Writings of Tome Loulin

The Tepee in Our Heart of Hearts

Hearing fireworks booming was in the midnight; Moy, in his early-twenties, had thought that sound might be a false alarm of the lifting of the quarantine measures since the city where he resided was hit by the Coronavirus and locked down indefinitely since.

But this time the initial unsealing of quarantine measures put to this city seemed true; people were celebrating outside, he could hear that. Laying on the bed seeing outside the hollowing, bottomless-dark sky, rarely had he felt so exposed to his vulnerability that though clock is ticking to two, he was still tiredly sobering.

“People always have good hopes,” he thought, “that is a good thing.” During the lockdown, no one was allowed to go outside unless shopping for necessities once within days.

He was home alone and still is. “How’ve you been recently.”the message he received from an acquaintance, Jed, showed; he remembered the last time they conversed and met was almost two years ago in a hot summer. Details relating to what they talked about got blurred in his memory. “Protect yourself while I am not with you.”Jed said while smiling back to him and departing from the train station for home. That was two years ago. He wasn’t sure if not because of the pandemic, whether will they have any contact or not at all. But he knew that Jed’s intention of sending the message was purely out of humanitarian consideration, a sort of regards-exchanging usually happening between normal coworkers.

“I got to measure it out.”thought Moy, managing his words lest he be to overstate while replying.

“It’s fine here. How’s it going?”replied Moy.

Then there was a silence so long he felt trapped, in an otherworldly abyss, and thought Jed might actually not care much about whether he replies to him or not.

“It is fine; not receiving reply from a rather less contacted person is okay and this won’t matter much.” he remembered consoling himself saying.

“It was not his negligence towards me that hurt; instead, it is about my care of politeness. Do not expect anything about anyone except about oneself.” Moy stopped writing.

“I’d love to be your friend.”Moy’d remembered Jed once said to him. Moy thanked him for saying so and thought that would be fine to have a thoughtful friend.

Jed was thoughtful.

He remembered he had once misspoke a French word—plaire—he remembered; hearing Moy mouth slipped Jed didn’t interfere.

“You should pronounce this in this way.” “You need pronounce this like me.”

Coworker here try hard to let them be seen smarter over others and thus assert those so-called correct-pronouncing-suggestions to Moy while he was teaching though there were helps easy to obtain from the internet and dictionaries if he wants and would ask for help if necessary, but he doesn’t want to waste energy to quarrel with them. “People there want respects so desperately that you doubt whether they were sick; what made them such needy for superiority may be their genuine lack of that.” Moy wrote.

Elo, a coworker, transferred from Wuhan to the school where Moy works. “I don’t like of staying in small cities, you know, traditions I cannot bear were terribly hard to get used to; if not of marriage, I wouldn’t, you know.” She said with a shrug while showing her contempt with the rising of her eyebrows.

One day a parent of Elo’s student comes to the school reception center protesting saying “What a horrible teacher of Elo, her accent is exhaustedly unheard-of, how come you the administrator of the school failed to notice her accent and what a standard are you adopting to Elo, who is definitely unqualified of teaching to my child. I want you to change a teacher for my child.”

Moy had just passed by, hearing that dissension, but instead of feeling pity for Elo, he felt a bit guiltily content. He remembered thinking if this is happening to him, they, Elo and others, might feel the same, too.

Such is the life. He thought.

“Am I beautiful?”asked Liz, another colleague of Moy, in the office; as she faced no body but a mirror before her, this question is open to all in the office.

Moy’s face seemed being physically shaken but kept the face muscle tight enough lest his facial emotion be recognized out.

“You are already enough, I mean, beautiful.” Said Elo while patting Liz’s shoulder.

“So happy to hear, wanting to kiss you.”Liz beamed.

