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Weekly Report #09 - Colorless Yu and His Year of Pilgrimage



This article is a record and reflection of my life from 2022-08-22 to 2022-08-28.

There have been some changes in my work this week. I have started a new project that I am interested in and find more challenging. I feel like I can apply what I learned about contracts and underlying chains when I was working from home. A close colleague left the company during the week. He joined a week before me, and the first interface I worked on was the one he taught me. I haven't fully adapted to his departure yet, and I feel a bit emotional.

I met up with a Twitter friend, Homura, over the weekend. He is an interesting and lovely boy. We had a lot of conversations and found many common interests and hobbies. It was a delightful experience. Maybe because I didn't play online games or use social media much before, I didn't know how to make friends online. This meeting was a small change for me (treatment for social anxiety), and I have decided to go out more for photography and enrich my life.

I have also read a lot of books recently and gradually got back on track in life. Interestingly (or perhaps with some inclination), the two books I read this week and the drama I thought of are all about the life and thoughts of an ordinary person. They have sparked a lot of thinking about fun, mediocrity, and self.

In addition, a tweet from Manjusaka triggered some memories and thoughts about charity and kindness.

Colorless Yu and His Year of Pilgrimage#


This title is taken from Haruki Murakami's "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage," a long and somewhat obscure name. I saw him reading Murakami's "Kafka on the Shore" when I met up with Homura at the bookstore, which reminded me that I wanted to catch up on Murakami's books.

I really liked his writing style when I read "1Q84" and "Norwegian Wood." It felt plain and had a storytelling charm, mixed with imaginative metaphors. But what I like most is his essays and notes. In "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running," there are many thought-provoking reflections. After reading it, I was motivated to run during a winter vacation.

The Wansheng Bookstore in Beijing looks run-down from the outside. I even confirmed the location on the map several times before finding the entrance in an inconspicuous place next to it. Inside, there are bookshelves everywhere, not neatly arranged but still aesthetically pleasing. Following the entrance I found in a small corner nearby, I discovered the literature section. It's like finding a hidden paradise, a fascinating place that reminded me of many old bookstores in Hong Kong.

I immediately found the bookshelf where Murakami's books were located. I randomly picked up "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage" and also grabbed a copy of "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running." After some hesitation, I decided to read the former first. The name, which is somewhat obscure, piqued my curiosity. Afternoon is a better time for reading novels, and as I read the first few pages, I felt a familiar taste.

Although I read it quickly and didn't take many notes while reading novels, I remembered a few interesting points. First, the interpretation and exploration of names. When his parents named him, they struggled between "Tsukuru Tazaki" and "Tsukuru Saku." They eventually chose the former, which only requires "making" and not the pressure of "creating." It already had a good meaning, but because the names of the other four people in his small group and the close friends he met later all coincidentally included color words like "red," "blue," "black," "white," and "gray," he felt like a person without personality, a colorless existence.

In fact, I often complain about my own name. In the drama "Reply 1988," Deok-sun also complained to her parents that her name is not unique and not as special as her sister Bo-ra. I have also had thoughts like this. It seems that my name is short and lacks uniqueness. In addition, it is one of several common surnames, so I often encounter many people with the same name in school. Along with that, I often need to make extra efforts to leave a lasting impression.

Although I have reconciled with myself later, it seems that I always feel that my life is no longer interesting. I always envy others' interesting personalities and experiences. Even when I do well, I only feel like I am fulfilling my duty in this ordinary life, or that these things do not belong to me. There is a symptom in psychology called "imposter syndrome," which seems to describe this well. I once read an article about engineering professionalism that mentioned this:


As I grow older and gain more experience, this tendency seems to become more pronounced. Pursuing fun has become an elusive obsession, but even when others comment that I am experienced or interesting, I always have doubts. The character Tsukuru Tazaki in the book seems to be in a similar state. He is doing the station construction work that he has always been interested in, but still feels that he is missing something, and he attributes it to his lack of color.

People always tend to form groups at different stages, but once they rely on a group, they inevitably face pressure and setbacks from relationships. In college, I had a group of four people, two boys and two girls, who were always together. Whenever the counselor or classmates found that someone was missing, they would naturally ask the others.

But after a while, I felt the pressure. The other three seemed to be more prominent figures in the crowd, always shining, while I seemed to lack a sense of presence. I didn't want to be the extra person who clung to the group out of habit. So I started to deliberately avoid and escape. Of course, I didn't know how to hide my poor performance, and I was soon discovered.

I can say that I was lucky compared to Tsukuru Tazaki. I wasn't abandoned or misunderstood. The other three cornered me outside the boys' dormitory one night and made me speak out about my concerns. They responded to my questions about personality and presence, and although I still felt comforted, I felt that my emotions were taken seriously. Our relationship was cherished. Although we have had fewer opportunities to do things together due to the city and many other reasons, we still maintain good contact, and each of us is the first person the others think of when visiting the city where one of us lives.

