The imperial treasurer Lü Yi henceforth asked to be excused for the weekly concerts. In a small musical gesture, that had come into fashion at the court – an accelerating figure performed on a small drum – he had begun to see an allegory on his own misfortune-clad life. He rather sought after, standing on his porch at night, grasping the image of a cloud passing the mandarine-colored crescent moon with his eye.
A figure like this accelerating gesture, blown up to the size of a composition itself, does, sculpturally spoken, not impose the image of a delicate object – presenting itself from all angles and perspectives to a viewer – but rather leaves the impression of an artifact, misplaced, useless, lying bare as failed form.
Although in accordance to his weakness for delicate shapes and lucky proportions this would certainly be exaggerated, for no one in a long time would succeed in maintaining an empire of such extent after the great Emperor Xuanzong.
The Treasurer Lu Yi could not help abruptly interrupting his short recreational afternoon walks when he, randomly passing by the bathhouses, saw the concubine Yang Guifei in a half-open carriage, headed to the chambers of the emperor. Seeking distraction in a match of Go with the second imperial Eunuch, he protracted as late into the night as he could, returning home, tired and confused, to his slide rules or the magnifying glass, that the emperor had given him for outstanding services, reading mask-like facial features and exotic landscapes from the tiny body of a trapped bluebottle.
The accuracy in accounting, that his profession required, pervaded Lü Yi’s daily life such that none of the events that seemed to be persistently penetrating his life remained undocumented. Soon he came to a presumption that imputed an overall context on the events, that, set in relation of an event-time diagram, resembled the form of a logarithmic curve.
However, the nature of this curve wouldn’t allow him to predict when the next event, behaving in constant variability to the precious, took place. His life was governed by an unprecedented perceptivity.
While calculating tax rates, on a mission to the administrative district of the neighbor prefecture, watching a lonely Gibbon at the edge of the forest while having breakfast with his first assistant or under the stamping of a cavalry division returning from the southern provinces, ordered to bring the concubine Yang Guifei her beloved lychees – he spent the uncertain interstices of his existence, articulated by the acceleration curve, like a wild animal.