Friday, October 06, 2006

Seems like the greyest day in quite a while. The fine weather couldn't hold out and I could say it was chilly this morning when I got out of bed. Happily, I have no plans beyond eating the steaks thawing in the refrigerator for lunch with Angela.

Enjoying this holiday week away from school, although I've been running around in the evenings too much which is making the respite seem far removed from restful. Trying to prepare for some upcoming performances and get some writing done. So many distractions...

HOTBToday is the Moon or Mid-Autumn Festival. I suspect we'll try to get out for some moon-viewing tonight. Is there a better activity for a poet? During this time, moon cakes go around. All of the teachers at my school received a box and one of my private students gave me another box. Unfortunately, moon cakes are not as delightful as the name may suggest. Usually packaged in elaborate boxes and individually wrapped, they look inviting at first glance. They are filled with bean or lotus seed paste, something like a dried egg or meat. I'm sure there are many other fillings, but they're all quite heavy. It wouldn't be fair to say I dislike them entirely, but it's certainly a unique food product.

Moon Festival RobeAnyway, as it's moon day, it's seemed appropriate to add something like this, a translation of a Chinese poem which I dredged up from the bowels of cyberspace:

Will a moon so bright ever rise again?
Drink a cupful of wine and ask of the sky.
I don't know where the palace gate of heaven is,
Or even the year in which tonight slips by.
I want to return riding the whirl-wind! But I
Feel afraid that this heaven of jasper and jade
Lets in the cold, its palaces rear so high.
I shall get up and dance with my own shadow.
From life endured among men how far a cry!

Round the red pavilion
Slanting through the lattices
Onto every wakeful eye,
Moon, why should you bear a grudge, O why
Insist in time of separation so to fill the sky?
Men know joy and sorow, parting and reunion;
The moon lacks lustre, brightly shines; is all, is less.
Perfection was never easily come by.
Though miles apart, could men but live for ever
Dreaming they shared this moonlight endlessly!
- Su Shi, translated by A. Ayling & D. Mackintosh

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