Genre: Environment Improvisation
---Before “Twelve Moods”
As far as I could remember, it was about a noon in the summer of 2004, when I fell asleep under the roof of the Mahavir Palace of Fa Xi Zen Temple at Hangzhou. I didn’t notice it at all.
I hadn’t prepared for an experience of listening to the rain under the roof of a temple before I went there. For quite a long time afterwards, and even nowadays, I can clearly remember the rain – I saw it coming in a line from the other side of the mountain, and then the sounds of the rain washing the forests, and the smell of soils rising in the summer rain.
The smoke from the incensory alone was not psychedelic enough to produce chemical refraction visually and aurally. The rising water air mixture in the forests also contributed a lot. At least to me, the sounds of monks’ chanting the sutras seemed to cover the whole temple, mountain and forest along with the smoke. Also my ears, which lost their shape, were becoming omnipresent—in the forest surrounding by the rain, over the temple—listening and enjoying very slowly.
To the whole scene in front of me at that moment, I thought the best choice would be sleeping. Actually, I fell asleep even before I thought of the word “choice”.
I know such a rain in the mountain is as ordinary as every drop in it. Similar memories could be found in my hometown or in wild fields of old days, and not only once. I also know that my presence made the rain that for the whole universe be mine. And then, it was filtered into a memory like a long shot.
Minds of improvising with the rain did come out for several times since then. But it was only minds, and minds, and time passed. And it was not only once.
So there was the winter night of 2008.
It was such a wet winter that all the rains of the whole year seemed to pour in the season. For quite a few days, I slept in the cold and wet bed without any interest to do or eat anything to please myself.
Compared with the rain of four years ago, the rain of this winter is much more real. Every drop of it on the ground, the leaves and the roof, is so clear and strong that it seems to have its own identity.
In the night, I could not see tem. But the authentic feelings that I could almost touch the rain made me feel that it might be the best opportunity for me to play and improvise with it. That is the story. When I participated into them, their identity was much clearer than ever.
Now when I think of the rain, it is still the rain in the Fa Xi Zen temple. Each detail of it is as clear as a dream most worthy to remember in my whole life.
And about the rain in the winter of 2008, which didn’t need to be stored in any memory, only existed for that moment.