“Esto no es una elegia,” Silvio sang to me for the first time in 2007… and indeed it was not an elegy. He merely marked the beginning of a very ordinary ten year journey that lead me rather extraordinarily to the front row of last night’s spectacle of time and space. No longer a semi-child interrogated, my dreams no longer hijacked by the small minded evaluations of who I am and who I am not, I watched as red melodies wove around intersecting lives.
When I arrived in Shanghai in December I wrote:
“There’s a nagging fantasy from deep in the recesses of my memory, though. Separate from my new daily activities and from the old too. It plays like a bad 80s music video, with brown Mongolian faces, mullets, the stench of cigarettes and the unmistakeable smell of worn leather of the punk leather jackets. I am watching them, I am meeting with them, they are standing in front of a car. Red perhaps. There’s fog. I can smell the cold smog so distinctly Mongolian. They and I, we do not speak but only look at each other seriously, with familiar recognition. I can trace this imagination back to my mother’s youth perhaps, but how would I know if I wasn’t there?”
Then I concluded:
“As far as China, I only know that I don’t know the good, the bad, and the ugly that awaits me here. At least I’ll be kept on my toes, stimulated and kept captivated… and if ever I do erupt like a dormant volcano, may God have mercy on me so I create archipelagos. Who knows, maybe I’ll find my 80s Mongolian punk rock gang in the middle of the Shanghai fog beckoning me on to unearth a new dream.”
And in an almost a fantastic turn of events, I found them. I’d traveled through the river of Space and Time, hopping over leftover pieces of expiring Hopes and Dreams to arrive at this moment in time where the true elegy was perpetually happening ten years on since Silvio. The morin khuur screeched melodically with the horde of damning crescendoes to set me free. In that moment the Past and Present selves had themselves a final battle. Skin, bones, and chains rattled until suddenly they both disappeared into the wind. Indeed, an elegy.