Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Epilogue *NOVEL COMPLETED*

74 Comments

Side Note: While there has been no official announcement, the station that bought the airing rights for Go Go Squid! (drama adaptation of the novel, Stewed Squid with Honey) has created a page for the drama and put the airing date as January 1, 2019. Take this with a grain of salt and wait for the official news, but that gives you an approximate idea.

We have come to the end of The Healing Sunshine‘s translation. I’ve shed many tears for it as I had to immerse myself in it more than ever in order to hopefully, in translation, capture all those emotions that are within the novel. And so, exhausted, joyful that this couple has been given a happy ending, slightly melancholic over what they have gone through and what they will have to face in the future with Jì Chengyang’s health, and rather sad as I’m going to miss this couple, I bid farewell to Xixi and Little Uncle Jì. Hopefully you have enjoyed the story and perhaps, like me, have felt for not just the leads of the story but the other characters as well. Thank you for those who have come with me as I also walked alongside Xixi in her growth journey. I appreciate all the support you have given, love your comments, and am grateful to just have you guys around. 🙂 Post includes the epilogue, the author’s afterword, and some remarks from me to close off this project.

This is a heartwrenching epilogue, but in some ways, it provides closure. We now have a glimpse into some of the details we were missing before.

Epilogue — The Light at Darkness’s End

This story was translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or reposting are not authorized. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the copy is unauthorized and has been taken without consent of the translator.

 

May 21, 2003

Jì Chengyang

“I love you. I especially love you.” Jǐ Yi’s voice came from the other end of the phone.

For one instant, his hand paused.

In this moment, he felt he was not in Iraq and, rather, was in Beijing, in his home by the Third Ring Road. His little lady had, with immense earnestness, finished playing the song, “Angel,” and now, shyly turning around, was gazing at him as she said, “I love you. I especially love you.”

And then, there surely would be a very cute cake with the right number of candles on it.

The light of the candles’ flames would shine upon his little lady’s face and those eyes that captivated his soul and filled his dreams.

 

Someone unexpectedly knocked on the door. “Yang.”

His roommate was calling his name, interrupting this brief moment in which he had allowed his mind to wander.

Before he hurriedly hung up the phone, he told Jǐ Yi, “I may be calling you less and less. When I can, I’ll contact you through email.”

He very quickly heard her reply, “Mm-hmm. Happy birthday.”

“Hanging up now,” he said.

Because there was no time. He absolutely needed to leave this room right now to go do his work.

They had been here for a long time already, but still they had never gotten the opportunity to interview anyone from the American side. This was a current situation that was very frustrating and dispiriting. Although Bush had already announced on May 1 that the major combat operations in Iraq had ended[1], it was clear to Jì Chengyang and his roommate that this war had only just begun.

And they still had much to do.

Grabbing his jacket from the bed where he had tossed it, he pulled open the door and stepped out. His roommate very soon told him that there was an opportunity to get an interview with the American side. “Tonight, we’ll head through the night to Baghdad. I have a friend there,” his roommate said.

He suddenly noticed his roommate was actually wearing, beneath his jacket, a shirt from their university days. On it, there was even their school’s emblem.

“So sentimental about the past? You’ve still kept this shirt?”

His roommate laughed. “Yup, sentimental. I’m preserving the passion of my student days.”

Jì Chengyang did not say much else The two took five minutes to gather their things, and then, pulling their bags onto their backs, they left this little hotel along with two other journalists who were from the United Kingdom and the United States.

There was a seven-hour driving distance between here and Baghdad, and at all times there was a risk of encountering armed conflict along the way. It was extremely perilous. The four of them searched for a long time before finally finding an Iraqi man, in his fifties, willing to take them there. Jì Chengyang swiftly discussed and agreed on a price with the man. Then, everyone jumped up into the vehicle and, in this dark night, headed out of the city.

Before long, the vehicle drove into the even blacker night on the city’s outside.

As he cast his eyes beyond the window, he could see, near and far from them, only the road, a brook, and ruins left behind from the war.

The two foreign journalists beside him were conversing in low tones. “You still haven’t eaten dinner today?”

“Yeah. My stomach’s cramping a bit. Yesterday, I finished the bread that was in my bag. When we get to where we’re going, I’m going to eat a nice, big meal.”

Since the start of the Iraq War, this was the general state of all journalists: They were constantly following the developments on the battlefield, often pushing through and continuing for more than twenty hours at a time. Furthermore, in order to be able to deal with any sudden dangers that might arise, their nerves were always taut. Forgetting to eat was, naturally, then, a very commonplace occurrence.

 

Rocking and jolting, the vehicle drove along for two hours. He was somewhat fatigued, so after conferring with his roommate about the timing of when they would rotate for the other person to rest, he pulled up his jacket until it covered his face and quickly slipped into a state of sleep.

A massive booming sound all of a sudden reverberated into his ears. The echoes of the sweeping fire of machine guns, the roar of explosions, and the high, ear-piercing screams and terrified shouts of people came assailing them from all directions. Their vehicle abruptly stopped.

 

Jǐ Yi

She lowered the white cloth covering the piano.

She wondered how long Jì Chengyang had used this piano. Even now, it still looked very new. Thinking about it, though, it did make sense. Since he became a war correspondent, he had been travelling from place to place and had not really had any opportunity to stay at home for long periods of time. And even when he did return, he likely did not have many moments where he could sit down quietly and play the piano.

Jǐ Yi could not imagine how an eight-year-old Jì Chengyang would play piano, or how he had taken first place in a high-profile competition.

Standing up, she exhaled a long breath.

What should she do next?

It was too bad. She had originally thought she would be able to talk on the phone a little longer with him and say a few more words.

