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winter comeback

24 mars 2010
    Here today winter operates a convincing comeback, since yesterday’s cold rain finished tonight in drizzle and snow. I forgot my bicycle on balcony and my poor horse is topped with frost sugar, gripped in ice. Some want me here to take more responsibility, even see me as president of this administrative board to harmonize community life with social, generational and ethnic pluralism and mixing. This is huge step forward for me but I feel I can do this. It’s my character that resist the most : how a remote solitary introvert can change face to become outgoing activist eager to socialize. I need some special inspiration, from God or from some (known) Angel for that.

   Yesterday, for the first time, I think, I had some insight on how you are truly in love with your writing characters. While searching for a name or meaning to cherish I tried to draw some characters I found in the little dictionary (French-Chinese ; Chinese-French) I bought and it was difficult enough that I was often annoyed but after some time trying a bit of order seemed to emerge from chaos. There are basic rules, basic strokes and rhythm. Soon arose, at first shyly, a sweet feeling of devotion. It began like stimulation in the brain, mind working on itself and some pleasure issuing from effort, but then, from concentration in precise drawing for imitation of some complex characters emerged a sense of taking care of what it is all about.

   Yes, I guess the attention and concentration induced to draw correctly those characters lead to attend and care for things and beings depicted in this world. Hence I see that by virtue of this different language you have a somewhat different experience of living in this world, or exactly you do not live, most probably, in the same world than the one in which I am living. By working you intelligence and thoughts, feelings and images through those characters your heart is taking, you are part taking in fate : in your ways you are with the world. Western languages are not like that, synthetic and participative ; they are analytic and abstraction leading : looking at details and separate the self from surrounding, not participating in whole.

   Maybe that helps to explain why I do not feel immediately responsible for the world. Solidarity feeling, like compassion for the poor, anger against injustice is an elaborate and later conquest of philosophy, a very long path I follow since youth. You are a natural and social philosopher. In your culture, equivalent of what we call philosophy here is proposed implicitly with drawing your characters. From this maybe one could draw the conclusion that Chinese intellectuals do not need to imitate Western philosophy. The knowledge of great thinkers could be useful as merely confirmation of implicit philosophy of being in the world experienced from roots to top in a culture shaped by this elaborated system of writings by signs charged with ancient tradition and reminiscent of history.

   Quasi-phonetical writing by letters eases manipulation of meaning, ideas, concepts and tend, through combinative skill, to generate great analytical power for complex situation of any constructed object projected (an/or identified) into the world. But with this induces proliferation of specialists and ultimately synthesis, of a comprehensive figure of the world, become a very difficult task. That is why we need great thinkers and powerful philosophers. But you also do.

   But. There is always a but (in my way of thinking) because ideal is not produced yet! So… But this almost immediate sense of being-with may lack some distance necessary for invention in freedom of thought, this is the warning I would issue against too rounded self-contention and contentment in happiness. When there is no happiness, when situation is bad, problematic, aversive… How can you criticize and change, by different standards and patterns, how to change model and design from a world you are induced to consider a duty to care about? Constance of gardener, maybe? But we are merely flowers in this big garden!

   Western intellectuals tend to be against the world first, then try to build bridge to take part, if possible, in a way or another to what happens. I guess that Chinese intellectuals are immersed in social world and to gain some independent thinking they have to create their own inner garden, like you did. Can I build a bridge to your inner garden? Hearts must feel so close first, alike? Like one or one to be… And from so far, much opposite sides of the world (and not only opposites of the world but also from opposite ways of being-in-the-world) this is very likely they could meet, I think, as extreme opposites meet like the yin and the yang. But snow will melt, problems remain, reality check.

Hopefully, your Jacques
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