• 博客等级:
  • 博客积分:0
  • 博客访问:197,392
  • 关注人气:130
  • 获赠金笔:0支
  • 赠出金笔:0支
  • 荣誉徽章:
正文 字体大小:


(2010-12-06 06:22:37)



分类: 新西兰上学记

146、Summer Memoirs: My First Lecture




I love this city.



I love how the buildings seem to sparkle at night. Not the kind of spotlight, right-on-your-face blinding light. It’s the subtleties of the illumination that entices me to fantasize about the wonders of the metropolitan life—the wonders of this unfound, yet-to-be-told lifestyle are slowly turning a distant dream into reality.



As I stroll along the streets of this city, with the leaves rustling and the cars humming past and the chatter of the people who’ve passed by, I suddenly realize how insignificant I am. It is that strange, though shockingly subtle insignificance of the individual human that makes the metropolitan life so enjoyable—even though I have only tasted a mere fraction of what it has to offer. Perhaps when I finally wake up from this dream, this life might not be as fantastic as how I have imagined it—but with almost a year to go, I think I have to right to fantasize, to dream, to imagine living the life of the metropolitan.



The reality today will soon turn into…the metropolis of tomorrow.



* * *

I’m on a pilgrimage.



I’ve got my wallet, my cellphone and my bag. The one that I bring to school every single day. It looks old and worn-out. Just an ordinary adornment. Looks just like me. An ordinary soul in a big city. It was a short walk to the bus station. An old man with a bag of groceries sat down on the bench, two feet from my left. An Indian woman was chit-chatting on her phone. The bus slowly creaks into its position and I give the bus driver the fare to my destination. He got annoyed because everything was in coins. I gave him the ‘sorry-face’ but he was more annoyed than I am and of course, I couldn’t give it a damn.



As the bus pulsates through the veins of the city, I began to drift into a ‘cloud of random thoughts’. I began observing my surroundings—the people who are on this bus and their purpose here. One looked ragged and poor, but his face showed no sign of misery. Middle—aged mother was trying to quiet her children down. The smell of chips mixed in with tomato-sauce filled my nostrils—her children munched on their treats while I breathed in the greasy goodness. A guy was sitting in front of me, listening to his headphones and staring out the window. His eyes were blank, perhaps even a little emotionless.



As people began to enter and leave the bus, my observation became more and more objective and less subjective. In other words, my mind has lost its own entity in space and time—for brief periods of times—my eyes were subconsciously recording the details of my surroundings without ever having to ask my mind for directions. For a moment, it became apparent to me that I was the only person in the bus. What is around me is merely an illusion of the past—an illusion of light, a reflection of the past. For a moment, time seemed to momentarily stop.



I began thinking of what exactly had brought me onto this bus. I’m on my way to my first lecture on architecture. I’m going to listen to a New Zealand architect talking about how he designs his buildings and shape his art. There isn’t any sort of hesitance in me when I heard about the lecture. It was a spontaneous decision for me to go, to meet my destiny perhaps. I’m going to pay twenty bucks to listen to a guy talk about design for an hour. Interesting, no?



But the purpose of this trip goes far beyond a mere lecture. If going into town for this lecture had been my sole purpose, then that would be equivalent to going to school for the education and not for the social life. I guess that to some extent, this trip is the act of proving to myself that I can immerse myself in the atmospheric exuberance of the city life, the ignorance and coldness of the people around me, and the wonders of the metropolis with no regrets. For that, I am grateful of my actions. For a mere twenty-dollar note, I have taught myself something that no class will offer, no teacher will lecture and no parent will enforce. It’s called: the willingness to accept fate. And I know my fate belongs in the metropolis of tomorrow.



The sound of the rhythmic rumbling of the bus was starting to induce a sense of sleepiness inside my nerves—the ‘beat of the bus’ seemed to sing a requiem for my old self and invite a braver, more courageous me to face my destined rendezvous. It is now when I began thinking of the mundane aspect of my life—for example, what’s around me. I began thinking about the Photorealist paintings that never ceases to fascinate me. At first, I was more or less impressed by their technical finesse than anything else. Yet, now that I’ve immersed myself in the very atmosphere which those paintings were based on—I began to realize that within those paintings, there is a soul, a living spirit within the cold, harsh realities which the paintings portray. The accusations that these paintings are merely ‘copies’ of our surroundings are completely false. Now that I think of it, these paintings are no longer there to impress. They are there to tell a story of the metropolitan life.