After a couple of aimless back-and-forth steps, she picked up the book by her hand and pulled out the bookmark, which had happened to be covering these words beneath it:

“… the great war photographer, Robert Capa’s famous quote: ‘If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough…’”

<>This is a copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. It would sincerely be appreciated if you would support this translation by reading it on that site instead. Thank you.

May 23, 2003

Jì Chengyang

Last night, he and the other journalists had arrived at this hospital.

As a result of that sudden outbreak of local conflict, that Iraqi man had backed out, and no matter how much money they offered, he was still unwilling to continue going forth on the journey with them. The four of them, therefore, could only get off the vehicle, and only after travelling by foot for an entire night did they at last come upon a hospital that had doctors in it.

In a war zone, a hospital is the place most able to give people a sense of safety and security.

“I come from China.” While adjusting his camera, Jì Chengyang smilingly chatted with the several children around him.

“I know. A few years ago, some doctors came here. One of them was from China,” a thirteen-year-old boy answered, and then beaming, the boy sang a few lines from a song. He was vaguely able to discern the lyrics to be “In the faraway East, there is a dragon.[2]

Jì Chengyang did not really listen to pop music. However, though he did not know who sang this song, he knew it sang about his homeland.

“That doctor taught you this, too?”

“Yup. The way the doctor sang it was really funny.”

While the two of them were talking, the other three children near them suddenly burst out in guffaws. It turned out one of them had been mimicking the sound of a mortar, an artillery weapon which fires explosive shells, and because his imitation was so realistic, the nurse who had walked in had thought it was real and had anxiously hurried to tell patients to evacuate from there. Only when she noticed that everyone was staring at her and laughing did the nurse finally catch on that she had been tricked.

 

It was the hour of the day when the sunlight was at its best. The entire ward teemed with laughter.

Jì Chengyang took a photograph of the youth who had just sung, “In the faraway East, there is a dragon.” Inside the frame of his camera lens, the side profile of the youth’s face was so distinct, and his eyes held the imprint of sunshine.

Right then, his roommate beckoned to him from the doorway.

Seeing this, he took his camera and stepped out, and they walked together into the courtyard to have a smoke.

He tried seven or eight times to get the lighter going, but no flame appeared. From the looks of it, it was out of fuel. “I wonder what places nearby sell lighters.” Bouncing the lighter on his upturned palm a couple of times, he said in English, “While we’re at it, we’ll buy some lunch.”

His roommate had no objections.

And so, the two walked out from the courtyard. Before they had taken two steps outside, though, his roommate abruptly grabbed him by the arm and yanked him into a newly-dug trench. At the same time, exploding shrapnel was already falling on the spot five metres in front of them.

They had not even gotten to take a gasp of air before the sound of firing mortars began resounding in their ears.

Lying on their bellies in the trench, the two hurriedly exchanged a look. They could both tell that the sound was coming from the hospital. There were still doctors, nurses, and many children in there, as well as the two foreign journalists, who had been taking a midday rest…

 

Shells rained down, one after the other, all of them falling not far from where the two of them lay.

Sand and dirt continuously flew up and sprayed them.

Amidst the thunderous roars, Jì Chengyang could feel that his entire body was being covered in sandy dirt. His eyes and clothing and even his mouth had sand in it. There was a chance that, within the next minute, he would end up being buried here.

Since entering Iraq, this was his fourth time having such a close brush with death.

It would not be the first time, nor would it be the last.

After collecting and clearing his thoughts, he tried as best as he could to calm himself, waiting completely in the sandy dirt and not daring to shift his body in the slightest, for fear he would be made the next target of attack. It was not until five minutes later, when there were no more sounds of exploding shells, that his roommate beside him at last gingerly shifted his body and, all the while spitting incessantly, asked, “Yang, how are you doing?”

“Not hurt.” He gave this brief answer. There were still grains of sand between his teeth.

“If we had ended up being buried here, it would have even saved the need for a grave.”

“Forget that.” Jì Chengyang spat out the sand in his mouth. “Even if I am to be buried, it has to be in the place of my roots.”

Their bodies covered in dirt, they both crawled out from that trench, which had nearly been completely filled up with sand. Everywhere their gazes could reach, there were ruins left after the explosions, and for a moment, they could not even find the way back to the hospital.

After walking for approximately two minutes, when they turned a corner, he felt a sudden, sharp pain in his ribs. But the next instant, he lost all consciousness.

 

Jǐ Yi

The large lecture class had already come to an end.

Jǐ Yi could not be bothered to get up. This time of day was when the dining hall had the most people in it. If you waited half an hour and then went, even though there would be fewer selections of food, there would also be fewer people. She was not picky about what she ate anyway, and it was fine to her to eat whatever was remaining.

Sprawling her upper body on the desk, she turned her head to the side and stared, somewhat lost in thought, at the tree leaves outside the window.

They were lush and green and swayed tremblingly in the breeze.

Refracting the sunlight.

 

Sunlight [yang guang].

Yang[3].

“Jì Chengyang…” she said to herself. Then, changing to a different tone, she quietly murmured something else. “Little Uncle Jì.”

Somehow, she felt that the latter three words made her feel especially bashful. She felt her cheeks were a little hot, and there also was a slight tickly sensation in her ears as they inexplicably began to burn up.

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only

June 1, 2003

Jì Chengyang

The high fever would not break. The gunshot wound, plus the wounds that came from being severely beaten, was inflamed.

In his half-conscious state, Jì Chengyang felt a cool sensation spread outwards from his right hand. In his gaze, he hazily could make out a girl adeptly hanging a plastic bottle, which contained anti-inflammatory medicine, on the wall, and then she lowered her head to glance at him.

 

Jǐ Yi

She discovered that Jì Chengyang had not contacted her for ten days already.

Nuannuan said that in the past, he had always been like this as well. Because of the instability of things in a war zone, Jì Chengyang every time would find a suitable place before he would call or send an email home. In short, you could only wait for him to contact you; there were absolutely no means for you to contact him.

