Life

Capturing Life’s subtle beauty through a lens: Stories from China’s rural landscapes

What is the scenery? What you think is beautiful and resonates with your heart is the scenery. At least, that’s what I understand.

The feeling is different every time I look at the scenery. This is the case with the ever-changing life, people, and animals. My memory is not very good, which makes me easily immersed in changing things, like driving a spaceship alone in the endless darkness, trying to find a planet and a foothold. This point is the trace of the heart. Written in words, it is a photo, it is “a world in a grain of sand”, or it can be the point where Archimedes moved the earth.

one

Because I like to use lenses to record the world, a few years ago, I joined a large-scale documentary crew with a learning attitude.

It is still the familiar land of my hometown under my feet. I set out again, but through many sophisticated, expensive, and high-definition camera lenses, I “see” the customs, mountains and rivers of this land, and “see” this melancholy, joyful, and exciting human world. .

In the remaining mountains of Shiwanda Mountain in Guangxi, there is a place called Invention Village. When I first came to the stepping point, there was heavy fog, and the car drove very slowly, and the brakes were pressed even more often than the accelerator.

The car was swaying, and the future was unclear, as if it was entering one mystery after another in life.

I sat in the back seat, and when I was nervous, I opened the window and looked around. Only then did we realize that we were surrounded by endless white mist. You can’t see the road in front of you, and you can’t see the mountain behind you. Staying on this kind of road for a long time will inevitably make people feel bored, flustered and confused. Later, I calmed down amidst the faint chirping of birds, felt my eyes, ears, nose and tongue, and noticed a powerful heart beating slowly and powerfully.

Sometimes, you need to be in a seemingly “congested” environment in order to look inside yourself and discover the beauty in the subtleties of life.

Slowly, I discovered that the white mist was different in each section of the road, either thin or thick, like a sieve, like rice balls, with different shapes. It’s like a mountain god sweeping away the white clouds from the sky and hiding in the rolling forest to meditate.

In these years, I like to be alone in the wilderness and take photos of the ever-changing natural scenes with my mobile phone. Sometimes after looking at the sky and the earth for a long time, poetic water traces will seep out from the hard “stone cracks”, so people’s hearts are filled with joy and excitement. In the words recorded on the mobile phone, I relate to the “changing” things, and I melt into In all things.

On the mountain, I stared at the thick and thin fairy mist for a long time. I wanted to capture some mysterious poetry, but the car was moving and the white mist was floating, so I couldn’t get anything. Simply, I turned on my phone, without looking at the parameters or the composition, I reached up to the roof of the car and took a dozen photos, hoping to find the cloud-like poetry of that time through these messy photos.

But two months later, looking at the photos in the mist, all I could think of was: “Deep in the mountains, every tree has its own secret personality.”

Because of the heavy fog, the car drove for two hours before arriving at the village. The protagonist was very enthusiastic. He squeezed my hand tightly as soon as we met. The frosted feeling in his palm made people feel a kind of rough warmth. He said in vernacular that it is rare for reporters to come to our “mountain corner” (remote) place. I said we are not reporters, but a camera crew. He smiled innocently and said nothing.

His surname is Huang. He is in his fifties and makes a living selling honey all year round. On the hills near the village, there are more than a hundred beehives he made from wood. Bees are wild bees flying all over the sky, and beehives are artificial wooden houses. This unique beekeeping technology feels a bit like building a nest to attract phoenixes.

Although this place is called the Village of Invention, the word village has nothing to do with the word “invention”.

The land here is barren and scarce, and many houses are inevitably built on half-slopes. When Brother Huang and we climbed up to the village to see the beehives, villagers looked from behind from time to time and stared at us with strange eyes. At the end of the village, I passed several wooden beehives with strange shapes. We took out the camera and took some pre-recording shots. When facing the camera, Brother Huang was a little embarrassed. He looked back at the village alley, hesitating in his words and seemed a little nervous.

This mountain village is so remote. Are people curious about the camera, or are they afraid?

I remembered the information I had seen.

In 1844, French photographer Jules Edir followed the French diplomatic and trade mission to Macau, China, to conduct trade negotiations with China. Later, Edil went to Guangzhou, and Qiying, who was the governor of Guangdong and Guangxi at the time, became the first local official in China to take photos.

