A jùn mǎ tale
俊 马 故事
In the course of the life of a married woman, Love is ever won forever.
In China much more than elsewhere, many marriages are driven and instigated by parental conformism. Among various considerations, the financial means of the future husband rank at the top mainly his ability to purchase a new home. Age plays also a significant role. The thirties years barrier acts as an alert, a major emergency.
From here, many women bury themselves into the couple to satisfy a short shortsighted strategy, the making of a comfortable life.
They are in danger of having a rude awakening.
But the picture behind is much more complex.
I would like to take the time to share my own personal testimony by investigating the full spectrum of a married woman worries and sometimes troublesome situation.
This is story of Nancy Yeung
Nancy is not born with a golden key around their neck. She came from the average Beijing middle class family rooted in the Xicheng District (西城区). No Brother. No sister. Unfortunately, fate knocked early at her door. At age 3, her father died of an unknown reason or, at least, by herself. However, according to family sources, two years before the Nancy birth, her dad knew that his life would soon be over. That is when he made up his mind to bring to life a child that will carry his blood after his death. As one of his friends remembers: “For him, it was as a duty nobly discharged. Because he has completed its mission on Earth, he could now die. Perhaps, he had seen salvation in Nancy eyes.” Thanks to the shining presence of the amazing little girl, his last few weeks were characterized by a sense of joy and inner illumination. The last time he saw her, the very cute Nancy was bubbling in her bath, with a crown on her head. Then, she whispered into his ear, her voice full of emotion: “I love you, Dad”. In turn, he approached her, muttering: “The only advice I can give to you. Never fear! Try not to be superficial in all your relations, your life commitments!” She remained silent as if she had understood, only three years old.
Despite this painful episode, her mother made sure that Nancy life would be full of happiness, promoting in a daily basis the best mental health and wellbeing. From her, Nancy inherited a charming and captivating smile. That is why she has the extreme ability to smile through the storm, under any circumstances.
Thanks to the enlightening love of her mom, she holds three sizeable natural resources: Self-affirmation, self-confidence and self-esteem.
However, this smile covers up the crushing sadness of her father absence that is very hard to live with. Crippled by this obsession, having reached adulthood, in her spare times, Nancy is willing to help people from orphanages and schools in deprived areas.
- Let me quote the greatest Mahatma Gandhi (粵語) she told them, “Where there is love there is life”.
She presumed that a loving heart is the beginning of all things, all knowledge, the way forward.
Obviously, the children need this encouragement. Because Nancy gives love to them, she is on every lip of the abandoned children.
This is Nancy, a heart of gold, a generous soul, “Mother Nancy”.
She received a good education by attending the university of Beijing. She received a Master’s degree in international business. She learned English, praising the genius of some American writers as well as outstanding moviemaker, the best of them, Charlie Chaplin. She read more than once “The Good Earth”, written with genius by Pearl Buck also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu (賽珍珠).
It is at this time that she aspired to a diplomatic career. This revelation came to her by viewing photos of the stunning Zhōu Ēnlái at the Geneva Conference in 1954. Each night, before bed, she looked at the map of the world. Then, she moved her finger over. She fixed her gaze upon a country. Mozambique, Africa. Salvador, South America. Estonia, Europe. New Zealand, Oceania. She felt that she could bring peace, security and stability to the world. She thought that she could alleviate the misery, hunger and devastation caused by years of violent conflict in so many the countries. “My duty, my dream! Give happiness to the voiceless, to the poorest, to the most vulnerable!”
In the twists that life can sometimes take, she ended as a talented businesswoman. Nevertheless, she never forgot her personal oath. In Mozambique, where she carries on its business, she enjoys sharing her time with Makonde and Tonga, women or children. « I am happy that I am part of their family”, she said with deep sincerity. Mia Couto, a Mozambican writer, author of the amazing novel “Every man is a race” once wrote: “Nancy incarnates the beauty, sensuality and fantasy of the Chinese woman, the very essence of untouched beauty as nature intended”.