<>Please support this translation by reading it at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, its actual site of posting. It would be greatly appreciated if you would do so. Thank you.

February 14, 2004

Jì Chengyang

He did not know what these people wanted to do. They wanted no ransom, nor would they negotiate with the government.

Since being held captive here, he had not seen his roommate, who had been taken prisoner at the same time as him.

 

In this room with him was also a journalist from Italy. This person’s English was not very good, so Jì Chengyang could only speak to him in sentences put together from simple English words.

He was unable to work out the days and did not know what date it was today.

He only knew that in China, it should be winter now.

“I have a wife.” The Italian suddenly spoke. “About four months haven’t seen her. You?”

“Me?” His lips moved ever so slightly. The pain from his broken femur made even speaking seem strenuous.

These days, whenever he thought of Xixi, for some reason, he would always feel his eyes start to sting.

He raised his arm to cover his eyes slightly.

And it was this action that caused him to remember that late winter night many years ago in the mountain area of Sichuan. He had awoken to find that a light was still illuminated in the room. Because his eyes had not yet adjusted, he had also covered them slightly with his arm like this. And at the time, beneath the lamp’s glow, that little girl’s head had been bowed as she solemnly mended his jacket, one stitch at a time.

“I have a wife, too. She’s a lot younger than me,” he answered. “We haven’t seen each other since May of 2003.”

 

Jǐ Yi

That day, she and her old classmates had all gone together to visit Class Prefect.

That Class Prefect who came from a poor family, whose head had been shaved due to having had surgery for his lung cancer, and whose lips and face were pale, had still smilingly chitchatted with them and refused to accept the financial aid offered by his classmates…

Jǐ Yi felt especially pained with sorrow.

When she returned to her school, she wrote an email to Jì Chengyang, pouring out her heart to him about this matter regarding Class Prefect.

She felt that fate was unfair. This was plainly an outstanding and good person who had done nothing bad. Why had he suddenly gotten an incurable disease?

At the end of the letter, she still wrote this:

Love you,
Xixi.

 

Very quickly, she received his automatic email reply in her inbox.

As Jǐ Yi stared at that inbox filled with his automatic replies, she felt an empty type of sorrow. She suddenly felt that Jì Chengyang was so very far from her, so far that there practically was no more connection between them.

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only

July 19, 2005

Jì Chengyang

With the passage into summer, sweltering temperatures made it even more difficult for his wounds to heal.

The pain from his wounds, along with his continuous high fever that would not break, caused a rapid decline in Jì Chengyang’s ability to think. All of him was extremely weak, be it his body or his mind. Strangely enough, though, the images that he was able to conjure up from his memory were becoming increasingly peaceful and heartwarming.

Could it be it was because death was near?

Most of what he could remember were fragments of memories, bits and pieces of little details. For instance, when Xixi cried, she would always only let out intermittent little sobs and had never really made any loud cries. Or for instance, as she leaned back against him in his arms and watched television serial dramas, she always liked to do a little summary after each episode, as if only after she had summed it up would she be considered to have completely finished watching that drama…

On this night, for the very first time, those people actually took him out of that room.

In that house where all the windows were sealed up, he had seen no light, so now, as he suddenly came out of that space that was filled with darkness, the moon actually felt strange and unfamiliar to him.

“That person there, you translate for him.” The man holding a gun beside him motioned the gun in the direction of a blond-haired man who was kneeling on the open ground up ahead. Jì Chengyang brought his gaze to that spot. Before he had a chance to clearly hear what the gun-wielding man had to say next, his entire body froze completely.

He could see that behind the blond man, there were also two headless corpses.

And embroidered on the chest of the shirt of one of them was his university’s emblem…

 

Jǐ Yi

Hugging her knees, she crouched in that empty corridor, choked with sobs. Her fingers dug at the floor. Tears tumbled onto her arm, then flowed down over the back of her hand and onto the ground, dampening a large piece of it.

She really wanted to go inside. Today, she especially wanted to go into this home.

But she didn’t have the key. She would never be able to go inside there again…

<>It would be sincerely appreciated if you would read this translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the actual site of posting, instead. Thank you.

February 12, 2006

Jì Chengyang

Everywhere, there were the sounds of explosions and gunfire.

Government forces were exchanging fire with those people, attempting to rescue a British hostage…

Jì Chengyang, his upper body bound, lay near a wall. Sand and dirt were being relentlessly shaken from the surface of the wall, dropping down to the wall’s bottom edge and also on top of him. The multiple breaks in his bones, as well as his internal injuries from the beatings he had suffered, had long since left his body so frail it could not withstand a single blow. Though he could hear the shooting sounds that were so very close, he was utterly unable to shift himself even one inch towards the foot of the wall to take shelter from the bullets.

“When they break through, kill everyone.”

Kill everyone?

Jì Chengyang could understand this sentence.

The man holding the gun was in a rather wretched state from being beaten, and to vent his rage, he gave a vicious kick into Jì Chengyang’s thigh that had had its bone repeatedly re-broken.

Blackness exploded before his vision. All consciousness left him…

 

Jǐ Yi

The Lantern Festival happened to be two days before everyone was to return to school.

Inside her dormitory, there was only a person from the province of Hubei who had come back to school early and right now was standing on the balcony making a phone call home.

Jǐ Yi sat somewhat aimlessly in front of her computer, a webpage open before her, but she really did not know what she was doing. As if a supernatural presence was directing her, she went onto the website of the television station where he had once worked… Soon, though, her hand ceased its action, and she speedily closed the webpage.

<>This translation’s actual site of posting is on Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Please support it by reading it there instead. Thank you.

January 2, 2007

Jì Chengyang

In an inpatient room of a certain hospital in Jordan, there lay a patient in a comatose state.

It was a black-haired Asian man.

