Famous Chinese calligrapher and poet Zhang Xu had a quirky habit of scribbling with rough strokes, heavily drunken. Later, he was called ‘Crazy Zhang,’ or the master of Cursive Script. Du Fu once described eight artists including Li Bai as drunken hermits. He wrote about Zhang Xu, “Only three shots turn him into the saint of Cursive Script. With his official headwear off, he steps up in front of royal members. Wielding a brush on paper, letters float like a cloud and fog.” Indeed, Zhang Xu felt at one with calligraphy and alcohol. Gao Shi was way younger than Zhang Xu. They only got along with each other briefly in Xian. However, Gao must have sincerely admired the old man with a candid heart remaining aloof from fame and wealth. Feeling tipsy one day, the poet must have been reminded of Zhang while envying the way he enjoys his life and wanted to show respect for the old artist.
Being in a relationship does not automatically guarantee sincerity. Some people seem outwardly friendly and kind to you but later turn out to be hypocrites. However, this man was not that kind of a person. Just as his handwriting reached the peak of artistic marvel with no frills even while he was heavily drunk, his ego had an honest and outspoken quality. The secret to the way he lived a peaceful and relaxing life lies in the aloofness in his life filled with crystal clear skies, clouds and alcohol. However, although admiring the old poet staying away from the world, Gao was deeply involved in politics while staying in a public post at the forefronts in the border area.