April 9, 2006

Day 46: Nina writes of more pain.

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 3:29 pm

On April 8th Hao’s sister Nina Wu wrote a post called “Painful Recollections.” It was translated by the anonymous author of a new English blog, Nausicaa Smile. We are taking the liberty to reproduce it here:

Lately sleep has not been steady. Halfway through the night, the pit of my stomach twisted in pain, and suddenly I woke up, unable to fall asleep again. Even my usually dreamless husband has lately been dreaming of Haozi sending him short messages, pleading rescue – has something happened tonight? Urban legend has it that brothers and sisters are entertwined in spirit. At this very moment, is my brother also staring at the ceiling, wide-eyed in the darkness? Is he also letting the darkness slowly corrode his organs, sinking into loneliness and despair? By a nameless pain I am oppressed into silence, giving free reign for endless tendrils of thought to float quietly in the black night, and it is not until the faint clearing of the sky that I fall slowly into slumber.

Every day, I walk with my family through Pudong’s bustling districts, watching the brightly-garbed modern Shanghainese men and women beside me, but flashing through my mind are all the bitter, desolate faces and figures I saw before the doorways of government bureaus everywhere. A stubborn old matron who knew better yet still arrived punctually everyday to hand in an appeal form, clutching her walking stick, leg limping; a man who filled in a form while crying rivers of tears – no doubt this strapping hulk of a fellow wouldn’t have cried such precious tears had there not been a colossal grievance; an old, silent uncle who suffered being chased away by the police, yet came back to stauchly stand his ground, writing his woe on the wall; an auntie who chewed on dry steamed buns and, through cracked lips, hoarsely protested the wrong done against her son; a middle-aged man who slapped the table and loudly cursed…my life is filled with inspiring stories, but I know my mind will never be able to erase these painful fragments of memory. My friends can share my body’s burden, I can blog to relieve my feelings, but these people (can one call them the weak and the helpless?) who know not where to seek redress, how shall they cast off their suffering? Who knows if their aggrieved and bitter voices will be lost amidst the din of the bustling cityscape?Lately sleep has not been steady. Halfway through the night, the pit of my stomach twisted in pain, and suddenly I woke up, unable to fall asleep again. Even my usually dreamless husband has lately been dreaming of Haozi sending him short messages, pleading rescue – has something happened tonight? Urban legend has it that brothers and sisters are entertwined in spirit. At this very moment, is my brother also staring at the ceiling, wide-eyed in the darkness? Is he also letting the darkness slowly corrode his organs, sinking into loneliness and despair? By a nameless pain I am oppressed into silence, giving free reign for endless tendrils of thought to float quietly in the black night, and it is not until the faint clearing of the sky that I fall slowly into slumber.

Every day, I walk with my family through Pudong’s bustling districts, watching the brightly-garbed modern Shanghainese men and women beside me, but flashing through my mind are all the bitter, desolate faces and figures I saw before the doorways of government bureaus everywhere. A stubborn old matron who knew better yet still arrived punctually everyday to hand in an appeal form, clutching her walking stick, leg limping; a man who filled in a form while crying rivers of tears – no doubt this strapping hulk of a fellow wouldn’t have cried such precious tears had there not been a colossal grievance; an old, silent uncle who suffered being chased away by the police, yet came back to stauchly stand his ground, writing his woe on the wall; an auntie who chewed on dry steamed buns and, through cracked lips, hoarsely protested the wrong done against her son; a middle-aged man who slapped the table and loudly cursed…my life is filled with inspiring stories, but I know my mind will never be able to erase these painful fragments of memory. My friends can share my body’s burden, I can blog to relieve my feelings, but these people (can one call them the weak and the helpless?) who know not where to seek redress, how shall they cast off their suffering? Who knows if their aggrieved and bitter voices will be lost amidst the din of the bustling cityscape?

Nina’s Chinese blog continues to receive many supportive comments in Chinese and in English.

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