The Full Nighttime is Yours
The hustle and bustle of the day has gone away, as the last wisp of glowing cloud fades with the sunset; the din of social activities and the seemingly never-ending chores have also ebbed away as Venus starts to glitter. As the night gradually falls, you take off your “daytime mask” and slowly let out your true self.
Sitting in front of the desk, with your snow-white sheets of paper in the lamplight and your middle-aged face in the shade, you scratch in your mind for the ultimate meaning for living, life, and mankind—everything. Like a pilgrim trudging on a sea-like vast desert, you do not know how far away you are from that spiritual shrine, but you know where to head to find it. During this extensive night, you are using words to set up a conceptual and imaginary world upon all things existing. You sit there, with your assiduous and indomitable soul, trying to perceive the vitality of great nature, to merge your life into the vast star-strewn sky, to let the breeze caress your thoughtful mind. Like a northern wolf, you let your thoughts wander on a spiritual path and explore your soul again and again. Every word or every sentence, the result of brain-wracking effort, comes from the inner recesses of your soul.
The quiet night-world activates and enlivens your mind to its fullest capacity. This is just one of those countless creative nights, and you do not know how many more you will have in the future. You feel grateful to God for the nights he has created.
Lights studding the delineated dark buildings in the distance begin to go off. One after another, they look like pairs upon pairs of eyes starting to close—a city also needs sleep. Gradually, the night falls quiet—very quiet, like a millennium-old water well on a remote, thickly forested mountain, sequestered, deep, dusky, and mysterious—unfathomably mysterious.
Now your mind turns to an ordinary woman, whose familiar face is remote yet gracious, blurred yet vivid. Beset by early senility, she had grey hair that fluttered in the wind coming through the north window, and her grievous and wishful eyes were fixed on the end of the residential area. It was like going through a purgatorial torture for her every time her child was late in returning home during those years of turmoil. You will miss her myriad times during your long, sleepless nights and remember her senile life. Like a prematurely extinct comet, all her life value lies in that moment of brilliant sparkles. Her simple life shows you that there is something in this world that money, lies, power, and fame cannot replace. One’s value is not something attached, but is innate—the profound love carried in his or her heart. And such is the love your mother carried.
During the daytime, you live in the vanity of other people; only at night do you live your own solitary and sequestered life. From the deep end of the residential area comes a dog’s gentle barking—keeping pets is now fashionable among the newly rich—which instead quiets and deepens the night even more, making it like a bottomless, dark tunnel. Standing at the window, you listen with your soul. You hear your heart still throbbing, like that of a young man.
To get away from the noisy tourists, you once quietly sat alone by the secluded, cold, limpid, and emerald-like lake in Jiuzhaigou, a natural scenic spot—for a spacious valley can contain all scenes, but only a tranquil heart can perceive the beauty of and feel the warmth of Mother Nature. The night before, the sky had been laden with glittering jade shards of snowflakes, but now, at this moment, the bright sun hung high up. From a corner, you took a view full of jade-green trees and graceful boughs. “Flop, flop!” Large, thick lumps of snow, as white as if they were transparent, thumped down from the branches of pine trees, producing a heavenly sound. That was the breath of the great earth, and therefore, only the sons of the earth could hear this divine manifestation of nature. Whether you encounter a blessing or a curse, an honor or a disgrace, a rise or fall in your life, you will never forget that flopping sound of snow falling.
On such a sleepless night, which wraps around you as evergreen ivy does, you turn each of your tangled thoughts into fine words and sentences, through which you discover yourself: You are still ardent in feeling and young at heart. In my opinion, the Creator’s initial purpose in making the night was for humans to enjoy their poetic tranquility and romantic mood, but on the contrary, modern people in this material-craving and profit-seeking age waste these nights in the indulgence of revelry, extravagance and racket—such an expensive waste!
But you treasure a full, sleepless night time, which is truly yours.