Reportedly, he was brought here from Iraq. After he arrived here, he had woken once, but when asked his name, before he could even give an answer, he had sunk into unconsciousness again…

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only

[1] Here is a news article on this event.

[2] 遥远的东方有一条龙. This is approximately a line from the song 《龙的传人》The Descendants of the Dragon. The song was first released in 1978 and sung by Li Jianfu. Then, in the year 2000, Wang Leehom released a cover of it (which, based on timing, is likely the one Jì Chengyang is thinking about). I say this is “approximately” a line from the song, because the line the boy sings actually never appears in the song itself and seems to have mixed together two of the lines from the song: 遥远的东方有一条江 “In the faraway East there is a river” and 古老的东方有一条龙 “In the ancient East there is a dragon.” There is a translation of the lyrics of both the original song and the cover by Wang Leehom here.

[3] The character 阳 “yang” in Jì Chengyang’s name is the same “yang” in sunlight 阳光 “yang guang.” Therefore, the thought of sunlight reminded Jǐ Yi of Jì Chengyang.

This story was translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or reposting are not authorized. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the copy is unauthorized and has been taken without consent of the translator.

 


Author’s Afterword — This is My Sunshine

The Healing Sunshine can be considered the novel for which I took the longest duration to complete its online serial releases, beginning in the summer of 2013 and ending in the summer of 2014.

When, in the wee hours of the morning of July 20, 2014, I wrote the word “completed,” just like each time all my other books came to a conclusion, I felt a sense of emptiness, like something was gone. This story has the style that I all along have used, slowly telling a story, playing down the sorrowful components and emphasizing the heartwarming details. But there are also things that are different about it than what I have done before.

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only

The original intention in starting this story was very simple: I wanted to use a romance story to jot down some memories.

To write out some of my past experiences as someone born in the eighties.

The love and romance piece may not necessarily have anything to do with me, but that period of time [that was written] is intimately tied to me. Many of the details, feelings and thoughts, events, and people once did vividly appear in my life. I was afraid that with the passage of time, these memories would grow hazy and then would become fragments of scenes that I would be unable to record. And I was also afraid that as my creative inspiration dried up, I would slowly forget the feeling and mood of writing a story.

Hence, this novel came into being.

<>This was originally translated at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Please support the translation by reading it there instead. Thank you.

No matter how hard a writer tries to conceal her true thoughts, her own written words will still eventually expose her.

For this book, there is much that I want to say, but the great majority of it has already been written into the book.

I thereby sincerely give this book as a gift to myself, as well as to the many friends who are already gone from my life.

This is my sunshine, and it is also the sunshine that I wish to share with all of you.

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only

Mo Bao Fei Bao
August 2014


Additional Comments:

In reality, these closing comments from me are essentially the same as what I said in the last additional comments. I considered whether I should still write this, but there is something in my heart that feels this is important enough to re-state.

For the last two years or so, since Together Forever‘s translation came to an end, I had been mentally prepping myself to translate The Healing Sunshine. In those two years, I had PMs or comments from MBFB fans asking me why I hadn’t done that translation yet as it is a fan favourite. Some even thought I had never read it (otherwise, why wouldn’t I translate it? LOL) and were strongly recommending that I give it a try, because once I did, I’d want to translate it. My response to all was, yes, I had read it, and yes, it was a favourite of mine; however, the emotions in the novel are simply too real, and I needed to be prepared to walk with Xixi and Jì Chengyang on this part of the journey of their life and experience all the emotions with them.

That reason was certainly true. Together Forever has a similar effect on me as this novel does, and I was emotionally drained after translating that one and took several months to recover. However, that was only a part of the reason. You may have noticed that this novel actually has a very clear timeline embedded in it, and we are given markers on that timeline, through real world events, movies, songs, etc. I have a crazy affinity to dates and time. So, when this timeline is stretched out before me through the novel, with each marker that is laid, I feel as if I am being transported back to that point in time, and I will also remember what happened in my life then. My experiences themselves were not all similar to Xixi’s, but many of my emotions were. Hence, with the translation, I not only needed to be prepared to “experience” Xixi and Jì Chengyang’s emotions, I also needed to be prepared that I would be pulling my own back up from my memory.

This novel takes place over the period of 1997 to 2008, and in my own life, those were years of remarkable growth for me. Very significant changes and events happened in my life. Without going into details, I will say, I shed many tears, said goodbye to people very important to me, experienced many things, learned many things.

There is one line that I love in The Healing Sunshine: “In these atypical growing-up years that had been so very long, she had still been able to preserve the kindness and goodness of the very beginning. And amid the wave upon wave of adversities, she had been able to walk her journey of life to this point now…” (chapter 22.2) I truly appreciate how the author used the word “atypical,” not “horrible,” not “tragic,” not “woeful,” not even “sad.” I’m sure, at some point in time, each of these words could have been used to describe something in Xixi’s life. However, Mo Bao Fei Bao chose to describe that period as “atypical,” because she did not want to write off the good in those years. There was good. Xixi worked hard and got into a good university, she met new friends, she found a job, she saw herself improving and moving forward in life. Perhaps these might seem small in comparison to the hurdles she had to overcome, but they nevertheless existed and were good.

In the process of my own growing-up decade, I also learned that it contained my “atypical years.” I won’t lie; they were hard, probably the hardest years of my life to date. There were days when I only wanted to curl up in a corner and cry, where every breath felt like too much of an effort. I was very, very fortunate, though. I had family around and we all loved each other; I had health; and if I looked, there were always people ready to encourage. I had people, some of them barely more than strangers, who would take me into their arms and say, “This, too, shall pass.” And I certainly had moments of joy intermixed in there. These were all my sunshine amidst the darkness, and for them, I am forever grateful. What I learned in that period is what I wrote in the additional comments last time: “Darkness cannot exist in the presence of light.” Even if it’s only a little sliver of light, a little bit of sunshine, you can fix your eyes on it and use it to divide the blackness, light your way, and walk out of that tunnel of darkness.

