When the skilled pen no longer blooms, the thoughts will no longer spring forth.

I suppose middle school was the peak period of my Chinese thinking in the past and future of my life. At that time, I had left behind the period of elementary school where I had no ability to use words, and I had not yet been restricted by the routines of the college entrance examination. Fortunately and cleverly, the Chinese teachers I encountered in middle school were willing to let us open our minds and write compositions.

Composition class was once a week, two periods in the evening, when my thoughts galloped endlessly. Generally, it was difficult to start writing immediately. I always needed to spend half a period of time searching for certain things that I hoped would appear in the composition. The remaining half period felt very rushed, as the things I had searched for an hour had to be presented in specific words within 20 minutes. I often complained that I didn't have enough time to carefully ponder, making it difficult for those words to accurately show others what I saw. Even so, my compositions were still often praised by the teachers, and there were a few times when I read them to my classmates for display, which was a point that I was quite proud of at the time.

Thoughts should not be limited. When I sacrificed boundless thoughts for the college entrance examination, I inevitably became dull, only able to repeatedly prove different arguments using a few examples I remembered in my mind, and only able to start thinking about the various structures of "eight-legged essays" when I obtained a piece of text - introducing the main point, listing three sub-points and finding several examples to prove each one, and drawing a conclusion. This is undoubtedly efficient, whether it is for students' exam preparation or for teachers' grading, but efficiency and richness are always difficult to coordinate together, especially for the majority who can only choose one option, efficiency is always the priority, after all, material needs are the basis of everything. However, this is still a regrettable thing - we have strangled our free and unrestrained selves with our own hands.

I still remember the feeling at that time, as if as long as I sincerely wished to express what was in my heart, the arrangement and combination of words would smoothly come together. I often miss that feeling, and have tried many times to find the compositions from that time, only to realize that it is difficult to write such words again. I have to place my hopes on the remnants of the past, hoping that they can awaken some inspiration in me. However, the precious things in memory always disappear without a trace when you wholeheartedly search for them, and the resulting regret makes them even more precious.

The pearls left in memory also have their value. Rediscovering words, extending thoughts, when we realize our own dullness and sincerely yearn for that beauty, we naturally understand what to do.

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