Advanced manual storytelling 02
My grandpa was a very timid guy. When he was about 25 year old, right after he got married with my grandma, his father sent him to the army, to train him to become a stronger and better man. After he joined the Chinese red army, he was assigned to serve at Vietnam war. He served in the army for about one year, got involved with small and big warfare with American army. everything is going intense, many of his fellowmen died in the field. One day, his company of troop got involved fighting with American army in a highland occupation in a village. American army threw bombs one by one from the air, my grandpa hided himself in a deep ditch with three of his fellowmen. He didn’t know how many bombs were thrown from the above. He was too afraid to move himself. Suddenly, one bomb landed right in front of the ditch he stayed in. he saw blood coming out of his fellow soldiers’ heads, arms and legs. He cannot feel his own body and he cannot move himself at all. The air was filled with strong smell of rotting flesh. He thought he was going to die soon.
His mind is flying away from his body, flying higher and higher. His mind is watching him from the above. His body is down there surrounded by hundreds of his fellow dead soldiers. His mind seems to be functioning in a hyper-lucid fashion. He feels fully alive, everything happened to him in his 25-year-life come back to his mind in a reverse chronological order. A timid guy was sent to the red army by his dad; his beautiful daughter was born in a hot summer; he was dating a woman sitting under a big tree and chatting; he was dating another woman under the same big tree and chatting; he went to a high school and being shy back in the classroom, staying quiet all the time…
As the life occasions go back to his mind, his attention is drawn to a black hole; he found himself moving through this black hole-without a body but with a strong sense of motion, this blackness is gradually becoming black a tunnel. As he approaches the end of the tunnel, he becomes aware of a pinpoint of light. This light quickly grows bigger and brighter and becomes more effulgent. It is an extremely brilliant light-golden white-but it absolutely does not hurt his eyes at all. As he moves closer to the light, he feels a sense of pure love, penetrating to the very core of his being. He is in total immersion in this light. All time stops; this timid soldier feel he is home again in the light.
In the midst of the timeless love, my grandpa becomes aware of a kind of presence. It is not a person, but it is a being of some kind. the presence informs you that you must make a decision whether to remain in the black tunnel or to go back to his body surrounded by his dead fellow soldiers. He does not want to go back to the dead body, he wants to stay in the love, seeing his life occasions simultaneously with those sharp images, everything that has ever happened to him in his life. There is no sense of judgment of himself. As this patterned fabric of your life unravels before you, he grasps the essential meaning of his life and he feels this true self, who does not care about how other people see him, either a shy guy or a timid soldier.
Suddenly his body and mind come together, to the real world. The reality is he was still alive, surrounded by dead bodies. The American airforce flied away. At the end of the day, all soldier bodies were shipped to another area. My grandpa pretended as a dead soldier and stayed with the cluster of bodies overnight. In the next morning, he ran away as fast as he could from the deadly quiet village and got his way back home.
He realized this is the most profound thing that has ever happened to him. He feels he started to understand his life, life will never again be the same. He wished he could talk to somebody about it, but who could understand, it was hard for a shy guy to find words adequate to describe it. But, I, as his granddaughter who was born 30 years later, feel his sensation when he was dying two years ago. I wasn’t with him physically, but mentally I have a feeling of extreme peace, pure silence and tremendous well-being.