“I was confused about whether I was working in a school or a marriage company; you know, everyday, seldom were there coworkers who around me were not conversing things about men or women and physical appearance. Though I know, to them, this might be pretty natural and marriage for them must have been a very urgent thing but I still feel unnecessary to talk that loud about the preferences of their future partners as if they were shopping people, you know, shopping people. I felt otherworldly in this place. I used to think this might be something I understood wrong and thus need to get accustomed to but…” Moy wrote in his dairy. “But they have their choices, that is what made them humane. Why should I wish them to change.”

“For once in a lifetime, just let it go.”he wrote.

“Just let it go.”

Jed had replied to Moy at night saying “Just got your message and wish you will be fine in the future.”

Thinking retrospectively, Moy smiled and still felt thankful that Jed is seemingly fine about current model in which they keep contact, too.

For once in a lifetime, just let this go. Moy thought, “And if this is what our interaction will be like, well, leave it be.”

Leave it be.

“So happy is receiving the message from you that hardly can I find words to say much; only to wish you have a good night.” Moy wrote and sent that to Jed.

Things seemed to go back to normal in this pandemic-ravaged city. Waking in the mornings, noons, he got stretches and tried to be as authentic a person as he could.

Sitting on the bed while feeling the glimmering of the mellow sunlight flowing on his face, shoulders, and hair, Moy felt consoling of the warmth he received from the light.

The outside world was going back to normal; people celebrating with fireworks; and the sun looking strong and powerful. It’s about time to take a good sleep, Moy thought, feeling exhausted while looking outside of the window; how silky the light. How fine, loving, and free.

Regarding Humanity in the Age of Irritation

He knew it would be a matter of time before the outbreak to be contained someday.

In Chinese Mahayana canon, one of pupils’ main goals was to escape the cycle of endless death and rebirth into Nirvana as final destination beside pursuing self-enlightenment. The pupils were taught that life is suffering but we can search for our salvation.

When city where I live in Hubei was sealed off, I thought this unprecedented quarantine policy implemented to the whole province might not last long then. Now I’ve got used to this, of being sealed off home. At least I have food to eat, I thought. And it’s nothing as long as my life still goes normally. To medical workers, some of whom have worked all day long but hardly had a chance to rest, this is the hard part to cope with. Awakening in the morning and checking news related to the outbreak, I’ve only found out things, from containing efforts to food supply, have gone down. “Does any one be afraid of dying?” I smiled, thinking and looking around, no one is here. No. People just don’t wanna die that hard. People toiling their whole life only wish to secure they wouldn’t be dying hard on the streets.

Infectious diseases as symbols of suffering serve as tools for some, who seek easy path to counter their fears about the diseases, in society to stigmatize and smear the weak and disadvantaged. People try desperately to sort out and simplify others’ personalities to pretend they are doing something to understand others as if people’s traits be less diverse and won’t be changed. AIDS at 1980s as an unknown disease served as tool to stigmatize gay people- gay disease, dehumanizing and labeling them as being punished by God for violating the natural law which only allowed sex to happen between men and women. As creative as people can imagine, Wuhan coronavirus serves as another tool of anti-Asian sentiment.

A video tape captured in New York subway circulating on the Internet showed a Asian being hit and chased for wearing mask when the new Coronavirus death toll in the mainland China increased. Some colored persons dragged his clothes, insulted him saying words like contagious, diseases etc, fearing him to spread the virus.

Well, people may say what they’ve said and acted irritatingly is what made them humane. ‘People fear about unknowns’ says someone, shrugging whose shoulders off. If things were happening only to limited groups, ones outside of the mess usually speak nothing.

In the later years of a Russian writer, a line written by him goes although I may be as famous as Shakespeare be, I don’t understand what I am doing this for? Look what I had done, what for?

Modern society values youth as the most powerful. It is not hard to find that some slogan appeared somewhere says 60 is the new 40. Aged people feel powerless due to their loss of physical strength or maybe of their physical attractiveness as if people may be less valued when not being sexy. But this is not all of their fault, our society’s uncontemplated obsession on physical appearance has taken a part. In that obsession, If a person is not being described as beautiful so he or she may be labeled as undesirable. But it is false. Since everyone will get aged, only time can tell what is really valued, things like generosity, kindness, pursuit of truth and the good are valuable things too. Time is the most efficient equalizer which works indiscriminately.