Currently, I am in another three-person relationship, with two close friends from middle school. Although it may not be considered childhood friends, we are even closer. Because we are in different cities, I often think about the foundation, direction, and balance of this relationship. Although there may be some changes and challenges in the future, I am gradually willing to make more efforts and explore more.

"Stoner" also describes many aspects of life, mediocrity, and the perfection of personality. However, the topic is quite extensive, and I may talk about it together with "Normal People" in the future.

Kindness and Charity#

Last week, I saw a tweet from Manjusaka:

Sharing some good news with everyone.

A student in Daliang Mountain, whom my sister and I sponsored, has successfully been admitted to a decent public college on the east coast. Although a college education may not be worth mentioning for many people, for children in Daliang Mountain, taking this first step requires a lot of effort.

Welcome everyone to sponsor students together, after all,

#Education is the best charity.

Later, I also learned about the organization "One School" and plan to follow up and support a student through one-on-one assistance.

Actually, I find it difficult to attribute these actions to the noble meaning of "charity." I have also had moments when I boasted or used them as topics of conversation.

The year after the college entrance examination, I went to a mountain village in Hunan with a close friend to teach. We participated in some activities, taught some classes, and met a group of lovely children. Then we left in a hurry. Later, when I started college, there was a discussion in the class group about teaching in rural areas. At that time, I mentioned this experience (perhaps with a hint of pride, "Look! I have done such a thing"). One classmate's reply impressed me. I can't remember the exact words, but the essence was questioning whether these waves of volunteer teachers brought their own purposes and allowed those children to see the outside world, giving them more imagination and warmth, but then leaving in a hurry, never to return to that place, and life will never intersect again. What is more beneficial or harmful compared to the so-called "knowledge" that was briefly conveyed.

I can't remember the subsequent discussions, but I think I just said, with a lingering attachment to those children, "I will have a chance to visit them again." That was in 2015, and seven years have passed. I have never been back, and she was right.

Afterwards, I treated such things with great caution and no longer dared to call them charity, fearing that I was doing them out of vanity for my own satisfaction. In my memory, I only made a slightly larger donation when the department's volunteer teaching group called for money to buy winter clothes.

When I saw Manjusaka's tweet, I felt genuinely happy and hoped that I could do more in this way.


This section will record my input and output as well as other interesting things.



  • Work, Consumerism, and the New Poor: Whether in the era of work ethics or later consumerism, even with the lofty words of ethics and morality, the poor have always been just a symbol and have never been truly recognized as a group. The changing rules and different attitudes are just the ways each society chooses and allows at that stage. Even if value is attributed to the poor, it is still a condescending act of charity.
  • The Nine-Square Writing Method: A small book, concise and with an attractive writing style. I used to dislike reading books like "how to read/write," but as I started updating my blog, I often felt the limitations of expression. It was enlightening, especially in terms of information collection and organization. In my practice, I combined it with Logseq's daily notes to generate more ideas for writing.
  • Stoner: I read it hastily in high school, and recently reread it with many new feelings. I don't know if it's because the characters are all literature majors, but when I read it, I thought of "Normal People." I have been increasingly fond of the plain writing style that portrays ordinary life and the attitude towards life it conveys. Maybe I'm getting older (although it sounds a bit pretentious).
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A rare physical book that I read in one breath recently. Murakami's words always have such magic. They seem to describe trivial matters and random thoughts, but they attract people to explore the connections between various elements. This book mainly deals with the breakdown of friendship and loss. It made me think of a three-person group I am in, and I, who relied too much on it, may no longer be able to bear the cost of losing it. However, as life and time pass, there are more things we need to face.

TV Shows#

  • Five Days in a Hospital: I have watched more than half of it. It tells the story of some events during Hurricane Katrina in the United States, which inevitably reminds me of some things during the Wuhan epidemic.
  • House of the Dragon: A prequel to Game of Thrones. I have only watched one episode, and the impression is average.


  • Hidden Life: At first, I thought of "Nomadland." The scene in the rain was both touching and heartbreaking. I silently prayed that suffering would not come, but it was of no avail. However, there were not many traces of rendering suffering in the two hours of quietly watching the movie. Perhaps this is the true face of suffering for Chinese people, generation after generation repeating the same mistakes.


  • Re-Main: I am even reluctant to see it end. It's rare to have a series with 20 episodes and still look forward to the future development. Please don't let it have an unsatisfactory ending.


  • Octopath Traveler: I played it for a while on weekday evenings when I had free time. The experience of high-definition pixel art is quite good.
  • Disco Elysium: I was sick this week and didn't play it.
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