The Eye of the Storm: Preface

见风 (the official English title is the Eye of the Storm but a more literal translation would be See the Wind) is the first book published by Liu Haoran and was released in November 2017. In the book, Liu Haoran shares his thoughts on his journey thus far, both as a young actor and as a young adult – the book is split into eight chapters, and he uses wind as the common theme to describe his outlook on life and his career.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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I hope that I can become someone who can see the wind as I ride my bike.

Recently, I bought myself a bike, and whenever I can, whether it’s meeting up with friends or going somewhere (nearby) for work, I take my bike as my method of transportation. A couple of days ago, I had a magazine shoot. It was about thirty three degrees Celsius that day and a bit stuffy inside, but it was the perfect weather to ride.

I got my GPS ready and put on my hat and glasses, and made sure I had my backpack, cellphone, and headphones, and set off for the shooting site. I felt pretty good throughout my bike ride, and it was only until I got to my destination and looked at my GPS that I realized I had actually ridden pretty far.

I really enjoy these moments. When you are riding your bike on the road, it almost feels like you’re in another dimension – a place where you’re traveling parallel to the world that you know. As you’re pedaling on your bike, the city transforms in front of you – the cars on the road, the other bikes and cyclists by your side, the skyscrapers and buildings, as well as the worries and frustrations on your mind, all become colorful blurs that flash by.

More importantly, no matter how hot and humid the weather may be, when you get on your bike, you will be able to leave behind all of the issues that you can’t solve but couldn’t put down. And as you move, the air begins to move around you as well, and that’s when the wind comes.

As I approach my twentieth birthday, I have begun to notice the wind that always swirls around me, and I remember the very first time I had noticed its presence. I think it was probably when I was still very small, when I still lived at home. It was a rainy day, and I was carrying my own umbrella, but the wind was much too strong, and it ended up completely flipping my umbrella, causing the adults around me to laugh.

Several months ago, I went to Japan with my classmates as part of a training trip for school. At midnight, my classmates and I sang joyfully as we walked to the hot springs located halfway up the mountain. The moon was bright, and the wind was warm and gentle.

In the last year or so, I have also experienced the harsh, ferocious side of the wind. Every time that I had to face the cameras with many eyes on me, I felt the pressure of the wind bearing down on me.

I consider myself to be a very lucky person. In high school, I successfully participated in my very first film. When I hadn’t even completed my gao kao yet, I received opportunities and attention that other actors only obtain after putting in a lot more time and effort. At not yet twenty, I have the team of my dreams, and I have been able to take on many great roles.

But I know that I am someone who is being pushed forward and not necessarily by my own power. Though everyone around me feels like I’m about to take off, I’m always a bit unsettled and feel like I’m not quite as grounded as I would like to be. I know that I am far from the moment when I will spread my wings and fly. Everything that I have now is because I have been blessed by the winds of opportunity – fate, and the help of many, many people, have been the ones who have gotten me here.

I am very grateful for these winds, because they have allowed me to walk faster than I had thought I could. But at the same time, even though the direction that I’m being pushed in is the direction where all of my dreams lie, I still cannot help but feel apprehensive about it.

I have to constantly remind myself, instead of continuing to run forward as guided by the wind, I have to be able to use my own strength to stop myself at times. I have to learn to use my weight, so that my feet can remain grounded, and so that I can avoid being blown into the cliffs.

This book serves as a tribute to all the times that I have ridden my bike through this constantly moving world and remembered the winds that have blown by me in my little world. Most of them have been warm and comforting, and have also made me anticipate the harsh winds of winter.

I want to become a bicyclist – but more importantly, I want to be someone who can see the wind both when it’s stormy and when it’s sunny. The winds that are swirling around me do not exist because I have been stagnant and moved at all – they exist because I have been striving to move forward while still keeping my feet on the ground. They exist because when I bike forward, the air begins to move.

I hope that I can have enough luck and courage to witness life’s different kinds of winds. I also look forward to the future, and hope that I can be molded and carved as the air changes.

But my deepest wish is that I can become one with the wind – that maybe one day I might be able to become a gust of wind in someone else’s life as well.

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