自制的土快艇去保靖城,那是《从文自传》里写到的古镇。所谓快艇,其实就是在一叶扁舟的尾部加了一个带螺旋桨的汽油机。快艇像一条鱼窜出,在水面上激起漂亮的浪花。一路风光如画,河岸两边多为壁立的峡谷、起伏的丘陵和无人的荒野,偶尔河岸上会出现寂寞的孤舟、独立的人家、炊烟袅袅的村庄、懒洋洋的水牛和牧童。一个多小时的路程如同在画中行。

 
 
 


 


在飞驰的快艇上欣赏两岸的风景
 

    我在船上不断遐想:如果在这样的山水慢慢划船前行,有古琴相伴,来一段《高山流水》或《平沙落雁》之类的古曲,一定更让人缠绵惆怅而发幽思古。我正纳闷为什么沿河两岸没有古迹,远处山上出现了宝塔,山崖上有依山而建的庙宇,李老五师父说这是新建的,以前沿岸古迹很多,全在一次次“革命运动”中毁了。快到县城的时候,师父突然兴致大发,在狭窄的船头来了个手头倒立,北方人叫“拿大顶”。那时船正在快速航行,一般人即使在陆地上也难倒立,何况在急驰的扁舟上。我立刻用相机拍了一组珍贵的镜头。

 

李老五师父在船上倒立

                                                                                        

    刚在保靖登陆,我就在码头后的大街上碰到了一幕既温馨感人又令人捧腹的画面:一群六七十岁的老人在街上排排站立,虽然都老胳膊老腿,但个个像少男少女一样手执大红绸,在一位眼睛半睁半闭、恍惚迟缓的老头率领下跳着红绸舞。他们虽然因为高龄而姿态笨拙、步调不一,但其热情和虔诚却令人感动。我边看边往前走,等凑近细看细听,禁不住笑出声来!因为伴舞的曲子实在古老得可以,那是“文革”时期很火的一曲,从“文革”过来的人一听歌词就会哼出调子来:“敬爱的毛主席,敬爱的毛主席,你是我们心中的红太阳……”也许正因为这曲调的原因,他们的舞姿呆板若木鸡,跳得很像“文革”时期男女老少都跳的“忠字舞”,那是一种在毛主席像前表忠心的政治舞。不过最令人捧腹的还不是跳舞的,而是给舞蹈伴奏的乐队。

    只见舞蹈队前面的空旷地面上,一个看上去70多岁的干瘦老头坐在一个小折叠凳上,戴着一顶棉帽,手执一把破旧的二胡,悠哉游哉地拉着。原来他一个人就是乐队的全部,称之为“独一无二”的乐队当之无愧。从他干枯的手指下源源不断地流出一种咿咿呀呀的沙哑调子,毫无乐队的气势与和弦,只有一种寂寞哀凉的旋律,仿佛在对那热情飞舞的红色做一种如泣如诉的回应。我干脆站在那里欣赏起来。老头时常停下来对舞蹈队指手画脚,有时还不得已从小凳上站起来认真地比划、讲解,俨然一个集乐队指挥、音乐总监和导演于一身的权威。他那严肃的表情和干瘦的身材还真有几分卡拉扬的味道,不过他戴的那顶棉帽却令我想起样板戏《智取威虎山》里的土匪栾平。周围是稀稀拉拉的围观人群,不远处是一桌桌在阳光下打麻将的幸福人们。

 
 

 

 

 


保靖城街头跳舞的群众和一个人的乐队
 

    李师父催我继续前行,我们在保靖城中心的十字路口碰到了与红绸舞的气氛完全相反的另一幕:歌声震天的“超女大赛”。与刚才传统的红绸、二胡相比,其形式和内容都截然相反,音响、舞美、服装、歌词、曲调和唱法,统统是非传统。看大赛的人群在台前挤得水泄不通,台前的嘉宾位置上,评委们正襟危坐,套路跟电视台里一样。



 


 