In the data, there is no description of Qiying’s psychological activities when he was photographed for the first time. The exposure time of antique cameras at that time was very long. To take a portrait, you had to sit down and wait for three to five minutes. Then there would be a “click” sound and sometimes a flash of lighted fireworks, which would cause some people to panic and lose consciousness. Soul screams. Therefore, people spread rumors that taking pictures can steal people’s souls.

Later, I learned that the villagers and Brother Huang were not afraid of stealing the soul, but that the soul was panicked because of the human heart.

News reporters have come to this “mountain corner” village before to report, but the pictures posted online used other villagers’ beehives, and the content only exaggerated his glorious deeds. This makes the villagers very unhappy. Being a wedding dress is a thankless job.

Jealousy is like the fire that burns bees to extract honey. Shortly after the reporter reported, ghosts seemed to appear in the mountains, beehives were destroyed, and honey was stolen from time to time.

When he walked out of the mud room, several shadows followed him closely. One is responsible for keeping track. As long as he climbs this mountain, the honey on the other mountain will be stolen. The kid next door said it was taken away by a mountain ghost, while Brother Huang said it was stolen by a obsessed person. Later, unable to swallow this breath, he frequently used Douyin to explore new things, so he installed several cameras at some relatively concentrated beehive locations… Later, fewer people stole honey, but fewer villagers greeted him. Already…

Even in the most “mountainous corner” village, the human heart is still the same.

From time to time, I looked at the precisely composed portrait of the protagonist in the viewfinder, and listened to him telling the bitter past. But paying attention to the volume value, exposure, and aperture value of the viewfinder for a long time, for a moment, it was like listening to a story from another world.

Buddha said that there are three thousand worlds. Are the people and scenery in the viewfinder considered one of the worlds?

In line with the method of begging for “food” from the mountains, villagers will more or less place four or five beehives to attract wild bees into the nest. After a year, they will open the boxes to collect honey.

Some beehives are under the eaves in front of their homes, some are under the big sycamore tree, some are on the edge of the cliff, and some are in tree holes. As the most famous local beekeeper, Huang Ge has more than 100 beehive sites scattered on the surrounding hills.

Even so, with more than a hundred beehives, an “occupancy rate” of 60% is pretty good. Wild bees, like people, are picky about houses. The quality and comfort of the beehive, as well as its geographical location and ventilation, determine whether they will settle in the nest.

Wild bees are as picky as animals. People sometimes want to be picky, but have no choice.

Brother Huang laughed and said, I have built more than a hundred “houses”, but I still don’t have the money to buy a house in the city.

He has commanded millions of wild bees, but he has also experienced being stung by wild bees and going into shock, lying down for a whole day before waking up. It is said that in order to find a good place to store beehives, he once climbed a steep mountain and accidentally fell halfway down the mountain. As a result, his lumbar vertebrae were displaced and he was paralyzed in bed for more than two months. At home, he took out a pile of medicine boxes and spoke in a calm tone about his experience in treating various illnesses.

I don’t know if it was an illusion, but as I climbed the steep hillside, Huang Ge’s figure gradually came to life. He was so agile that he could walk on flat ground in the overgrown woods, as if he had turned back time and returned to his thirties.

In an open area on the hillside, he straightened his body, put his left hand on his hips, pointed at hundreds of beehive sites in the surrounding mountains and forests, and introduced them like a treasure trove, like a landlord proudly introducing his large farmland.

People always find a foothold in their own strengths, or in other words, they must find a foothold. Only when you stand firm can you see the way forward clearly.

Half a month later, a convoy of more than 30 film crews drove into this remote mountain village. When shooting on the mountain, it feels like a village collective clearing up wasteland, with large areas of weeds and vines trampled and cleared. There are no roads on the ground. As people walk more, roads will appear, and they are of the rapid prototyping type. This is also in line with one of the characteristics of the era of rapid development – efficiency. Even deep in the mountains, this is no exception.

In the past, there were many roads in the local mountains. The path cut by the woodcutter, the path walked by the cattle, the path trodden by the goats, the path trodden by the hunter, the path climbed by the herb collector. However, woodcutters, cattle, goats, hunters, and herb gatherers all slowly disappeared over time. So when a group of people followed him up the mountain, Brother Huang showed excitement. It felt like when he was a child, a bunch of wild children followed him up the mountain to play.

