Hello goodbye

I have been looking for you.  On YouTube.   You were reading one of your poems.  It was the younger you.  Just as I remember the way you were.  Serious.  Sincere.  Then you broke into a smile when you finished.  I could almost hear the familiar laughter.  The next clip was more recent, you addressing a seminar, wearing your beret.  The topic was important, having made your point you looked tired.

I never went to any of your readings.  But I was there at your Thesis Defence, 1984, San Diego.  We were listening in at the back of the huge hall where you faced your examiners, more nervous than you were.  One of us handed you a bouquet afterwards.   Did N drive us all the way to LA Olympics Arts Festival the next day?   It was a packed house with le Theatre du Soleil performing Shakespeare’s  Twelfth Night, in French.   You came prepared.  You had a Chinese copy, someone else had an English version.  We were mesmerized.  It was the longest standing ovation we experienced.   Happy days.

Further down memory lane I come looking for you.  We went to the movies, the three of us.  Ozu’s Tokyo story; Kurosawa’s Dodes’ ka-den; Herzog’s The enigma of Kaspar Hauser; Wenders’ Paris, Texas.  Slowly  but surely, you opened up my horizons, sharing with me your enthusiasm for the wonderful world of international cinemas.  Often at the movie there were others who would join us afterwards, for lunch or dinner.   That gathering called for a long table, and different opinions on the film we had just watched.  Voices were loud and carefree, and being listened to.

People were talking when I come looking for you in the papers.  Everyone has something to say about you.  How you have touched our lives, changed the literary scene.  I guess we all have the same idea.  We, who somehow have lost touch over the years, are remembering the good times.  We are trying to get hold of you, hold onto you.  Not wanting to let you go.    We feel it’s too soon.

I don’t know why you say goodbye and I say hello.   Au revoir is goodbye for the moment, until seeing again.   再見就是祝福的意思.

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