I think that sentence is not said by the philosopher, but by the river itself. Only what is flowing can say so. Time is flowing, and so is our life. It can stop, individually, at some point. But life goes on, and even when we’re gone, we can still find ourselves in those who are alive. It was a relay race.
People talk a lot about change. But if you understand life as a relay race, you can think that standing still is also a change.
Many times, I find myself standing still. But I am at peace with this feeling, because even though I am standing still, I am still changing.
“The guava tree I planted the other day
The tree bears fruit without saying anything
the smell of ripe guava
across the country”
Thus, from the guava tree to the guava, from the guava to the smell of ripe guava, and so on, the journey across the country of a smell of guava, while the guava tree remains stationary, may prove the postulate “” Standing still is change.”
There was a classmate in the same class as Ms. Dang Thuy Tram when she was in high school at Chu Van An school (Hanoi), and had that feeling when she saw with her own eyes the old bomb shelter of Ms. Tram in a mountainous area. Duc Pho borders Ba To. To get that view, the poet Nguyen Khoa Diem himself hiked up the mountain in Duc Pho to reach the place where Thuy Tram’s old hospital was located, and there, alone, looked into the old wartime landslide. In the paintings that Tram once hid and operated on for wounded soldiers, Nguyen Khoa Diem had one of his saddest and best poems:
“Sit back and listen to what I say in the ground
Along with the sycamore tree, the chestnut tree of the past
The old cellar hurts like an eyeball
Look at me deeply, helpless”
(Date of return)
Deep and helpless is the poet’s feeling when looking at the old cellar where his classmate used to live and work, that feeling shows that Tram is still living in the old classmate’s mind. That day, at that old school by the West Lake, I wonder if Mr. Diem wrote poetry yet? But when the poem “The Day Returns” was born, I felt that I was living the same feeling of poet Nguyen Khoa Diem when alone looking at the old cellar. At that time, sitting still is also a change.
If we know how to store our emotions, we will feel that life is change, and what has passed can flash against the flow of life. Then the past manifests itself in the present.