Our shooting location is located on a cliff more than fifty meters high from a mountain stream, with hard stone walls on one side and vines and wild grass on the other. As we entered, the opening on the side of the soft vegetation was artificially expanded by half a meter, but the dirt road under our feet was still the same area. Listening to the buzzing of the bees, I slowly walked along the stone wall and walked more than ten meters to the location of the beehive.

I am sometimes wary of the safety of photographers who only explore “beauty” through the lens. I also want to prevent the stings of wild bees, and I want to learn more shooting skills. I stared at the viewfinder for a long time, watching Brother Huang busy collecting honey, and from the environment outside the viewfinder, I felt this dangerous and interesting cliff. This excitement gave me a surge of adrenaline and gave me a psychedelic feeling.

Wearing a veil, Brother Huang looks like an elegant bear carefully digging out a honeycomb. The photographer stared closely at the viewfinder, constantly zooming and moving the lens, trying to use indescribable art to record this labor method that has survived from ancient times to the present. In essence, both are workers, but the products are different. One is edible honey, and the other is visible “honey”.

Noon is when wild bees are busiest. Thousands of wild bees, like a sudden rain, flew densely in front of us, and countless threads and shadows weaved a suffocating net. I suddenly remembered the piano music “Flight of the Bumblebee”. The fast melody was in my mind, and the buzzing embedded in front of me was even weirder, crisper and more moving.

Coming out of the cliff, those carrying tripods, lighting fixtures, cameras, drones, scripts, and honey were all busy again. As if performing some kind of solemn and mysterious ritual, when going up the mountain, the film crew seemed to be carrying an invisible coffin. Now, everyone is relieved of their burdens and can go down the mountain easily.

When we visited the site, Huang, his wife and a daughter were still living in a mud house. But within two months, when we came back to reshoot the footage, Brother Huang was planting corn and pumpkins on a mound of ruins.

I remember that where he was standing was clearly the living room of the mud room.

Because they are relocated households, in addition to having a resettlement house in a foreign town, according to regulations, if they demolish the old house by themselves, they will also receive a subsidy of more than 10,000 yuan. Within a month, he demolished the mud house without hesitation.

I think of wild bees and the more than one hundred “houses” Huang Ge has in the mountains. People who are good at building “houses” finally live in a house suitable for modern people.

However, there were no suitable jobs around the brand-new building. After several considerations, he returned to the village surrounded by mountains. The village committee gave him two rooms above the abandoned primary school.

One has the sign of the beekeeping cooperative, and the other has two small rooms separated by wooden boards.

When he went to reshoot, he was still so optimistic. He killed a native chicken for us to eat and gave us three bottles of honey. Perhaps, he is just like the wild bee in the mountains. Although he can fly away, he cannot leave the mountains.

On the way back, through the car window, I saw a fiery red sunset over the mountains. At my insistence, the driver stopped the car. I took out my mobile phone and took a picture of the red sunset “staying” on the lush trees. The next day, when I posted on Moments, the text was as follows: The sun has come home.

Some people say it is the rising sun. In fact, you can’t tell the difference without looking carefully.

I like this vague feeling. Early morning or dusk? Time is an eternal puzzle, past or present, deep in the mountains, it no longer matters. The important thing is that the heart has a home.

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Half of the house has collapsed, the old ones have become more outdated, and the new weeds have become more green. Returning here again, she carefully avoided the women and old people gathered under the banyan tree at the head of the village. There was no sadness or joy on his face, just like every ordinary day when he walked quietly into the house. Under the guidance of the director, or immersed in the memory, the scene became stagnant. The dilapidated and messy house turned into a strange “museum” like magic. Those who wanted to enter could not find the entrance, but were attracted by the “dance” inside the museum.

Her name is Sister Li, she is in her early fifties, not tall and a little fat.

This is one of the protagonists of the shoot. In the early years, I spent a lot of money to treat my father-in-law’s illness. Later, my lover, who drove a truck, also fell ill and was paralyzed in bed for two years. Some villagers said that this is like cutting meat with a dull knife. Wandering between hope and despair. Relatives still passed away one after another, leaving only dilapidated empty houses and a pile of debts.

Sometimes, treating serious illnesses is a huge challenge for villagers.