保靖城街上的“超女大赛” 
 

    在通往市中心的高架公路桥上,师父特意让我停下来看路边院子里的一棵白果树,并给我讲了它的故事。他说这是保靖县人民医院的后院,有一年树干分枝处突然无端起火,此后不久,全国各地不断有人到此寻找一位姓白的中医表达谢意。院里的人说这里从来就没有姓白的人,可人们都坚持说那个老中医姓白,否则怎么会不约而同找到这里?院里人说这里的确没人姓白,但是有一棵白果树。大家这才明白,古树在起火后化为一个白胡子老头,四处免费为人治病,人家问他姓什么住哪里,他就说姓白,住保靖医院的后院。也许这棵树是菩萨的化身,他见医院里因打针吃药的副作用受苦的人太多了,就干脆化为神医济世。人们找不到老中医本人,就只好在此树上挂上红布条表达谢意。我仔细一看,树上果然挂着不少红布条。师父说,多的时候满树一片红。

 

白果树 

    大年三十前一天,我跟师父一起划船去看望一位在酉水上漂泊的孤寡老人,给他送了年货和钱。老人因高血压和脑动脉硬化长期头晕眼花,一位徒弟用点穴为他治好了病,不仅免费治疗,还在过年前给他送来年货。老人感动得热泪盈眶,久久说不出话来。他独自一人从常德闯荡到此20多年,至今仍说一口常德话,那条破船就是他的家。老人站立船头的孤影,倒映寒水的孤舟,加上我这个孤独漂泊的心,构成了一种恍惚凄美的意境。老人和我,我们的内心世界和外部风景,似乎就是对“闯荡江湖”四个字的生动写照。 

 

Travel in Dali and the Lugu Lake in Yunnan Province
 

Xue Zheng, a friend of mine for years, had bought an apartment at the foot of Mt. Cangshan in Dali, Yunnan province. As nobody was using it, he urged me to stay there for some time, saying it was a great place to write something and roam around.

 

How could I possibly resist it? So toward the end of 2006, I arrived in Dali, an idyllic land with Mt. Cangshan at its back, Erhai Lake in the front, and white clouds floating in the blue sky. Well, in a word, what great “leisure”! My neighbour there were a young couple who had worked in the financial sector in Shanghai. They had sold their house there and moved to Dali to enjoy a leisurely life.

 

My friend knew I was looking for folk doctors, so he introduced Mr. Zheng to me. Zheng was an antique dealer who went to the countryside to buy antiques and sell them elsewhere. As he had spent years in the countryside, he knew a lot of extraordinary people.

 

Initially, Zheng was a bit worried that I dared not go with him, for traveling in the countryside wasn’t easy. He was overjoyed to find that I immediately decided to go and proposed to pay for oil. So I, together with his son, sat in his shabby Xiali (a label of a Chinese car), and started to trek in the mountains at the juncture of Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet in the name of buying antiques.
 

Our car on a Sichuan-Yunan mountain road 

We hadn’t expected that the car would begin to smoke soon after we set off. A wire was burnt. We had to stop to have it fixed. Then we continued. Later on, the driver’s seat went tilted. Zheng tried several times to fix it, still it was tilted. Anyway, it didn’t affect driving for the moment, so he just let it be. Fortunately for us, Zheng was a good mechanic. So we sometimes drove on, sometimes stopped to fix the car, and sometimes visited towns and households. Each of us had his own share of the fun.

 

There were many hot springs in Yunnan. Whenever we passed somewhere with a hot spring, I’d request Zheng to stop for a bath in it.

 

After meeting another antique dealer in Lijiang, we continued our journey and arrived in Ninglang county. There, what impressed me most was a beggar. Everywhere she went, she’d pick up plastic bags and plastic paper people had thrown away and wear them on her. An absolute environmentalist.

 

One midnight, we arrived at the Lugu Lake, but could see nothing in the dark. When I opened the door early next morning, there it was, the legendary Lugu Lake, right in front of me.

