Mind-Dancing the Loneliness of Freedom: The Life-dance-story of “Sanmao”1943-1991

One must assume it is a dramatic update (transcendence of fame) responsive to her very early death, preceded by that of her lover Jose.

This is then a definition of unbearable loneliness paying the price for (the condition of) absolute freedom. One can only wonder why so many Chinese-speakers (young?) have Jose Maria still as their sainted proxy idol, a site to which one “dances” pilgrimage?. It is long after 1989, after all, and (even) at the moment (=Kharkov’s/Warsaw’s Freedom Square) there has surfaced no saint, only demons to be exorcized. Is there somewhere in/out there a new monastic order we cannot see? Sometimes where a (Christian) God appears…as perhaps in Madrid?
**
Suicide? A romantic death. There is no consensus about how or why Sanmao ended her life in 1991, for like everything else she kept her notion a secret right up its culmination, but surely her miscarriage the year before and her inability to recover from Jose Maria’a drowning (exactly as had Shelley had at age 30, after the loss during childbirth of his two children) offers an uncanny parallel.

That she went to her death-by-hanging quite alone and shocking her literary friends, that she (via Jose) has become a shrine for Chinese visitors, certainly tells us the Freedom she had in mind, beculted, is/perhaps has always been a poetic, lonely search for/by/around the smothering anomie of official culture, as much in print-for-unexport as in the stage and film arts that have anchored our website discussions (poetry after all is a hard ball to toss at a video-clip audience). If death is the only exit, we can expect a good deal more.

Echo’s Echo: The Olive Tree (perf. 齐豫)

不要问我从那里来我的故乡在远方
为什么流浪流浪远方流浪
为了天空飞翔的小鸟
为了山间轻流的小溪
为了宽阔的草原
流浪远方流浪
还有还有为了梦中的橄榄树橄榄树
不要问我从那里来我的故乡在远方
为什么流浪为什么流浪远方
为了我梦中的橄榄树

Ask me not whence I come
For my home is far far away
Why then do I wander, wander, to far off places wander

Because I am as the sparrow aflight in the sky
Because I am as the rivulet coursing gently into the valley
Because I am as the endless grasslands stretching beyond the horizon
This is why I must keep wandering to far away places

But also because I seek the olive tree, the olive tree, the olive tree that lurks in my dreams

Ask me not whence I come
For my home is far far away
Why then do I wander, wander, to far off places wander?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s