Some elderly people in the local area are particularly afraid of being hospitalized after experiencing the coldness and loneliness of the ward, and after seeing too many scenes of “old friends” being discharged from the hospital with tubes inserted to prepare for their funerals. For some serious diseases that are difficult to treat, after confirming that even if the operation is successful, they can only live for half a year to two years longer, the elderly (including some younger generations) ask for some painkillers and go home directly to wait for death. advent. It seems that going to the hospital is just to know what disease he is about to die of.

Later, Sister Li started raising pigs and achieved certain profits. Through the recommendation of the village party secretary, I also received some support from the government. She continued to expand the pig farm. But fate is still unfair. One year, swine fever was severe and a large number of pigs died one after another. With great difficulty, she transported the pigs that did not close their eyes after death to the hillside at the end of the village.

When the mud buried the last pig’s eyes that stared at her, it seemed as if her strength had been drained. It took her a long time to get down from the mountain.

At that moment, the sky was gloomy, my heart was empty, and my palms were empty. After being blown by the wind for a while, a slightly trembling hand naturally formed into a fist. She suddenly thought of her two children. She promised her late husband that she would raise her children to adulthood.

Suffering is like a low string, lingering in the ears, making steps difficult.

Soon after, she rented several fish ponds, planted lotus roots, and started her life again.

It was June, the green lotuses were undulating, and the lotus flowers were in full bloom. We found a large lotus pond of more than 50 acres as a shooting location. In this mountain col surrounded by a large number of eucalyptus trees, Ou Pond shows us the most beautiful summer scenery of nature with its large greens and just the right amount of pink.

The sun is clear and the breeze is gentle. Sister Li put on her waders, picked up the bucket, and slowly slid into the water from the corner of the lotus pond.

The lotus leaves gradually became level with the thin eyebrows, and the face that had been tempered by life now had more green and pink to set off. She slowly moved her body in the mud – the same way she had been living in these years. Although she was stuck in the mud, she walked slowly. When she was tired, there were lotus leaves and lotus flowers beside her that made people feel refreshed.

Also caught in the quagmire were the photographer and a photography assistant. He helps protect the cameraman’s movements and the safety of the machine. The cameraman focused on Sister Li’s close-up expression, meticulously. Slowly, he discovered that a different flower suddenly bloomed in the lotus pond in front of him.

A smile slowly appeared on Sister Li’s face, the kind that was more beautiful than a lotus flower. This is a smiling face that has endured many hardships, like a rainbow after the rain, smiling naturally. Everyone on the shore took out their mobile phones to record this rare scene. What I frame is Sister Li holding the lotus flowers lightly and smiling.

Although I am in the mud, I can see mountains, rivers, lotus ponds, and sunshine in my eyes.

This is one of the undertones of life.

During the filming and interview, everyone kept staring at the viewfinder, immersed in Sister Li’s account of the difficult life over the years. But not long after, a strange cry brought us back to reality – Sister Li’s tears flowed down like water drops. I moved my steps and looked at her with tears streaming down my face, feeling a little at a loss.

The director hinted to the photographer to hold still and continue filming. The radio operator and everyone present were moved by her cry and let out an inaudible sigh. For the first time, I felt that crying is also a profound way of expression, containing secrets, pain, sadness, and sadness that cannot be expressed in words. Sister Li’s cry, when the tune is high, is sad but not sad, not indulging, and contains a kind of gentle power.

Crying is the first language of human beings. When I grow up, no matter what I cry for, it always contains an inexplicable tingling feeling towards the world.

After half a month, I wanted to catch up on some footage. The director wants to invite Sister Li to her late husband’s home to shoot some scenes reminiscing about the past. Although I felt like digging into someone’s scars, I still bravely dialed Sister Li’s phone number. She understood the shooting intention, and after a few seconds of silence, she just said softly, “Okay, when?”

The director felt that there should be more stories to be mined from this heaviness and crying. He wanted to use the camera as a “ruler” to measure his miserable life.

My late husband’s former home was opposite my current boyfriend’s village. There was only a six-meter-wide road between them, but she hadn’t been to this abandoned home for a long time. Fallen leaves formed a thick layer in the dilapidated yard. Vaguely visible are a broken chicken coop, an old kettle, a rusty shovel, a cracked water tank, and a stained doll toy.

