Thursday, February 18, 2016

A City Squandered Waiting for Spring

國破山河在 城春草木深
感时花溅泪 恨别鸟惊心
                                   - 杜甫《春望》  

A profaned country endures in splendor, a city lost to its deep wild overspring. Flowers do not feel but would shed tears, birds do not hate but know fear in our hearts.
                                   - Du Fu (712-770 AD)《Waiting Spring》 

The city is abandoned. What remain are the mountains still standing, the rivers still flowing. But the city has been lost to the wild growth of weeds and disgruntled trees standing loosely in formation, flowers sprinkled across the scape.

They have no feelings for the city's dismay, yet they shed tears early in the morning when the sun is welcomed through the cracks and broken city walls. Birds alike, know only fear and pontificate little about life, gathered atop roofs and nested in between, scattered as Du walked beneath and amongst them. All are waiting spring, to come, to endure, to pass, as all things come to pass into the next whatever it maybe.

Du had been born to a family of poets and politicians in a era of rebellions and constant flux of ruthless leaders. He claimed the city of Chang'an as his ancestral place, being the dead smack middle of the Middle Kingdom geographically and of high historical significance. Du's mother died soon after he was born. He never knew her. Du was raised by his aunt and had a jealous stepmother. But Du held no resentments and loved his brothers and sisters even thought they were only half the blood-line he was to become. Du, as the Chinese would come to know him through the ages in his poems, is the patron saint of poets and elevated emotions directed for better things. But he knows of little what he is to become as all of us living the moments.

From one to the next as seconds pass, Du like all of us, feels and hates and ponders if he'd be better off as a grass, a tree, a flower, or even a bird – undirected by conscious obsessions and narcissistic empathy towards our common human experience.

Du Fu, the poet and politician, is the beginning of our stories. ...


Now, for all you music lovers: something totally awesome.

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