Unlike the average businessman, likely possessed by his Dad advice, Nancy sought to understand the meaning of its action. She realized that she was engaged in the spreading of the Chinese soft power as the President Xi Jinping has encouraged through his call to the Chinese dream (zhōngguó mèng 中国梦). Before each stay in far distant land, she liked to close herself in a library. Therefore, she learned a lot about the African continent, its history, its culture, its habits and, mostly, its inhabitants dream. At each meeting she had with her Mozambicans counterparts, she begun with this surprisingly introduction: Mozambique is derived from Musa Al Big or Mossa Al Bique or Mussa Ben Mbiki, an Arab trader. She pursued remembering the President Samora Machel, the father of the nation.
For many Chinese companies involved in this country, she acts as a « mediator » which task is to prevent any uncomfortable situation with the local people. “She is candid and open, very straight from the heart. We respect her and trust her tremendously”, said one of its partners.
On the edge of a celestial business tour in Africa, she discovered the beauty of humanity, which she shared with the inhabitants of Earth.
A Shadow on the Writing Board
Each history has its secrecies, its mysteries and its questions that one will perhaps never solve. Incidentally, something strange in her life, some confusion resonates on her name. In this tale, I gave her the patronymic of Nancy Yeung but that’s untrue. It would thus appear that her registered one is Jing Yang. However, she later changed it to Zi Yang, arguing that she did so due to her mom’s requirement. What were the reasons behind the scenes? One may speculate the shadow of her Dad unsettling death here reemerges. Three names is a very heavy weight to be carried by for just one person. The shrouds of secrecy serve to perpetuate Nancy life mystery.
At 28, a friend alerted her about her age.
- This is an insurmountable barrier. Do you realize that? She asked. Marriage is a central milestone in the lives of most people. Don’t wait!
At that time alone, Nancy sniffed instantly a life of failure in the middle of nowhere.
She feared the eye catcher, some putting them down about her celibacy.
Already, she suffocated, trembling, difficulty in breathing.
Once, her mom taught her that a solution for every problem is found in nature. As Nancy mind is perfectly clear and decisiveness, she enrolled immediately in the search of a husband.
- I like to feel the sensation of conquering the sky, although, in the final analysis, it always wins the victory over us.
Nothing very spontaneous.
In her path, she met a lonesome man, ten years older. Knocked down by a broken marriage, suffering from the gout, the main illness of the Kings of France, he wasn’t in good spirits. Aged thirty-eight, his life was plagued by ill health and a previous unhappy romance. Here comes the holy Nancy. Because she has a generous heart, she felt able to save him from a gloomy life, a moody horizon. In fact, this guy exemplified her wish to help someone.
- It is natural to feel depressed at times, she said. Nothing is preordained! With me your morale will run high.
She asked him to marry her the same day.
As fleeing from a rain of bullets, in an outburst, she said abruptly: “We will do it perfectly!”
While he was somewhat reluctant to support this project wondering whether it was appropriate to do it so quickly, Nancy exclaimed, the face radiant with joy: « This is what I want, this is what I seek, this is what I desire with all my heart!
Slip a smile on her face. Mouth half open, she continued her heavily offensive. She raced towards him, kissing his neck, his cheeks and forehead. At the very end, she whispered a carnal and definite, I love you.
She believed that marriage is an exclusive, permanent union between a man and a woman, a loving partnership open to the possibility of an everlasting happiness.
Dealing with despair
The path between heaven and hell is a narrow one. A family is a risky venture, because the greater the love, the greater the loss. That’s the trade-off. In a short time, her marriage turned into its own hell when her husband started to lock himself into a deafening silence, his chosen dark and lonely prison. For obscure reasons, he didn’t want to see anybody. For unknown reasons, he was unable to speak anymore. Removing himself from the world, his life was malignly regulated down to prosaic habits: eat, work and sleep.His heart is hardened like the soil of the roadside and he cannot accept happiness.