These objects, together with some things and people, looked dead, but because of Sister Li’s arrival, they now exuded some kind of magic that arouses thoughts.

When she took us into the old house, she was still a little reserved and didn’t know how to stand and cooperate with the shooting. I said, forget that we exist, just like going home. Now tell me what you see and how you feel.

As if dreaming, Sister Li walked into a low house and talked about the experience of working hard to build a kitchen with her husband. Then she walked out of the yard and said that the fruit of this mango tree was very sweet. Her husband used a bamboo pole to knock off the fruit and peel it for her. Remembering the past, I walked to the back of the house, pointed to the barren soil slope, and said that peppers, corn, green beans, sweet potato vines had been planted here…

This place is like a museum with the theme of family and love. Every voice and look is like a strange flower watered by suffering, hidden until today and then blooming. She is a docent and a builder. No one knows the bricks, tiles, trees and houses here better than her, as well as the stories hidden behind them.

This time, Sister Li didn’t cry and was very calm. Really, it’s like coming home.

three

The film crew had to shoot eleven protagonists in fifteen days, so the schedule was quite busy. Loading the truck in the early morning, moving props, and discussing the shooting plan at night, everyone was very busy.

Even so, in the limited camera viewfinder, what can be displayed is limited.

Film crews have their focus and recording points. In my spare time, I also look for people and scenery that belong to my own “viewing frame”.

Once, in a village where cattle were raised, I took a photo of an old man and attached a text to post on Moments. The text is as follows: The three sisters have a combined age of 268. After asking the village party secretary for two cigarettes, they talked freely about those years…

The village party secretary took us to do preliminary location research. When we passed an alley corner, we met three grandmothers sitting on cement benches at the door of a two-story cement building. When they saw the village party secretary, their faces were full of smiles and their eyes were shining. The first thing they said was to ask for cigarettes. The village party secretary was stunned for a moment, but then he laughed a few times, took out the cigarette case from his jacket, and handed it over. They knew that due to the situation and face, the village party secretary, as an old smoker, would definitely give it to him this time if he would not give it to him normally.

They smoked cigarettes comfortably and told old stories in a dialect that I could understand. He sat like a grown man, laughed brightly, and ignored our suspicious glances. He held a cigarette in his hand and talked about life. I looked at this picture over and over again, and slowly tasted the leisurely, indifferent, calm, and even a bit “ruffian” flavor.

As time goes by, they have touched the “ceiling” of life and can be more calm, “let go” and live their own lives.

I am also an old lady, but I saw a different kind of life in the city.

She carried a pile of foam boxes and foam boards and walked slowly on the road. From time to time, she moved the large foam “bag” that was three times larger than her body to the tree-lined trail nearby to rest for a while. She gave way to the passing vehicles, like a giant old turtle with a white shell, humbly giving way to the tin turtles.

Like a dancer out of touch with this fast-paced era, the old woman moved forward slowly. I eagerly took a few photos with my phone.

I am anxious because of the inertia of the times and a side effect of high-intensity work. But the old lady is not in a hurry.

She is slow, powerful, neither impatient nor impatient, and moves forward slowly.

I couldn’t help but think, in this era, which way of life is right, slow or fast? I know that people’s whole life is about balancing this kind of “slowness and fastness”. I also vaguely feel that the embarrassing “fastness” now is for the more leisurely “slowness” in the future.

When filming the documentary protagonist Luo Ge, his old house attracted everyone’s attention.

From the exterior wall, the upper and lower floors of the building have different colors. The first floor is made of blue bricks, while the second floor is made of brighter red bricks.

When he was nine years old, his father set up a kiln and fired enough green bricks to build three houses, and then left. Fourteen years later, my mother finally built a one-story brick house with the money she had saved from raising pigs for many years. Fifteen years later, the three brothers used the money they earned from working in other places to break open the brick roof and build a second floor. So far, after two generations of hard work, this small building in a remote mountain village in the western Daming Mountains has been built.

Brother Luo told me stories about “houses” of different colors in an understatement, but I felt that a brick accidentally fell from the building in front of me, which “pressed” on my heart.

For people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, the two-color bricks in the photo will cause discomfort. But if you know the story behind the “two-color bricks”, you will find these bricks very “attractive”.

This is the meaning of photos. Record and “tell” the story behind it.