Everyone will have times in his or her life that are atypical. Have you ever said something like, “Why do I have to go through this when everyone else can just go about their normal lives?” Or “Why is it so hard for me to do this and it’s so easy for them?” Those are your atypical times. Atypical is hard because you feel so different, so alone, because no one is really experiencing what you are at this moment. But everything is only ever a season. Seasons may last longer, but they, too, shall pass.

If I can give you only one thing through this translation, I hope that it is this, that in your atypical times, you will remember to search for the things you have that are worth being grateful for, search for the things that bring sunshine to your life, and let them warm you. I hope that you can remember this and be encouraged, like I was by the people who once hugged me and said to me, “This, too, shall pass.” Don’t give up on tomorrow—because one day, you will come out of the darkness as well and be completely swathed in the warm sunshine.

 

Even if there were but one centimetre of sunshine, it would still have its own searing heat.

— Mo Bao Fei Bao

 

Once again, thank you, everyone, for reading. My desire is to share, and your presence here is evidence that I have achieved that. I appreciate all my readers. ❤ Next project has received approval, but I have not decided on the start date. I’m guessing it will probably be after New Year’s. Will give firmer details when I make an official announcement. In the meantime, take care.

Cheers!

—H

 

Completed:
69 of 69 Chapter segments
1 of 1 Epilogue

≪ Previous Chapter | Index | Next Chapter ≫

Advertisements

74 thoughts on “The Healing Sunshine (一厘米的阳光) — Epilogue *NOVEL COMPLETED*

  1. I can’t believe it’s over! Ji Yi’s and Ji Chengyang’s story made me reflect on my own life, and I think I treasure the small things more now.

    This is even further from the ending I predicted, but it really puts the rest of the novel into perspective. Life goes on. The atypical years, no matter how horrible, do pass. And Ji Yi and Ji Chengyang are lucky enough to have each other now.

    Thank you for translating the author’s comments as well. I haven’t lived through these events the same way she has, but each mention reminds me of where I was, and what I was doing. I have the same feelings as MBFB. Those memories are worth remembering. And although I do not have her talent in converting those feelings and memories into mementos, I can always come back here to reread! Your translation does a really good job of conveying emotion. I feel like I got the intent of the original author in her comments, and the nuances of Ji Yi’s and Ji Chengyang’s emotions despite them both being so reserved. I just feel so lucky that MBFB wrote this, and that you shared it with us.

    • This story is very real to me. I’ve never lived in Beijing, I don’t know what it’s like to grow up in a military compound, but I can relate to the emotions—struggling to find your place, pursuing your dreams, loss of health, friends leaving you. It shows that despite our wide and varied backgrounds, there are some basic things that will always be common among people.

      Thank you for reading. I am happy to hear the novel struck a chord with you, and hopefully it encourages you in some ways.

  2. This was one of my first Chinese novels and when I read it I wondered whether it would ever be accessible for non Chinese readers way back in the day. If I could describe this novel and how it made me feel in one word it would be nostalgic. For some reason it took me back to simpler days growing up in China (and I suppose it was the author’s intention). I totally understand what you mean and how hard it was to translate after reading it. I actually haven’t been able to reread this even fully in English for some reason. And it’s been so many years. But I guess that’s also one of the best things about great novels, they stick with you for a long long time. Thanks for all your hard work I’m so glad you’re translating a happier one next. Will definitely read the next one 🙂

    • I… cried buckets. To be honest, I still haven’t been able to remove myself completely from the emotions of this story yet. Together Forever took several months and this one likely will, too.

      Haha, I’ll see you in the next translation then. 🙂

  3. I don’t think they have a crying heart-eyed emoji yet! Thank you so much for translating this bittersweet story! I understand what both you and the author meant about atypical times and searching for the good in them. I also placed myself within the timeline, but from a totally different perspective as an American. It was so interesting to read another take on what those historical points meant to someone in China. It also led to me in looking for more in-depth news articles on what happened during that time as we only get a brief overview in our newsfeeds. Mo Bao Fei Bao is such a good writer, and you, Hoju, are a skilled translator that managed to convey those emotions into words. Thank you again for your hard work and I can’t wait for your next project! Have a good rest!

    • Oooh… that emoji would be perfect.

      The timeline of this story is almost magical. You cannot help reimmersing yourself into that period and recalling things. It’s like how Xixi bought the map to remember that she and Jì Chengyang exist on the same world map, these world events remind us that we all exist on that map as well.

      Thank you for reading and your sweet words. Yes, MBFB is indeed talented and able to stir something in many people. I’m glad to share that with all of you.

      See you next project!

  4. Thank you again for sharing this wonderful story.

  5. Thanks a lot hoju..

    The epilogue explain about the thing happens while they separate.. It’s really sad to watch Ji Chenyang and Jiyi suffer a lot.. Specially Chenyang got tortures both physic and mentally ..😢😢

    • And we only got to see tiny snippets of what he went through. I can’t make myself imagine in detail what they did to him. 😦 Thankfully, he was rescued. Thankfully, he has Xixi.

      Thank you for reading.

  6. I feel heavy-hearted but I’ve got the closure that I wanted. Their love story and life journey was so beautifully penned down by MBFB and Hoju you did an amazing job in capturing those emotions through your translation. Thank you very much for sharing your hardwork. I am going through a rough time now but you guys are right. It’s just an atypical time. This season shall pass too. Take a good rest.

    • I feel the same. My heart is heavy for what they each endured, yet at the same time I am encouraged that they could rise above those things.

      I am sorry to hear that you are in a rough season. You will make it. It’s hard, but you can do it. Sending you hugs.

