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CULTIVATING MAGNANIMITY

Chi Pang-yuan (1924 - )
English translation: Zhi Yue

The most attractive things to me are time and language. Time is profound and hard to fathom, but language, even with its limitations, is able to depict its true appearance─simply a moving and tragic act in itself.

Why is life said to be short? It is because we haven’t seen enough of this ever-changing life.

The experience of waiting can be truly profound, especially sitting in airports watching people who hurry about as if the entire world is passing in front of you.

── from Yisheng Zhong De Yitian (One Day in Life)


I hope that all Chinese readers, no matter what you read, can quickly foster it into a hobby, into a lifetime’s harbor for the heart, and to give rise to steadfast judgement. So that such a big country, with its many people and its complex, interrelated history, will not use fervor to decide the fate of the country and the individual. I hope young people can cultivate a tolerant and compassionate mind. And that similarly, children can be allowed to joyfully read starting from an early age.
── from San Lian Shenghuo Zhoukan (San Lian Lifeweek Magazine)


Not long after the pressing sounds of the emergency siren, a pattern of one long ring followed by two short bursts, I could hear the droning of the aeroplanes approaching, followed by the bombs bursting into flames in the horizon. I was alone in bed, listening to the window screen buckling and rattling in the wind. It was as if ashes and dust filled the entire sky and dispersed across the earth. It rained on the neverending stone steps of Sun Yat-sen’s mausoleum and the ripples of Xuanwu Lake. It rained on Dongchang Street Park and on the rows of desmodium flowers decorating the house fronts on Fuhougang Street. It rained on the see-saw of Gulou Primary School. The pursuit of death had come to my window, raining onto the new bamboo scaffolding and the morning glories that bloomed like the starry sky.
── from Ju Liu He (Mighty River)