Even his father’s dream building couldn’t stop him from going out to work. My father’s greatest ability is to bake bricks well. The wood, cement, steel bars, and labor needed to build a tiled house are still inseparable from money. Brother Luo went to work in other provinces very early, and later met his current wife. It was only through working part-time that I was able to raise two young children.

The house is the residence of life, but sometimes the residence of the heart is elusive and difficult to determine.

I also discovered a special wall. No, to be precise, it’s two walls. On one side is a partially peeling earth wall, and on the other is a red wall made of bricks. The master who laid the brick wall was careful, and the two walls fit together perfectly. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, the owner of the house created this artistic wall.

While I took out my phone to take pictures, I guessed the story behind this “wall”. On one side is the earth wall built by the father who stirred the soil and mixed it with cut straw (partly with rice soup). On the other side is the brick wall built by his son with the wages earned from cutting sugar cane. He has grown up in a mud wall since he was a child. When he gets old, he may also want to die in a mud wall. This is a heritage about “earth”.

From a certain perspective, what the camera captures is a dead subjective form, but people are living, constantly changing images.

In the documentary filmed, there is Sister Qin’s lover who performs artificial respiration for dystocia piglets, Uncle Zhou who raises sheep and grows dendrobium to recuperate from illness, and Sister Chen who takes care of the paralyzed elderly and actively leads the villagers to improve the appearance of the village. I first got to know them from simple written materials, and then they transformed from written characters into vivid video materials.

Life is a polyhedron, not just the part that is photographed. The film crew just arduously walked to the corner of a “big mountain” to record, but they also vaguely felt that the heaviness and magnificence of a “big mountain” went beyond that.

When the camera is turned on, everyone is in a state of tension, whether it is the protagonist, the village leader, or the film crew. Wearing invisible masks, we can’t help but follow the will of the “camera” and “play” with our bodies in more or less interpretations.

In contrast, I like to secretly photograph the protagonist’s life after leaving the camera, and I like to photograph old cows, longan trees, bamboo forests, tractors, sheep, and many unknown plants in the village. This natural state is what I want to record. All these encounters have an inexplicable fate with me.

Encounter is fate, not only for people, but also for scenery and objects. Fate is like the water splashing in the river of destiny. I believe in this fate and try my best to record these people and things that splash and sparkle like flowers in the air.

Four

People who are often trapped in the earth cannot imagine the scenery in the sky.

When shooting a documentary, in addition to the heavy cameras on the ground, there will be light drone shadows in the sky above each shooting point.

On the drone’s remote control screen, the landscape portraits of ten kilometers around the village are condensed in this small box like magic. The drone pilot carefully moved the joystick and slowly climbed to a high altitude, and a magnificent mountain world slowly emerged.

Later, I also learned to fly a drone. Sometimes I am immersed in this feeling of “flying” and enter a subtle feeling of forgetting about things on the ground. From the perspective of the drone, I gradually realized a higher “higher” realm, looked at the land beneath my feet from a God’s perspective, and took many magnificent photos of the scenery.

But I gradually discovered that even if it is a beautifully composed and perfectly retouched landscape piece, if you magnify it a hundred times, you will find that many places are ugly, and you can even see a mosaic of squares.

For life, these “mosaics” are like crazy obsessions.

It’s human nature to magnify details. The root of the pain is the habit of enlarging one’s own “photos”, or even looking at them with a magnifying glass in conjunction with other people’s “photos”.

When you are in pain, the details are not beautiful.

After using the “drone” perspective for a long time to see the sea of ​​sugarcane, mountains and rivers, and the sunset over the long river, I realized that an individual is just an insignificant point on the vast land. The more I “fly”, the more I know that the mountains and rivers are fixed. , people are perishable.

Schopenhauer once said: Our life style is like an oil painting. You can’t see the reason from a close look. To appreciate its beauty, you have to stand a little further away.

Of course, when you go a little further, up to the vast starry sky, and look at the Earth from a place with no other options (such as the Earth’s habitat), you will feel a huge and indescribable sense of loss. Our great blue earth is just a tiny blue dot in the vast universe.