However, his only one enjoyment was the reading of his bedside book, “One Man’s Bible” (gè rén de Shèngjīng 一个人的圣经, Yī) from Gāo Xíngjiàn. He mostly spends his nights flipping through the pages. On its part, Nancy bedside book is LIFE.
In the course of time, an iron Curtain has fallen into her couple.
What are those demonic and uncontrollable forces that plunged her life into ruin? She hasn’t the answer.
She prayed ten thousands times in so many churches, so diverse temples to rehabilitate and to reshape her couple, everywhere, anytime, whenever, the weather cloudy, rainy or sunny.
More than that, she attended psychology teachings at the university to learn how to recover her faith in love. But, her husband refused to come there, as it was encouraging to do so. He pointed out that he has nothing to do with that. He said that he doesn’t need any support. He was adamant and affirmative that he would follow his own way.
The time went on.
She was still sharing his life, but she was desperately lonely.
Then she recalled the word of her mother at her wedding party, quoting Socrates: “My advice to you is get married: if you find a good husband you’ll be happy; if not, you’ll become a philosopher”.
Behind the curtain, was her husband her real husband or just an actor playing an undetermined role for her undeclared dramatic life purpose?
Here relies the crucial point of Nancy life. Because of her father early death, she tried to repair this absence, taking care of abandoned child’s, marrying a lonely man, doing all her best to maintain afloat her couple. She has an earnest and genuine heart but life is a somewhat complex material.
Fleeing the disorder
Reaching thirty years old, she intended to go away from her Beijing home in a way to escape a deep feeling of depression.
Due to her social activities, she meets a lot of men of all backgrounds and professions, natives and foreigners. Nancy has fixed guiding principles that she never distanced herself apart. She treated every man with a good sense of friendship and all at once imposing to herself a responsible behavior, always self-discipline, never cross the lines. Most of her relations have been for more than ten years.
The danger lies in the unknown.
On March 2013, Nancy met at a party in Beijing a foreigner, nothing exceptional.
A few days after, he invited her to a dinner that took place nearby the Drum Tower (Gǔlóu 鼓楼).
During the meal, they had a long conversation in a warm atmosphere, in good faith. They focused their attention on various topics, laughed often. However, they did not address their personal life. At that time, the man didn’t have any precise information about Nancy universe, as for instance, the fact that she was married. After dinner, at midnight, they walked a while nearby the Gōng Wáng Fǔ in Houhai. Suddenly, as a strange and mysterious force encouraged them, they began running. Was it a sign of fate?
The day after, the man flew back to Germany where he was currently working.
During four months, they exchanged letters, discussing a wide range of topics, mainly literature, philosophy and movies. Through portraits of historical figures, they started being very friendly.
By the end of July, she told him that she was planning a tour trip to Europe.
“Why we don’t spend sometimes together?” he asked.
She responded favorably.
As a consequence, he invited her to join him in France where he was settled at that time.
When he came at her hotel where she was waiting for him, he felt a little disoriented to learn that her name wasn’t the same that the one she introduced herself at the first time.
This same evening, the conversation went on her private life. She acknowledged without difficulty that she was married.
This consideration hasn’t change the nice welcoming she received.
In Paris, they spent together a fabulous week long, walking trough the streets, visiting museum, and each night, dancing until dawn nearby the Seine River.
All was going on very well until an incident occurred at the Versailles castle garden. Suddenly, between colorful trees, she described her husband as a simple man with who she has no more dialogue.
Then a glacial silence. From her heart escapes a sigh when painful memories emerge from her lips.
She couldn’t breath anymore.
Her face showed how crushed and hurt she was.
Then she started crying over and over.
“I am still sharing his life, but I am desperately lonely” she admitted.