Ancient Greek philosophers had argued what we the people should be going to pursue. They say for the good and the truth.

On Lakes

Somedays were dreams, but some, you know, were not. Walking on the bank near the lake where I had walked many times before, I recalled so many memory fragments that belonged to me and some one whom I had befriended. The water of the lake, the lake of South, dotted with and surrounded by willow trees on its bank was and is shrinking. There the lake now has never happened of having the tide of the flood invaded its lower-bank again after a heavy rain, which had come to Wuhan in the year of twentysixteen, poured tons of water into the city and helped cause a catastrophe of flooding on the every inch of the city’s ground.

People in China had since friendly teased about that Wuhan as a coastal city had its main feature of sea view although the truth is that Wuhan is a inland city thus it does not own a perfect sea view. But at the same time, as this disastrous scene of flood got even worse, there was really no difference between whether to tag Wuhan as a coastal city or a inland one because it was simply a city on the verge of complete turmoil.

The city had since been turned into a sallow harbor which state had lasted nearly a month in that summer, a disastrous but enthusiastic period– we used to call it the raining season. You know, some people did feel the harm caused by the extreme weather but some did not. I could barely move down to the street to buy some food. Everything there and then was both dependent and independent. We were like being living in an island but had never felt to be so self-reliant and complete when I was picking up food from an icebox and cooking the food we’d bought online before. Food there were not expensive. Feeding ourselves at such an economical way at that time was a creative way of living, which our lifeworld had never been so colorful and fulfilling. Life is simple although it is full of challenges but that are the challenges we must deal with sooner or later. We loved it. Flooding waters had divided the city into smaller rivers. Every building that was standing higher than the depth of the flood was like an island. The winds that had been blowing heavily and constantly made us start to worry about the stability of the building we lived. I was worrying about whether the building would collapse by the force of floods and storms though it didn’t happen.

There is a picture I have shot gone to a sitting-on-the-bench girl who was facing on the surface of the lake. It was autumn, but the sky was so shiny and bluish that I had failed to realize that was autumn if I was not checking the calendar. The girl who sat on the bench might be full of an optimistic view since it was such a lovely day. The breeze was so tender it had made me heart-melting. I knew my heart was full of happiness when facing the lake I loved. Everything here and then on the bank of the lake I was facing had never been so familiar. The birch trees, stone benches, stone-made railings beside the bank, and mosquitos, they bite me as usual, had never been so enriching, vital and meaningful to me. Even the pain caused by the mosquitos’ biting could not shy me away from the land of wonder. I was thinking magically but that was the way I love.

Is the autumn here this year the new summer? Everything is unceasingly changing so to answer this question is just so meaningless maybe mostly because here the city I have been living for a long time has not rained much this year. And that is the real problem. This land is used to be called a hazy and misty land on the south of the river- the Yangtze. The axiom related to this issue of constant changing is something we have already known. But with a hope to preserve the moment we lived, we also want to do something even though we know that we can’t change the universal nature of changing. To live is to change. That is why we are always nostalgic. We don’t really own our time and our bodies since we cannot control it and it seems like that the only thing we owned is change. We still are, say, at this moment.




















去杭州的时候,只去了西湖,其他都寥寥。正好是周末,人潮汹涌。走上雷峰塔的时候, 我看到台阶上的电梯,不禁感叹。如同Rico看到黄鹤楼里的电梯时的感受。与时俱进?













