Lately, I’ve been a little restless. Perhaps it’s the weather. Perhaps it’s my age. I can’t quite pinpoint the reason why. And as such, I thought about Hu Ge and this book “Scavenger of Happiness”.
“Scavenger of Happiness” is a collection of essays that Hu Ge wrote following the aftermath of the car crash that almost took his life. It recounts stories about his recovery process, stories from his childhood, etc. He writes with a certain optimism that is befitting of a man with his inner strength. His writing is beautiful, heartfelt, deep, inspiring, and poetic. A perfect antidote to this recent slump.
Enjoy this preface and hopefully it too will inspire you.
***Please forgive any mistakes***
Up until now, I never thought that one day I would become a scavenger. Be it in the ridiculous stories I’ve written since childhood, in the colorful and rich dreams I had every night, or even in the moments where friends gathered to tease and taunt each other, this idea never once appeared. But on August 29, 2006 at 10:51 pm an intense collision happened, suddenly it was like I was going with the flow but at the same time was also grudgingly starting on my own scavenging journey.
Before, when I watched the film <Crash>, I was very emotional in front of an extremely terrible car crash, I was saddened but saw it as something you can’t guard against; it can crush the thick and false mask that once forms can never be altered; it can change everything that a person possesses, it can even smash to pieces a person’s wrong life attitude; it can cause the destinies of people who are not of the same skin color, race, or beliefs to intersect…But today, those insights appear to be meaningless, even laughable. After all, everything in movies are fictional, when the cruel reality found its way to me, everything that I have to face and withstand are pieces of debris.
As I fumbled in the darkness, trying to pick up some of those pieces of debris, I realized that process is not as easy as in my imagination, I am fortunate to be given another life but I watch as the other life gradually move farther away; I would like to thank the heavens for preserving my eyes, but as soon as I can feel the light I am unable to accept my own shattered appearance, I had to overcome a lot of obstacles to regain the confidence to start a new life, but the endless days wither and the nights of waiting are long, I try to piece together a complete memory, but instead I make it so that it becomes more difficult for me to accept reality, I crossed mountains and rivers in order to obtain a new life wisdom, but as soon as the desire arrived it vanished like smoke in thin air—–fear, confusion, laziness, anxiety, greed were picked up and placed in the basket on my back, they weighed so much that I was unable to breathe. As such, all of these pieces of debris are very familiar to me because they are all a part of who I am.
In the process of scavenging I wanted to rediscover myself, but unintentionally found an opportunity to reassess myself—–to rebuild while at the same time to continually topple. People are often living in a state of inertia, without any ability or desire to really go find one’s true self. The car crash threw me off from my original track, allowing me to use the most authentic state to go seek a new impetus and direction for myself.