 

The beggar who wears plastic bags
 

 
The lake we woke up to see in the morning
 
Mr. Zheng and his son

 
《自愈之旅》中英文连载 <wbr>8

 

 

For the whole day, I followed Zheng to nearby villages. There were only business negotiations on antiques, and I didn’t have even a glimpse of a master of Chinese medicine. In the evening, we went to stay at a hotel on the enchanting Lige Peninsula of the Lake. Si Ge, the young boss of the hotel, was an old friend of Zheng. He had moved here from a primitive Mosuo village in Muli county, Sichuan province, following the Walking Marriage tradition (a marital tradition of the matrilineal Mosuo people who live in parts of the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. Lovers stay apart in the day and stay together at night). And I then got to know another moving life story.

 

The next day, we set off at daybreak. When the car was running on a hillside road along the lake, we were able to appreciate it from an elevated perspective. There was a thin layer of fog above the water, and the peninsula where we had stayed for the night looked like a fairyland. And I constantly pleaded Zheng to stop for me to take pictures.
 

                                         A Mosuo family at the Lugu Lake

 

The beautiful peninsula at dawn, where we stayed for the night 
 


 

 
 The mist on the lake in early morning
 

Our destination was Muli county in Sichuan province. But the road from Yunnan to Sichuan was almost inaccessible. We were told by the locals that riding a motorcycle was the only viable option. We had already bought cotton hats and other cold-resistant stuff for the ride when Zheng, after several rounds of tug-of-war in his mind, decided to try driving there.

 

After many hardships, we finally arrived in Muli county in the junk car. Then we headed straight to a primitive village, the home place of Si Ge. It was a familiar place for Zheng. The moment he arrived, he began to buy antiques from the villagers. And my interest was to look for doctors of Chinese medicine and Tibetan medicine. However, I found none of them. There were only some rare herbal drugs.

 

In the village
 

 
Helping Zheng to collect his antiques 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zheng joked, “Why not follow the Walking Marriage tradition and settle down here?”

 

“Is there a Mosuo girl who knows Chinese medicine?” I asked with a smile.

 

“If you don’t date one, how could you possibly know who knows Chinese medicine?” he pushed the question back to me.

 

So it seemed he was also a man of action.

 

After returning to Dali, I was introduced to a famous doctor in Kunming, capital city of Yunnan province. But we never managed to meet up. Christmas was coming, and there were plenty of sunshine in Dali. So, apart from reading and writing, I’d have sunbaths on the balcony. When the temperature was just right, I’d simply strip off clothes and have a sunbath the naked way.

 

There were many temporary guests in the community. And we wanderers from different parts of the world gathered there and spent a “revolutionary” Christmas and New Year’s Day. (Note that I am using a style of speech popular during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.)

 

 Show my adventurous photos to neighbours when I came back to Dali

 

Then I got constant calls from Li, urging me to go to west Hunan. So I boarded a train and went there for the fourth time. Now it was almost Spring Festival.

 

As a Chinese tradition, the Spring Festival is a time for family reunion. But I think it only applies to those living separately. If the family members are already together, what is the need for reunion? On the contrary, they should be separated, which is more in line with the Doctrine of the Mean, and yin-yang equilibrium.

 
Isn’t roving a wonderful way to celebrate the Spring Festival? Otherwise, the Festival would only be reduced to be an excuse for feasting, and a cause for social tensions. And it would add pressure to the already hectic traffic, and could induce more diseases. I often traveled alone during the Spring Festival, so that I could stay away from the crowd and feasting.

 

I still remember that toward the Spring Festival of 1987, when my Mom asked me to go home to reunite with them, I asked with a laugh, “Do you want me to spend 100 Spring Festivals the same way, if I were to live to that age?” That year, I spent the Festival on the Sichuan-Tibetan highway while listing to Cui Jian’s song I Have Nothing.

 

Later on, I spent the Spring Festival in many places: in the south of Vietnam, in an ancient city in Burma, in a village in Shaanxi province, and so on.

