I could capture the slightest whispering from passers-by Picked out those proper names in German,
(which I could only recognize)
But I cannot take away
any memories of Berlin.
Yet have I tried for a thousand,
by attentive eyes,
by faithful footprints,
even by a digital camera,
using continuous rapid and hubbub shutters, flashes in secret.
Eyes are always more forgetful than cameras - I know,
but the latter doesn’t have a spirit.
pigeons‘ fluffy feathers covering my sight
The flowers blooming in the air,
when the bell rang.
A ray of the mixture of sunlight and dust,
falling on the wooden window lattice
of the temporary classroom,
filled with plaster figures.
The old man played the violin in infinite corridors
His lanky shadow between two rows of Doric Orders, was far more dolorous than his dolorous Chopin Etude.
(Once they were all certainty, but as soon as I left,
all would wither.)
“I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.”
(Quoted from the Bible)
can’t I memorize you
As I can’t memorize any city I have been to.
Then one day,
those images, sounds or even smells of the city
glinting at the corners of rest life. Like the scent of camphor trees, floating into my nose again.
The dusk above Berliner Dom,
a silhouette reflected on the setting sun in my memory overlaps with another before my eyes at this moment.
The moon hung on the spire of Berlin TV Tower
(- Was this the same moon as the one
I will see in another place in the future?)
Or will the red-white flag of Altes Museum drift in another sky? The steam-whistle of S-Bahn once burst into my dreams.
The stifling stuffiness in U-Bahn on a 38-degree day,
will return to my skin in another carriage in Shenzhen,
Unfamiliar faces in pale light,
like coins made in different years.
“We strangers face to face.”
(Translated from a Chinese classical poem)
Or like the graffiti seen everywhere,
lighting this ashen mottled city.
(One day when my life turns ashen,
Will those pieces of colorfulness light me?)
“Being a Berliner”,
was the vainest practice I did those days.
Now I realize,
If you must regard the “memory”
as an entity,
as more than 30 days and nights closely interlinked with this city, Moment by moment,
If you must let it to be yours entirely -
(No, it will never be yours entirely)
It is alive, has an independent ego,
has the freedom to disappear.
But all these impressions, feelings, Once disappeared,
At the moment of farewell,
it would break into countless atoms,
with all the secrets of past and future,
then explode at an unexpected node of time and space In your life.
-- That is the original form of “Memory”,
that is the last secret of “City”,