* * *


I’ve arrived at the Mecca.



The heart of Auckland itself. I wonder if anyone around me realizes how beautiful the surroundings are. The skyscrapers point into the sky, the artificial architectural wonders towering over the pedestrians, the metropolitans who are trying to speed up their lives and live with meaning. It’s difficult not to get caught up in this bizarre, yet strangely addictive atmosphere.



After a short walk, I realized that I should’ve slowed down bit and watch the subtleties unfold. The city seems to be shrouded in a strange miasma where the pace of life is at a breakneck velocity. It doesn’t matter how this ‘velocity’ can, or should be expressed. For some, this would equate to the velocity of a Lamborghini, or the rapid rattle of a guitar solo—for me, the atmosphere seemed almost romantic, in the artistic sense of course, so I would very gladly say that the breakneck speed of life is equivalent to the tempo of a Chopin Etude. In the end, it matters little to how someone would express his or her opinion regarding how fast the metropolitan life is. But we would all agree that the metropolitan life allows no time for errors or mess-ups. Perfection is a virtue.

其实,这里的生活节奏的确是太快了,快到了受不了的程度。可是这种速度又是如何解释呢?难道是一辆兰博基尼的快?还是一首Guitar Solo的快?对于我来说,这种都市生活的快节奏有一种诗意倾注在这个氛围里头,一种浪漫氛围。其实,如何表现这种生活速度因人而异。但是这个城市不允许人们犯错。这个城市要求一种变态的完美性。


But perfection is difficult to attain. To some extent, perfection itself is an imperfection. This city has its imperfections too. There are maniacal homeless beggars on the streets, some sitting quietly next to an Elizabeth Arden store, some sitting on a bench watching the metropolis buzzing past in the flow of time, some walking around along the stream of pedestrians, looking for a new sanctuary.

但是完美是一种达不到的境界。完美本身就是一种不完美。这个城市也有他的瑕疵,街上也有无家可归的人。他们有些坐在街头的凳子上,有些躺在Elizabeth Arden化妆品店的店面前。对于他们来说,也许观察这些来来往往的人把他们在这个社会上的层次提高到了一个虚无的境界。


It’s those ‘mistakes’ that grant the city the sort of ‘poetic wonder’ that I was looking for. Perhaps the imperfections are in fact what make the metropolis become what it is. And it’s the contrast between the ‘right notes’ and the ‘occasional mistake’ is what makes the ‘music of the metropolis’ beautiful.



* * *


The lecture itself lasted only an hour. It was only supposed to be an hour, anyway. And I can very happily tell you that besides living through an hour, surrounded by architects and to-be-architects (which is a long overdue dream finally fulfilled), I learnt remarkably little. The highlight of the night arrived when a fellow architect came up with a five-minute question, which is answered with remarkable finesse when it comes to simplicity of language: a simple “No” was enough to send him packing.



What I did learn, however, is that design is remarkably similar to life: live spontaneously and let fate decide. Obviously there are some crossroads which one has to entail—but in the end, it's the spontaneity of life itself which makes life so amazing. And a designer’s life is what I want to be—may it be fated or not. Spontaneity applies to everything I design—may it be architecture, fine art, music, writing or even a manga. And with that realized, my pilgrimage is complete.



As I walk home under the starlight, I realize that there’s so much life has to offer and the metropolis seemed pleasantly enchanting as the buildings once again sparkle brilliantly in front of a backdrop of distant stars. I think that the ‘Baywatch theme’ (sexually mundane as it is) sums up my point perfectly:



In us we all have the power

But sometimes it’s so hard to see

And instinct is stronger than reason

It’s just human nature to me.

I’ll be ready.


阅读 评论 收藏 转载 喜欢 打印举报/Report
  • 评论加载中,请稍候...




    新浪BLOG意见反馈留言板 电话:4000520066 提示音后按1键(按当地市话标准计费) 欢迎批评指正

    新浪简介 | About Sina | 广告服务 | 联系我们 | 招聘信息 | 网站律师 | SINA English | 会员注册 | 产品答疑

    新浪公司 版权所有