 

This year, it was different. I not only traveled away from home, I actually started to learn Chinese medicine. This was a new game — Learning Chinese medicine, reading and practicing Qi Gong. Qi is essential for a doctor. So the first thing I did each morning after getting up was to practice Jam Jong and Qi Gong facing the rising sun. As the fingers were to be used in acupressure, I needed to feel and enhance the Qi in them while standing in the horse stance (Jam Jong) to the point that my fingers could feel the rhythm of breathing.

 

Boosting Qi is one of the Oriental practices, and it must be executed by a live person. Anatomic findings on dead bodies are taken for granted, and doctors of Western medicine apply them in curing living humans. It feels like a farce, doesn’t it?

 

The master-disciple style of learning medicine goes like this: You learn it in practice. All traditional Chinese skills, whether Qin (a stringed musical instrument), Qi (Chinese chess), Shu (calligraphy, i.e. the art of writing Chinese characters), Hua (Chinese paintings), Xi (Chinese operas and dramas), or Wu (Kungfu, martial arts), are inherited this way.

 

The first day I learnt acupressure, I tried it on Li, now my master. And he also pressed my acupoints so that I could feel the essence of it. Due to various reasons, the learning process was quite slow. I only spent several minutes each day learning acupressure from my master. The only occasions for learning it were at sunrise and sunset. And I also followed my master to the wards to have clinical observations for half an hour. Even counting in the observation time, each day I only spent less than one hour learning acupressure. I could do other things for the rest of the day, so I had more time to myself than at home.

Amusing Experiences in west Hunan

I thus started to learn medicine, just like playing a new game. Very soon, I followed the customs there and lived like a local. Soon it would be the Spring Festival. One day, I went with Master Li and his eldest son to buy things for the occasion. We got into his self-made speedboat at the riverbank and headed toward Baojing city, an ancient town which had been described in The Autobiography of Shen Congwen.

 

The so-called speedboat was a flat one, and at its tail there was an attached gasoline engine with a propeller. The boat shot out like a fish, stirring rippling waves in the water. It was like travelling in a scenic painting — passing by mostly steep canyons, rolling hills and wilderness on the riverbanks, and occasionally an alone boat on the river, an alone house, a village with smoke from the chimneys, lazy buffalos and a shepherd boy.

 


 

 

  
Appreciating scenery along the riverbanks on the dashing speedboat

 

I kept visualizing on the boat: If we could row slowly in this picturesque place, with ancient Qin playing classical music like Lofty Mountains and Flowing Water or Wild Geese over the Clam Sands, it would bring out a sense of lingering melancholy and reminiscence of the ancient ways.

 

 Just as I was wondering why there weren’t historic sites along the banks, I saw a pagoda on the top of a hill in the distance, and some temples on the hillside. Master Li told me, “These are newly built ones. There used to be a lot of historic sites. All of them have been destroyed in revolutionary movements.”

 

As we were about to reach our destination, Master Li suddenly did a handstand at one end of the narrow boat. The boat was sailing fast, and normally most people would find it difficult to do it even on land, not to mention on a boat. I immediately took some pictures of this precious moment.

   
Master Li doing a headstand on the boat  

When we had just arrived in Baojing, I saw on the street next to the dock a heartwarming and hilarious scene: A group of 60-70-year-olds standing in rows in the street, each holding some red silk in the hands, and dancing just like youngsters. They were following an old man with half open eyes, unclear and slow movements. Because of their seniority in age, their dance looked awkward and their paces weren’t in sync. And yet their enthusiasm and dedication were quite moving.

 

As I walked toward them, I listened and observed more closely. I just couldn’t help laughing, for the music they chose was so old. It was a very popular one during the Cultural Revolution period. Those who have personally been through the Cultural Revolution could hum along while listening to the lyrics:

 

Dear Chairman Mao,

Dear Chairman Mao,

You are the red sun in our hearts.