He sat down beside her and took her hand, a natural gesture, nothing premeditated.
Then, in the magical place of Versailles, under the approving and benevolent gaze of Louis XIV, a love story was born between them, sweetly.
The next morning, she flew to Lisboa.
“During your stay in Paris, wrote the man days later, just holding you in my arms offers me the comfort that creates an exceptionally meaningful connection with you.
Those days, I was so joyful with you, having fun, smiling, laughing, kidding each other, clowning around, cajoling, cavorting, teasing, arguing and even crying
I am wondering if your smile is always bright, radiant and exuberant.
I am asking myself if you heart still brings your “natural” happiness that can spread all around you and give strength to others, the unhealthy little boys and girls as for me.
I question whether your private life gives an appropriate answer to your dream, your long-time dream, the one rooted deep inside your mind.”
He never received any message from her. Not even a word. Not even a whisper.
During nearly two years, she trapped herself in a strictly wall of silence.
Sometimes, in a moment of sadness, the man expressed his complete incomprehension of such behavior.
“Do you fear that something might happen if your today life is not preserved? Is this the question? As you may know, we fear the thing we want the most. Accordingly, the fear is your substance, the worst part of you. Hidden behind your charming smile, your negligent behavior is disputable as well as your dishonest attitude with your husband. Nothing worthwhile in this relation. A poor sense of friendship, senseless in all ways…”
In another message, he sought to understand her.
“Since so many months I am sad to observe that you didn’t reply to my messages. If the reason is to preserve your marriage, according to this assessment, I deeply support you. I think that you are doing well in breaking any ties with me. I interpret your silence as an extreme effort to give all your Love to your husband. It is an honorable posture”.
She remained intentionally enclosed in total isolation.
Then the time elapsed.
Little by little, Nancy became a bad dream in the man’s mind as a story that had never existed, as she had never crossed his life.
Two years later, as part of a grouped consignment to all his business contacts in China, the man sent to her his Wechat code.
“How are you, Junma?” she asked.
As he did for all his partners, he welcomed warmly her message by adding the following remark: “What a strange kind of woman!”
She agreed to meet him.
Being in Beijing on May, they spent a day together in the hútong (胡同), strolling from Gulou to the Lama Temple.
It was a sunny day. The joy of being together could be seen on their happy mood. The best part was the look of pride on the man’s face when he saw thoroughly Nancy, again and again.
However, this positive picture is marred by a sad moment. By the evening, she expressed her unhappiness, telling that even if she were still married, she would never have a baby with her husband.
This comment brought tears to her eyes.
The day after, the man sent to her a message mentioning that his feelings were reemerging as they were two years ago, the same symptoms of love. Instead of welcoming warmly this revelation, she pointed out that he was “too emotional, too sensitive”.
Completely indifferent to this warning, he declared his love to her.
“I’m sorry, she exclaimed, I know I’m sounding rude by cutting you off, but I would like to say that you are an idiot (shén jīng bìng 神经病)”.
“I have reviewed in detail the translation of this word. This one caught my attention: “disease or dysfunction of one or more peripheral nerves, typically causing numbness or weakness”.
I am disoriented to realize that this is your appreciation of me. Why do I deserve such critic? Please tell me? If there are any, my only fault was to express my sincere Love as it stands, truthfully, genuine, thoughtful and caring.”
The she said with a walling voice : « But you, a foreigner without any special emotion to this country in order to a special aim with money. »
With this sentence, I mean, she is all over the map !
The chapter is closed.
As she did during two years, Nancy disappeared once again completely speechless. She vanished into thin air.
Since then not even a sign, just the sound of the birds in the trees.
“I think that I am just a rubbish box to pour when she didn’t feel well, nothing more” the man concluded, the soul melancholic and painful.
Her answer, her motto : Proud, Indifferent. Be frustrated, Calm (Déyì dànrán shīyì tǎnrán 得意淡然~失意坦然).