We find ourselves before a last door.
It is the present--Hong Kong.
Through the door, we hear the muffled sound of a piano playing a Scarlatti sonata.
A hand reaches out to press the bell.
The music stops.
As the door opens, we overhear part of a conversation with the person opening the
"Well--really--the only composer for a single instrument I can stand listening to is
The door is now open and we see a somewhat ascetic looking man wearing glasses
and a closely trimmed brown beard.
We look into alert blue eyes.
It is you.
You are perhaps annoyed at being interrupted.
You say, "Yes?"
We now see the person who rang--a messenger boy holding a box.
A thoughtful viewer may recall the boy who brought a leather bag to the Soldier as
A thoughtful and discerning viewer may see a herald of the Gods, perhaps even
great Mercury, Himself,
in deep disguise.
The messenger offers you the box and says,
"This is for you, Sir."
"My mistress told me to say it was an impossible thing,
of no utility, but one you would wish to have at the end.
You say, "I was expecting no box. Who is your mistress?"
The boy says, "Oh I don't know her name, Sir.
I just deliver her messages--
I'm sure she's a fine lady, though.
Good day, Sir."
He departs and we see the door close and then you,
carrying the box through your rooms to a table.
As we pass, we notice a number of familiar paintings and drawings on the walls.
The Soldier's Dream 11
You place the box on the table and open it.
Inside is a much finer box of wood.
The box has a seal curiously reminiscent of the seal of the
Treasury of the Temple of Athena Parthenos.
You break the seal and open the box.
Inside is a tin of film bearing the lable:
"Only extant copy of a never-released film called
'The Soldier's Dream' by Federico Fellini."
We see you thoughtfully close the box.
The final scene is of you in contemplation
watching white clouds passing by.
We fade into the clouds.
Dismounting, I offer my friend a
cup of wine,
I ask what place he is headed to.
He says he has not achieved his
Is retiring to the southern hills.
Now go, and ask me nothing
White clouds will drift on for all
Wang Wei 8th century CE