… 

Maybe it was just because of the music, their dance looked as stiff as that of a wooden chicken. It was very much like the Loyalty Dance (a political dance before the image of Chairman Mao, as a show of loyalty to him) that people, men and women, young and old, used to dance during the Cultural Revolution period.

 

But what amused me most was not the dance itself, but the “band” playing music for it. There, on the open ground before the elderly dancers, a thin old man with a cotton hat on — in his 70s, I guess — sat on a small foldable stool and leisurely played an olderhu (a traditional Chinese musical instrument). So he alone was the band. I’d say he was “the one and only” band and he deserved the title. The hoarse tones streaming from his dry fingers had neither momentum nor chords of a band’s play. There were only lonely, almost mourning tunes, as if someone was sobbing in response to the warm, dancing red.

 

 I just stood there enjoying it. The old man often stopped to give instructions to the dancers. Sometimes he had to get up from the stool to explain and gesture, much like an expert director of a band, music and dancers’ performance. His serious (   ) and thin figure sort of reminded me of Herbert von Karajan. But the cotton hat he was wearing made him look like Luan Ping, a bandit in the model opera Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy.

 

 The performers were surrounded by sparse crowds. And not far from them were happy people sitting at tables playing mahjong in the sun.
 

 
 

 

 

 

                                       Dancing locals and a one-man band in Baojing city 

 

Master Li urged me to walk on. At the crossroad in the city centre, we saw a completely different scene: the loud “Super Girl” contest. Compared with the red silk and erhu music just now, this was totally non-traditional in its form and content, in the choices of audio equipment, stage art, costume, lyrics, melody and singing skills. It was packed with spectators. Musical judges sat in their guest seats at the front of the stage, looking expert and serious. Well, you know, the same routine as in a TV show.
 


 

  
“Super Girl” contest on a street in Baojing
 

On a trestle bridge leading to the city centre, Master Li asked me to stop and have a look at a Ginkgo tree (Bai Guo Shu in Chinese) in a yard by the roadside. Then he told me its story.

 

“This is the backyard of Baojing People’s Hospital. One year, the tree branches suddenly started burning. Not long after that, many people from all over the country came streaming to the hospital to look for a doctor of Chinese medicine surnamed Bai, in an attempt to express their gratitude for him.

 

“People in the hospital said there had never been anyone surnamed Bai. But still, the guests believed that there was an old doctor surnamed Bai, otherwise how could they have all come to this place to look for him? Then people in the hospital said for sure there was no one surnamed Bai, but there was a Ginkgo tree in the backyard. Then people knew that after the old tree was on fire, it turned into an old man with a white beard, then travelled everywhere and treated people free of charge. When asked about his name and his home, he would say his family name was Bai, and he lived in the backyard of Baojing Hospital.

 

“Perhaps this tree is the incarnation of Bodhisattva. While in the hospital and seeing so many patients there suffering from the side effects of injection and medication, he turned into a magic healer. As people could not find the doctor, they expressed their thanks to him by hanging pieces of red cloth on the tree.”

 

I looked carefully. Indeed, there were many pieces of red cloth on the tree.

 

“At its best moment, it is red all over the tree.” said Master Li

 

Maidenhair tree

The day before the last day of the year, I got into the boat with Master Li to visit a lonely old man on the Youshui River and give him some money and special purchases for the Spring Festival. He had long  suffered from dizziness and poor eyesight because of hypertension and cerebral arteriosclerosis. His disciple Li (my master) cured his diseases with acupressure and sent him these gifts before the Festival. He was moved to tears and was speechless for a long time. He alone had come here from Changde over 20 years before. Till now, he still spoke with a Changde accent. And the shabby boat was his home. Seeing him standing alone on one end of the only boat floating on the cold waters which reflected it all, my lonely heart felt it was like a dream. The old man and I, our inner worlds and the scenery around us,  were  a  vivid  portrayal  of  the “wandering  in  the  world”.

 

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