I looked at the date today... February 21, 2006... the second month anniversary of my dear munch2's death date. Strange to think that just two months ago and a day or two, he wrote me his last email the day before he passed away. A farewell email -- only that he didn't know it was a farewell email. If he did, what would he have said? Fortunately it was an email that was so sweet and summarized our best friendship and affections. He thanked me for the "best present he had ever received" -- a collage of photos arranged artfully with poetic memories of our college years named "metamorphosis" after our college project. it was my graduation present to him when he finished his studies at MIT, top of his class. I wrote back to him two days too late. I guess my collage of poetry for "metamorphosis" would be my last farewell words to him as well.
Just to let you know that I arrived back in Shanghai this morning. Before I left, I was admiring the beautiful present of the collage of images and words of our time together at Wellesley and MIT. It's such a beautiful thing - easily the best present I have ever received in my life, and I really cannot imagine anybody being able to do anything more caring, so thank you again for those exquisitive memories - that I would love to have a copy of the content it was authored with to burn to a CD and save with my most valuable documents. Do you still have the .PSD file (or equivalent, if it was not Photoshop), so I can have everything kept with me?
On the flight here I watched a Japanese film called "Trainman". It is supposed to be a true story of how a terribly geeky Japanese nerd picks up the courage to stop a drunk harassing a beautifug lady and the emerging story of how a painfully shy nerd transforms himself with help and encouragement from a diverse group of Internet addicts who also are transformed from teachers to students themselves. It's a very open film, focused really on exploring the hero's transformation. I'm sure you would love it too.
Days become a month leading to yet another month that we parted ways. I think often of his sweet parents and how hard it must be for them. His photos still adorn my desk including his Christmas 1997 mousemat that his parents gave him that features a photo of him when he was 5 or so playing with his new toys... such a beautiful young face with his whole life before him. Who knew that it would only be 27 years? His photos that I took of him during our college years arranged in a collage also adorn my desk, smiling with all the innocence of a shy teen. He's looking at me in these photos when I took them. Are photos of loved ones silent, eternal dialogues with the ones who took them and if so, do these photos and moments then truly belong to us? I think of the 1980 movie "Somewhere in Time", a story of soulmates stuck in different times -- lovestruck Chicago playwright Richard Collier (Christopher Reeves) falls in love with a vintage photo of a beautiful young Elise McKenna (played by Jane Seymour). He later undergoes self-hypnosis to go back in time to meet this young actress. You find out later that the photo he fell in love with was taken when he went back in time and she smiled at him. Do these dialogues remain even when we are nothing but the textures of dusty dreams and faded memories?