An Unexpected Strike of Homesickness 遊子吟

An Unexpected Strike of Homesickness 遊子吟

Today my sister in China sent me a photo, saying that she had met a classmate of mine recently whose surname was Zhang. She said Mr. Zhang asked her to pass on his greetings to me, but she had somehow forgotten his first name. She assumed that I would know who he was when I saw his photo.
今天身在中國的妹妹給我發來一張照片,說是剛見過我一個姓張的同學,他向我問好。不過她忘了他的名字了。她想我看到照片一定會認出他,並記起他的名字來。
I looked at the photo of a grey-hair man with a lot of wrinkles on his face for a long time, but couldn’t remember who he was, or what his name was whatsoever. So I replied to my sister and jokingly said, “Sorry, I don’t know this grandpa. Please thank him for me and don’t tell him this…”
我看著照片上那個頭髮稀疏花白,眼角皺紋老多的中年男子,卻怎麼也想不起他是誰,更想不出他的名字叫什麼了,於是以開玩笑的口吻給妹妹回信說:「不好意思,這個姓張的老大爺,我想不起來是誰了。不過你別說出去,就跟他說問好收到了,替我謝謝他!」
Then I remember that another classmate told a while ago that 2018 would our 30th anniversary of graduation from Peking University. Some alumni were preparing a big “go back” gathering in Beijing, and all alumni who graduated in 1988 were invited. 
I said, “Oh, how exciting! But, I’m afraid that I will have to miss it because…”
然後我想起不久前另有北大同學告訴我,明年是我們這屆校友畢業30週年的「大日子」,已經有人在張羅著要搞個「大團聚」了。
我問他在哪裏「團聚」,他說,當然在北大啊。我說:「那很遺憾,我參加不了了。」
He didn’t ask why, as he knew the answer. He knew that because I practiced Falun Gong, I couldn’t go back to China, because the persecution is still going on.
他沒再問爲什麼,因爲他知道我修煉法輪功。中共對法輪功的迫害仍在進行,當然我不能回去。
But I didn’t feel particularly upset then, not until today, when I saw a photo of a classmate who looked like a “grandpa”, and whom I couldn’t recognize. Then I realized for how long I had been driven out of my homeland, for how long I hadn’t been able to see my old friends and classmates, and for how long this persecution had lasted…
And I ask in tears, “China, my dear China, when will you allow me to go back?”
那天也沒覺得什麼,不回去就不回去。
但是,今天,當我看到一張看著像個「老大爺」的同學的照片,卻怎麼也想不起他是誰的時候,才突然驚覺:我已經太長時間沒見過老同學們了啊,以致他們的臉都老得讓我認不出了……
突如其來的,我就流淚了……
我的故友家園,何時能再相見?

 Jennifer and her daughter in Hebei Province, in China, in May, 2004. Story behind this photo here:  https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.zeng1/posts/1391080804280902   曾錚與女兒2004年5月於河北某處。故事請見 :https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.zeng1/posts/1391080804280902

Jennifer and her daughter in Hebei Province, in China, in May, 2004. Story behind this photo here: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.zeng1/posts/1391080804280902  曾錚與女兒2004年5月於河北某處。故事請見:https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.zeng1/posts/1391080804280902

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