“你是否觉得我们可以教人去爱?” 许久的沉默“不能”一位母亲回答。“也许我们只能让人习惯于某种联系,但不能教他去爱。爱就是爱,当然他永远都是我的儿子,但我不能教他去爱。”是美国公共广播的采访。听后总觉得很寂然,也似这拉长的沉默一般。



“你是否觉得我们可以教人去爱?” 许久的沉默“不能”一位母亲回答。“也许我们只能让人习惯于某种联系,但不能教他去爱。爱就是爱,当然他永远都是我的儿子,但我不能教他去爱。”是美国公共广播的采访。听后总觉得很寂然,也似这拉长的沉默一般。




Always Wishing You’re Here Roaming with Me

If she felt stressed, marketplaces, especially open air ones, she a coworker of mine told me, would be the ideal cure for what she described as undesirable loneliness. She likes to walk in the open air marketplaces that was sort of the ‘birth place’ of her childhood memory, and it had in some ways shaped her way of living in her early twenties. When people were around, life cures itself, strengthening our resilience.

At times when people talking and walking, she could finally feel relieved. It’s not a place for me, my place for relieving is remaining unclear. Skimming over the ocean, I stood up on the beach of Zhoushan where the pier is always busy for seafood trading and the boats moored in the harbor are waiting for a sailing to fish, I was fifteen, roaming along the beach where I had swam with a younger cousin. There bottled water sold then was charging for 10 renminbi- a special price fared for visitors only even though we had better buy some and without the water vendor, we wouldn’t have been able to survive the thirsty. To seek the light of life, I can’t feel much. Sometimes not much is too much. I can’t stop thinking about the sour of life. Without money and power, our daily routines could turn to a fast draining boat. I was speechless in the circumstance of continuing fighting for a way of being that I had always been speechless. There was A song line I’ve heard that goes “my mother said to me: “Don’t stop imaging. The day you do is the day you die.” I had been touched though I barely admit it. I’ve once stopped imaging the possibility of my life, fortunately, I regained the ability of reconstructing and reimagining the future I had envisioned fondly again, which is, to walk with somebody else along the beaches where the weather is tame. I have in no way no intention to hide my fear of the possibility that the future reunion between me and the person I met in Hankou and I walked with along the Donghu Lake of Wuhan might look hard to come true, for many complicated reasons. But looking forward, I still wanted to find you and to be surrounded by nothing but taming sunshine that we felt familiar.

It’s been like living in an island separated from the mainland by a gap too deep to cross when you and I have not contacted each other for years since 2019. And I still do recall and remember you fondly when your smiles, though forced ones, framed in the photos I took emerged again before my eyes. And tears of mine welled up for I knew every time when I thought of the letter L which is the initial letter of you surname in Chinese, I thought of you. You say your surname in English is Dragon because it is the English corresponding of the Chinese word Long. But there was a discrepancy between the meanings of the two. And I knew you certain knew this. It’s a compromise.















英文中把千载难逢叫做once in a blue moon,难得一见的蓝色月亮。有时为中文感到不甘,千载难逢的意境远胜于蓝月遗事,盎格鲁文化偏于随意。以前看蒙克的画,心里总是莫名的安静,虽然他的画作后期偏向夸张的表现主义(expressionism),黑白的版画,维多利亚时代的卧病在床式样的画作,当时颇为流行,有黛玉葬花之感,生了痨病,只能卧病在床,是当时的绝症,因此请熟练的画者前来临摹最后的姿样,是最好的写真练习材料,没有什么比生病更适合静止的事,仿佛早已死了。“生命在于运动。”每次初中体育课都看到的标题。“生命在于静止。”一阵大笑。蒙克曾写信给朋友说“大家不能理解我的画作,但我必须忠于我自己,喝醉后,我看到的酒杯,是扭曲的,我因此画的扭曲的酒杯,我无法背叛我自己的感觉。我必须画出我自己的感觉。”


曾经总是说,想要有意义的生活,后来觉得,似乎没有什么意义,也许,应该像Socrates一样,问到:什么是意义呢?(What does the meaningful mean?)


你一定记得,我写在纸上的那句“Je t’amie”,或不记得。夏日的晚风吹过耳边的时候,我站在匆忙的街衢上,等待着。寂然的湖边,飘拂的柳叶,湖面上夕阳温柔的倒影,生命也像无尽的等待,回眸中,一句“在看一次?这夕阳。” 这么久,好像也看不太厌。