  7. thank you for translating another completed novel. surely, we should not take everything for granted and appreciate and cherish with what we have

    • Always a privilege, always my pleasure. Thank you for reading. Indeed, cherish the beauty that you have. Don’t write it off because there are unpleasant things happening around you. In fact, hold tight to it especially when things are unpleasant. 🙂

  8. So happy for both of them. Finally the epilogue, much much thanks Hoju…but sad its come to end😂😂

  9. Oh my heart squished reading this …Thank you so much Hoju for translating this novel, really appreciate your hard work , thank you 😘

    • That’s a good way of putting it. My heart squished like one of those stress balls. 😂

      I’m so glad I could bring this story to all of you. Thank you for reading!

  10. I’ll be missing ur updates Hoju😭
    Once again I sincerely thank you for picking this book which I have never expected to be translated…JY’s life took be back to my school and college days life which I cherished a lot and the 9/11 incident,Sichuan Earthquake moments are still in my mind.. just imagining JCY in his early forties now 🤣

    • I’m always sad when a novel comes to an end.

      I, too, vividly remember a lot of those events. It’s amazing how Xixi’s upbringing is very different from most of us, but MBFB is able to write it so that we can relate and reach back into our own lives and draw parallels. How we all grow up may be different, but the fundamentals—the emotions—are so similar.

      He will still be handsome as ever in his forties. Uh-huh!

  11. Thank you so much for making it possible for us whose Chinese is not our mother’s tongue to get to read MBFB’s a few pieces of art and also to get to learn some of our our ancestor’s beliefs and culture 🙂 KUDO to you H 🙂 and big big thanks !!!!!!

  12. I don’t even know what i want to say…..so much emotion and heaviness but let me really thank you, hoju….Thank you so much❣ and if you don’t mind, i wish these translations get published with the permission from MBFB of course. I really want to have paperback of your beautiful translations…..Thank you again for your time and effort, dear😍 See you in next project. Meanwhile, take care, hoju❣

    • This story both weighs on my heart and encourages me.

      To be honest, I never thought about publishing. I am in no way a professional translator and my writing has much room for improvement. If the author so desires, I’ll explore that option, but other than that, I likely won’t broach that idea. Thank you for that, though. That is a very kind of you that you think so highly of the translation. 🙂

      Thank you for reading. See you next project!

  13. This novel is emotional for me not because I find the characters life too tragic and them too pitiful. But rather because I could somehow relate my own like you mentioned atypical moments with theirs. Having simple wishes that we can’t seem to achieve, getting by everyday working hard for an unknown future, weaknesses that we fear for and can not let go off of, almost all of us go through these dark times. But we still wake up in the morning and start a brand new day because there are rays of sunshine around us that give us hope, courage and confidence. They shine from love, they shine from friendship, they shine from companionship and sometimes just through a simple eye contact and shared smiles with strangers at a coffee shop.
    From thinking of confessing her secret love to chengyang if he ever married another woman to marrying him for herself , from helplessly hoping for affections from her family to moving ahead in life independently herself, from loving someone deeply to paving a path for a better life even without it, ji yi has come very far in her life. While missing out on somethings, losing somes and giving up on many, she has become stronger, better and kinder.
    Thank you again for your hard work and dedication Hoju. Because of you we are exploring a world that is around us with us and within us from the perspective of many wonderful characters. I am already looking forward to your next project. Till then rest well and always be happy

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have always felt that this story is very real. There are challenges in there that we can all relate to; there are emotions that we have felt. That’s why this story touches me and affects me so much.

      Thank you for reading. The next project is going to be quite different from this one. I need a little change with every project. 🙂 See you then!

  14. Thank You Hoju! Another MBFB book to add to my list of favourites.
    Looking forward to your next translation. 🙂
    I will definitely be back on this site. 🙂

  15. Thank you for completing the translation. Tears always come to my eyes, when i read this novel. This is the ONLY novel where I used google translator because I listen to the audio book and I NEEDED to read more on this story. Even with google translator, I kept repeating OMG… OMG… this story was so sad. The ending was beautiful and complete. Let me hide for awhile since it’s not easy to read the ending and not be sad for awhile.

    • Ditto for me. I can’t get through this novel without shedding tears several times. I can’t read this novel in its entirety often because it affects me so much, but it never fails to touch me every time I do reread it. Happy I could bring this to you in a different way.

      Haha… notice I hid away for a while? I needed to recover, too (and also had the darn flu).

  16. Thank you Hoju for all your hard work and emotions invested in this translation. This is probably going to remain as my favorite MBFB book and I thank you for introducing it to me. I also feel empty now that its over. Can’t wait for the next translation to start.

    • The investment on my side was worth it if it could touch your heart. 🙂 I, too, feel empty, like I’m missing something now that I don’t have Xixi and Jì Chengyang in my life every day.

      See you in the next one!

  17. thank you so much for your hard-work. you are one of the translator who is so dedicated.
    the healing sunshine is indeed very emotional novel for me and this is one of my favorite too, and i agree with you many people think like that(“Why is it so hard for me to do this and it’s so easy for them?”) including me I always feel like so i can relate to it.
    waiting for your next project i hope at least you announce the name of the novel. thank you once again ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

    • Thank you for your kind words. We have some dedicated readers here, so the reciprocation certainly motivates me. 🙂

      I’m happy to hear this novel struck a chord with you. I really hope it can be an encouragement to people.

      I’ll see you next project. I’ll do an announcement when I’ve recovered. LOL.

  18. Hoju, A Beautiful story and feeling so content at the end of this reading journey. My heartfelt thanks for spending your time and energy in translating this story. If MBFB is the sun who shines brightly with stories, you are the little ray of sunshine that brings them to the english readers and brightens our day 😀. Take care and will be back when you start your next story.

    • I’m so glad something resonated with you. ❤ That is really kind of you to say. MBFB certainly manages to touch many readers, and I genuinely love this privilege of sharing that feeling with all of you. It makes me happy to know that these translations can brighten your day. ❤

      See you next story!

