Yutang Lin

To please the audience, playing funny in every turn;
Personal feelings not in tune are forced to leave out.
Social encounters are often similarly acted through;
Hardship and sorrow of one's situation, who knows?


Comedians act funny and exaggerated just to win laughter from the audience. Reflecting afterwards in quietude, I realize that the feelings and situations of the actors could hardly be much different from those of the common folks. There must be some hardship and sorrow hidden under the surface. From a broader perspective, worldly encounters and engagements are often similarly enacted as the superficial acting of actors on stage. "Play is like life, and life is like play"; is this what it means?

Written in Chinese on October 23, 2002
Translated on October 31, 2002
El Cerrito, California

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