In the history of contemporary photography, there is a very eye-catching photo – “Pale Blue Dot”, which is a photo of the Earth taken by the Voyager 1 space probe on February 14, 1990, about 60 meters away Hundreds of millions of kilometers of space in the universe are directed towards the earth. From this position, looking at our home planet, there is no difference between beauty and ugliness, no hatred or disputes. The boundaries between cities, mountains, rivers, countries and even religions are no longer important. In the embrace of Mother Earth, all living things, including more than seven billion humans, are condensed into a tiny, dim blue dot. Human arrogance and pride, intrigues, and pursuit of fame and fortune, including a large number of social laws and various glories, instantly become humble and ridiculous.

The British philosopher Bertrand Russell mentioned something in his advice to mankind before his death. Regarding morality, the most important thing is to be filled with love rather than hate. What mankind pursues is coexistence, not mutual destruction.

Buddha said, a grain of sand makes a world. We are born in a grain of sand in the desert.

That’s all we have.

A few months later, when the documentary was released, the village under the sky looked like an oil painting. The mountain at the beginning of the film is still the same green mountain, and there is also a large sea of ​​sugar cane in the wilderness, but it does not seem to be the mountains and sea of ​​sugar cane that I know. These subjective shots, created according to the creator’s wishes, have diluted my memory of “countryside”. When I was confused, I looked back at the “trivial” photos on my phone to recall the lovely brothers and sisters I had worked and talked with in the countryside. Memories and photos slowly overlap, and a relatively real world is slowly constructed…

A few years later, I also found a job at a local television station. During the work, I photographed more people and landscapes. There are thousands of images recorded by eyes and machines, and they are always rolling in my mind. How many T-materials will be produced in our lifetime? I had such an interesting question.

But I know that hard drives can get damaged and the human brain can forget a lot of things.

It seems that nothing is eternal. Some people say that people die three times. Biological death, “death” when buried, and the last person in the world who remembered him forgot about him. But in an era of rapid technological development, in theory, as long as the storage server that stores the person’s digital information is not damaged, it may be possible to achieve a certain degree of “immortality.”

Occasionally, I recall Sister Li surrounded by lotus leaves and lotus flowers, Uncle Zhou herding dendrobium on the hillside, and Sister Chen singing folk songs in the pavilion behind the mountain. Their pictures, sometimes embedded in the almond leaves outside the window, rustle and rustle – as if they want to continue a conversation with me. I couldn’t make a sound to respond. I could only vaguely hear the click of the shutter in my mind. It was like drawing a very fine hair between the fingers of a giant – the details of an era were recorded.

I once heard an old man say, when you go to see mountains and rivers, don’t radiate your spiritual consciousness and thoughts to the mountains and rivers. They don’t require any thinking from you. Humans are the most complex creatures. Your excessive attention will, on the contrary, A stain of stains. You should put the mountains and rivers in front of you into your spirit, put the aura, beauty and magnificence of the mountains and rivers into your heart, as well as its mystery and distance, to enrich your spiritual world.

Out of stupidity, while trying to put “landscapes” into my heart, I also used photos to slow down the mountains and rivers I saw.

I have seen the clear sky and the rolling sea of ​​sugarcane from the natural scenery countless times. Every cloud, the outline of the mountain peaks, and even a large mysterious blue sky made my soul tremble. I use photos to record it, just like a pilgrim who comes here covered with dust in an attempt to delay a great miracle. I pressed the shooting button and greedily absorbed every ray of mountain spiritual energy flowing through my body. But I slowly realized that only by crossing the viewfinder can the blood, flesh, bones and even soul in the body become one with the world.

Each person is an independent universe, but is closely connected with the world in front of him.

Occasionally, I will take photos of laughing children, silent old people, and graceful beauties. I will also take one or two selfies with the mountains and rivers as the background. Over the years, the people in my mind and photos are intertwining and overlapping. There are countless faces, both strange and familiar.

Water is similar to water. People are flowing water.

Brother Huang, who sells honey, had contact from time to time in the more than half a year after the filming. When I was filming the scene, I posted some “sweet” photos on WeChat, which attracted some friends. They all entrusted me and Brother Huang to buy honey. Friends will ask on WeChat, is it longan honey or what kind of honey? I thought of what Brother Huang said on the hillside, and responded, “Hundred Flowers Honey.” My friend made a questioning look, and I replied, it’s honey made from many, many flowers.

Then he added: I tasted some in the village, it was sweet and not too spicy.

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