  19. Love it love it 😍 ❤️❤️❤️❤️now time to laugh and cry with it again 💕😍😍

  20. Thank you hoju for the translation. I love reading your insights and comments. You provide so much thought into your comments and articulate it well. I can’t say this is my fav MBFB book but it is one that makes me shed tears in nearly every chapter. Thanks again and looking forward to your next translation!

    • Thank you for reading, including my additional comments. ❤ I use translation as an excuse to place down my thoughts from the novel, and it's nice to have people to share them with. We all have our favourite novels, and I don't expect this one to be everyone's. I am happy that it touched you somehow. 🙂

      I will see you next translation!

  21. Thank you so much, Hoju. All of your words are amazing. I will remember it as a learn from senior. Thank you for making the story till the end. I hope your life onward will go smoothly, even if it is not, you have your dear people. So it will not be too scary because you are not alone. I hope the same for my life too. 20. It is still long way to go. In those years ahead, i will always remember your guide.

  22. Thank you so much!!! It’s like a journey while reading the story. I cant even express what i feel right now.

    Again, thank you.

  23. Thank you so much for this novel! I binge read the entire thing today in pretty much one sitting! I am exhausted and filled with so many different emotions right now.. At the moment I definitely feel that this was MBFB’s favourite novel for me so far..
    Your translation is absolutely amazing as always and not for a moment did I feel that this was a translation, but felt like I was reading the authors actual words! Thank you for all your hard work and this beautiful book 🙂

    • I can relate. This story tugs at so many emotions in me, and I’m happy that I can share that feeling with you. Such a privilege to be able to bring it to everyone.

      Aaaaw… those are very sweet words. I know the translation has many flaws, but this was one that I truly invested myself into, so I am happy that you enjoyed it. ❤ Thank you for reading.

  24. Thanks you so much for the translation of this book! This epilogue really touched my heart T_T They both suffered so much but they got together in the end. So sweet❤ And is 8 years gap really that big? My parents have 8 years gap too and my neighbour have 12 years gap hahahaha.

    • The epilogue… really makes my heart ache. We only got snippets. Those years were so hard for both of them. I can’t even think about the details that were not mentioned. Thankfully, they were given an ending where they are together.

      Yes, and no. At age 11 and age 20 (when the story first opens), 8 years is huge. At age 16 and age 24, the gap is still very significant. At age 22 and age 30/31, the end of the story, the age gap becomes less significant because Xixi has started moving into a similar stage in life. The resistance in their relationship is the cross-generation. I explained that in one of my additional comments, but in a traditional family, Jì Chengyang is practically like her uncle. Moreover, people are looking from the perspective that he must have been “dirty,” to “take advantage” of a girl that he watched since childhood.

  25. Finally another happy ending. This story to me is a mixture of bitter and sweet. Starting from Book II, MBFB was able to bring my emotion through a roller coaster ride throughout the novel. This is followed by a sad start to Book III leading to a sweet ending. The feeling of both of them were so strong…. JY being able to forgive him for the ‘lie’ about him married and starting all over again with him…. And JCY being so adamant about his feelings / love for her.

    The age gap of 8 years is really not big in my perspective. My spouse after all is 12 years older than I am 🙂

    Once again, thank you Hoju for such a wonderful translation. It is definitely hard work that I had truly appreciate. Although this is one of the novel that I was not able to go through with you through each post sharing my thoughts just like how I use to do, I had truly enjoyed reading them over the past 1 week. I look forward to your next work soon.

    • Welcome back, mhryu. I did miss seeing you around. 🙂

      This is indeed a bittersweet book. But that is life. There is always the bitter, and there will be sweet as well. The difference between people is what they choose to focus on. Xixi chose to forgive. Jì Chengyang chose to set the horrors of the past behind him and try his best to not let it affect him. They’re imperfect, but they choose to continue to move on and be warmed by their sunshine. 🙂

      The age gap is not big once Xixi is into marriageable age. Back when she was growing up, the age gap was certainly significant. As Jì Chengyang once said, he wanted the relationship to be as equals. Their biggest hurdle was their generational difference, which to Xixi’s family was a big issue, but to Jì Chengyang’s family, people and love were more important.

      So sweet with you and your spouse. 🙂

      Thank you for coming back. I look forward to seeing you next project!

  26. Yesterday, I bought The Healing Sunshine and One Life: Black and White Film original chinese book. Although I cannot read chinese for now, I will definitely improve my chinese to read these beautiful stories…..You and your translations are such a great motivation….Thank you, Hoju❣

  27. Thank you! I’m Brazilian and I’ve been reading your translation since it began to be released … Due to saying that although I was born just before 2000 I could feel as if the facts described in this story were part of our reality as a whole. I rarely see something like that … that can touch people deeply.

    I say thank you for me and for all Brazilians who have read this too! I await your next translation!

    • Wow! Long time reader! Thanks for staying around. And Brazil! Than’s so cool
      Indeed. We may be from many different parts of the world, but these events somehow tie us all together. It’s the “magic” of this story.

      Thank you for reading!

  28. Thank you so much. This story really touched my heart and made me cry in so many different places. I can understand the cross generational divide..I come from an Asian family too and a little uncle or aunty is just that. One of my friends recently married a colleague of his mom. They’d were only 9 years apart ( she being older ) but the whole family was against because he used to call her little aunty as she was his mom’s friend. I for one can also unt stand why Ji Chengyang pretends to be married . He wanted her to suffer the lesser heartbreak of a broken relationship than a more tragic one of her beloved dying or missing. Its so relatable when he comes back and wants het back, he can no longer feel generators enough to wish her happiness with someone else.

