The 44th Golden Bell Award nominations came out on the 10th. I planned to write a paragraph or two about it and cram it in one of those E-News Round Ups (read the last AND first one here). But since 1) I’ve already devoted a hefty amount of time recapping some of the dramas and 2) condensing the information (and comments) into a few paragraphs is going to test my ability to be succinct (translates to: too much trouble), I thought I might as well do it the proper respect and give it its own post.
In summary, there is a total of 1,435 pieces competing for 33 awards this year. Out of the submitted pieces, only 149 made it to the final round at the award ceremony, which is scheduled to be hold on — mark your calendar (or wait for my after post) — the 16th of October.
“Don’t conceal your distress, grief, and anguish; for their existence attest the vitality of life. They are the bearer of the good news that you are still here with me — they are the testimony of our love.” Positioning himself in front of Xiao Lu’s wheelchair, Ah Yue whispers softly but surely. “Then why doesn’t this album contain any of your photos? Haven’t you received my present?” Xiao Lu musters to ask. “I have,” he replies, “What you’ve given me is the best gift I will ever possess and that, is you.”
Ah Yue, can I ask you for a present?
What kind of present?
I want to see your home town, just one more time. I want to see you and your mother on good terms again.
Upon returning home, Xiao Lu overhears Yi Xin’s discussion with her dad concerning the precautionary steps they should take, in case Xiao Lu’s condition worsens. She approaches the two worried men and comments, “Oh, you’ve already figured out a way to deal with my exacerbating sickness…” Her terse attitude results in Yi Xin’s hasty departure, as if caught committing a moral sin red-handedly. Xiao Lu doesn’t meant to sting Yi Xin for sticking his nose in her business, but the sensitivity of the subject makes any form of open discussion difficult to handle.
Sometimes the actual failure isn’t what’s most daunting. The self-destructive anticipation of failure and bystanders’ pitiful looks are what makes the word carry the weight it does. Without drawing attention to the “failed” aspect of an attempt, an attempt is just an attempt — a step, no different from another, of a continuous process.
Normally, when you think about the “Happy Birthday” song, you think about celebration, happiness, (delicious) cakes, friends and family (unless you’re a hardcore pessimistic who is reminded of the inevitability of death and aging at the mention of a birthday — but then, I digress.) When Rui Shan plays the “Happy Birthday” song at this particular setting, all of its radiating joy, delight, and warmth become what’s a tedious necessity. She’s not bad (in fact, she’s supposed to be good), but her heart is not on the music.
If Rui Shan’s life is like a still, green pond, protected by the trees and mountains surrounding her, then Ah Yue’s one and only post card is the little pebble that unintentionally falls into that pond and stirs up a multitude of small ripples. Even after the surface of the pond restores its formal peacefulness, the pebble is nonetheless asserted into the pond. And the internal equilibrium is deeply disturbed.