This post was written by Sahara Chen ’18
I was frozen standing on the pale-yellow street and flowing in the solemn rhythm came out from the old times. Blurry scenes just caught my heartbeats. I love this place. I really do.
— written when stepped on the soil of Europe. For the first time, the slumber on the bus was gladly disturbed.
Two girls are chatting in the darkness, not are they unable to resist the incessant temptation of remote sleepiness. There is no tomorrow at the moment, only present, and that’s when the excitement seethes the air into amorphous restlessness. Hard as we try, in vain do we tranquilize our avid anticipation. Sleepless is you, me and the city, in which, as the sun rises, our journey begins.
— March, 20th, 11:00. Written as the bell hymning distantly at the horizon.
“You can never have enough time looking at it, can you?”
Her known smile rendered my mind vacant. The realization of mental nudity rid me of dignity, yet, for some reason too obscure to comprehend, I enjoyed being exposed to her harmless gaze. As if something sensuous was spoken while her lip keeps motionless and the silence kept intact. “Ready to go?” “Ah yes…”I answered with fake positivity. I turned back for the last time while her gaze upon my seemed like the most transient eternity. My troubling mind would never posses me, for, to her, I entrusted my feeling retained so far. Astounded by the simplicity of salvation, I finally am detached from the enchantment of her gioconda smile.
— written in the Cathedral of Luxembourg after my mind being tickled by the painting of Lam God.
I was stifled. I was in desperate need of an outlet of my emotion that cluttered inside of me. But I failed. I gave up my rein upon my racing mind and flushing sentiments and flitting reveries more than I ought to. It’s as if I over-loosed my halter way too much and the beast treaded through such as the wildness of the edge of logic. Not until this moment did I realized how incapable my expression was; not less than the incapability of humanity when facing wars. Before that, never had I question my taking of my blessed existence for granted. But at that instant, as precious as is could be, everything around me retrieved its deserved fragility. And I was appalled by the thought of, only a century ago, barrage of bullets, bombardment and even some vicious smog could take away all the things I cherished; I might stare hopelessly at the Reaper taking his revenge as the falling light of death and the frost crept upon my desperate heart. And who could I blame this holocaust for? Enemies, who were just a huddle of pathetic souls seeking for survival and facing the choice between humanity and the chance of persisting until tomorrow’s sun rise? The hand in which my gun was held stayed still, which was preparing at any moment for a bullet to penetrate my enemy’s skull. I would kill them, kill them all without hestation for my beloved family, even though which was fragmented beyond repair, and the victory of my country— the one I gambled on and shed tears for during those sleepless night when I was haunted by nostalgia and rambling ghosts. Dismay was me when I saw the face of the ones that I killed, because in their eyes, I saw myself—so determined of the cause yet so sick of the endless bloodshed. I saw aversion; I saw insecure; I saw panic and I saw blameless hope that is terminated under my ruthlessness—sarcastic as it might sound, the exact same thing that kept me alive…
There was no comfort there; only death could equalize the victims and could subside the enmity. Only when they became skeleton lying perpetually in the womb of tomb could the concerns from the past to the future be entirely crashed. Only when their souls descended, standing in front of God like innocent infants, could the aimless grudge be never borne.
I wonder if in the gravity of war shall I be ever consoled. All I attempted to comprehend in a disordered afternoon caused the inward storm to gain its own way.
—written 5 minutes after the visit of WW1 museum, before the Belgium chocolate soothed my uneasiness.