Saturday, June 9, 2012

Plum Trees and Long Dreams

Although it certainly seems as if Summer is well and truly underway, I have to remind myself every day that, calendrically speaking, it is still Spring ~ late Spring ~ for eleven more days. Just yesterday, Gerry was pointing out the robustness of our growing plum tree, and I was reminded of

1. this ancient poem about the transformation of pear blossoms into fruit . . . of Spring into Summer . . . of months into years.

At the End of Spring
To Yuan Chen
(A.D. 810)

The flower of the pear-tree gathers and turns to fruit;
The swallows' eggs have hatched into young birds.
When the Seasons' changes thus confront the mind
What comfort can the Doctrine of Tao give?
It will teach me to watch the days and months fly
Without grieving that Youth slips away;
If the Fleeting World is but a long dream,
It does not matter whether one is young or old.
But ever since the day that my friend left my side
And has lived in exile in the City of Chiang-ling,
There is one wish I cannot quite destroy:
That from time to time we may chance to meet again.

by Po Chu - i, 772 - 846
translated by Arthur Waley, 1889 - 1966


2. which, in turn, reminded me of this 18th Century Japanese concept:
~ Mono no aware ~

"Mono no aware
(物の哀れ?), literally "the pathos of things", and also translated as "an empathy toward things", or "a sensitivity to ephemera", is a Japanese term used to describe the awareness of impermanence (無常 mujō?), or transience of things, and a gentle sadness (or wistfulness) at their passing." ~

3. and this excerpt from Ezra Pound

"If you are coming . . .
Please let me know beforehand,
And I will come out to meet you . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment