The lake of the sparrow garden at Fudan University is frozen, but the fishes were still, swimming, underneath.
A few days ago, I’d watched the frozen lakes and the Songhua River in the northeastern regions of China, with the layer of ice so thick, people can walk on top of it freely. It is said, that the locals would bring about a stool, and, sat on top of the lake, drill a hole, and, cast down a line to start fishing. Because there’s not enough oxygen beneath the water, the fish will all, swim toward the opening, to breathe. As the weather is freezing up above, beneath the 4°C icecap, the water still flowed along, and kept warm, giving life, to the fish. I was, very shocked at the how there’s still just four degrees Celsius remaining in this world.
From time to time, people are like the water in the lakes. We’d felt, that someone is very frigid and cold, but maybe, the person didn’t, intentionally become frozen, that it was, caused by the temperatures, like how the rivers in the northern provinces in China would get frozen stiff into the roads.
On the train to Yenji, there was an older gentleman from Harbing, he didn’t appear kind at all, with a bald head, plus he was tall, when I first met him, I didn’t dare strike up a conversation with him. Later on, he saw me, crouched on to the bed, eating my food, he’d struck up conversation. First, he’d told me of how the food I was eating was made, then, took me on the journey to the gourmets, then, talked about how he wouldn’t get drunk after even a thousand beers, talked of how rash the men from the northeastern regions are, I’d curled up on the bunk, listened to him talk of his glory days in the battlefields, maybe, that’s not just the blood that’s raging inside of him, but how the world made men appear to become. So very cold, but, then, the subject of his talks turned, he’d started talking to me about his daughter, even held up his phone to let me see her picture.
“You know, when my daughter was born, I’d cried,” turns out no matter how strong or hard a man appeared to be, he’s still had that heart, so soft.
Seeing the transparent thin ice on the lake, showing the orangey, golden fish. I’d still kept believing, that no matter how cold someone appeared to be on the outside, s/he still maintained the constant temperature of 4˚C.
And so, this, was what was understood, from someone’s interaction with someone else she’d met up on a train, a perfect stranger, and yet, this older gentleman shared his life with the narrator, that just shows, how easily, one can establish that connection with the world around you, if you only try…