    And finally, finally, thank you so much for the awesome translations. From the choice of words to the flow anxiety your comments, you are perfect in every way. You are one of the translators I keep coming back to read and reread… thank you my dear and wish you ans your family a merry Christmas ans a happy new year

    Long emotional comment ..sorry about that

    • * from the choice of words to the flow of the story and your comments ….sorry for the typos

    • I’m sorry I didn’t reply to this comment until now. December was insane, and I lost track of everything. My apologies.

      The generational divisions is very much part of the Chinese culture, especially to those of the older generations. It’s hard to relate for those who aren’t part of it, but it exists. I really can understand where Ji Chengyang is coming from. I don’t argue that his choice was right; neither do I argue that it was wrong. He tried to weigh things out. I know some who find his decision unforgivable, and some who say they would have done the same. It’s not black and white. That’s life, right?

      Thank you for faithfulness in coming back again and again. 🙂 I really appreciate your encouragement.

  29. This was a beautiful story. Thank you Hoju for translating 😊 Happy New year too.

  30. Thank you so much for translating this beautiful novel, hoju. We really appreciate all the hard work and emotions you poured for this novel ❤

    • It’s a beautiful novel, and that’s why I poured myself into it. If it brought you sunshine, it was worth it. Thank you for reading!

  31. I was unable to read Healing Sunshine while you were posting it. So I just finished it today. Wow. I feel like I’ve been through a storm. MBFB’s words and atmosphere took me back to my youth and the losses I experienced then. I identified with and understood Ji Yi’s childhood so much. As if that isn’t enough to make me emotional about this novel, I spent 20 years of my adult life in a very conflicted part of the world as an expat. Naturally, I was pierced by reading Ji Chengyang’s experiences. I shed tears while reading and had to skim the details of his time in the M.E. It’s still too soon for me to read things like that.
    Like another commenter mentioned: your translation made for very easy reading. I’m never pulled out of the story. So I thank both you and MBFB for the words and the effort to communicate this beautiful story that ripped out my heart, threw it up in the air, caught it, and put it back in my chest.
    You mention holding on to things that bring us joy in hard times – the stories on your site are part of that joy for me.
    I’ll close out of this story for now, though the characters stay in my heart.
    I am so glad that you are translating Easily Set Aflame right now ! After facing the sorrow I’m ready to face some joy.

    • Almost half a year after this translation ended, I still feel the emotions deeply when I think about the story.
      This story does different things to people. Some claim it is sweet, some declare it depresses them, some are encouraged, but I still hope that everyone can see the silver lining in it, that no matter what life may bring, find your sunshine. 🙂

      I am honoured to be able to bring sunshine to you. It makes my little postings here that much more meaningful to me.

      Haha, enjoy Aflame! I specifically did that one after Healing Sunshine to drown myself in sweetness.

  32. Thank you for your time and commitment in translating this beautiful story. Without you, the Chinese illiterate likely myself would miss out on experiencing such a well rendered story. I love the themes of growing up, love, redemption and hope. There’s something very special about this story. In it’s ability to evoke nostalgia, in the poignant moments and subtlety of showing characters’ perspectives, thoughts and feelings.
    The author has a wonderful way of telling the story and bringing the reader along to witness Ji Yi and Ji Chengyang’s life journey. I also love your comments at the end of the chapters…your insights to the chapters made the read even more enriching. Sorry I did not leave any comments on the other chapters. I started and finished reading “The Healing Sunshine” over 2 days. I did not stop to comment as I was too engrossed in the story. Thank you again for the complete translation. It was a great joy to read, bittersweet that it’s ended.

  33. I chose war studies to become war correspondent. After reading this, I felt I was meant to be become one. Please let her know.

    Thanks

  34. Thank you so much for enabling us non Chinese literate readers to enjoy a wonderful book and experience that we would not been able to access otherwise. I hope that you can continue to bring more of such joy to all of us in the future.

  35. Thank you so much for translating, hoju. I’m so glad I decided to finish this. I was really debating whether to read it or not because Chengyang is also the name of my dad so it was really awkward to read it all the time in these situations 😂

  36. Xixi and Yang, two people who loved each other so deeply that it ended hurting both of them because of it. To Yang who very much knew the consequences of going to Iraq at that time (even planning what will happen in case of untimely death) still decided to leave Xixi. It wasn’t because he loved Xixi less, but maybe because he felt it was his duty to do so (Idk, I’m just casually throwing things out there as of what I understood after completing the novel). To Xixi, young, pure, and only knew how to love Yang felt the ultimate betrayal. Idk if she felt betrayed after knowing that Yang got married for when she saw him again, she very much wanted to believe it wasn’t real. But she definitely was brokenhearted. At the time when they reconciled and Xixi was crying because she saw his scars, Yang has thought back at the beginning, when Xixi was young. He thought if he could go back to that time, he would beat himself up. This part I couldn’t read what he was thinking. I mean he would beat himself up for what? For letting himself fall in love with her? Would he have the heart to turn a blind eye to Xixi’s affection? I doubt that would be possible. Seeing her in that state, a thought came to me, did he ever regret it? Leaving to Iraq at that time? When he saw the pain he inflicted on Xixi, did he ever regret lying to her (the marriage)? I mean thinking in Yang’s perspective, he probably thought that knowing the lie of being well and alive versus the truth of his death was much better. And of course, it was for that reason why I was able to sympathize with him. And when I read (from his POV) what had happened during the time he was abducted, I bawled because I pitied him. I was brokenhearted for him. In a foreign land when he saw the horrors that war has brought, when he saw his friend lying on the ground headless, I couldn’t even begin to understand what he felt back then. I only knew how to cry for him. But still, I think that he shouldn’t have lied (that’s just me). Xixi, on the other hand, has the bravest and purest soul, and that’s why like Yang, I too loved her the most.

    P.S. Thank you Hoju for a beautifully translated novel. You are just the best!

Leave a Reply to jollymerry Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s