A Weekend Diary

…words and images from England's green and pleasant land…

Archive for the category “taoism”

Awaiting Gu Taiqing…

Gu Taiqing

Gu Taiqing

Composed at Random

Human life is an endless struggle—
The post-horse and plow-ox.
On the brows of the Daoist sadness never grows:
Quietly holding a book of immortality, seated by the window,
What else is there to seek?

Prospects disappear, far, far away,
Months and years are hard to detain.
In a hundred years’ time everyone will be a pat of mud,
So arrange a firm and safe place in your own mind
And let the boat float with the stream.

Gu Taiqing (1799-1877)

From ‘Poems Written in Tianyou Pavilion’.

I’ve loved this poem since the very first day I read it, and have been intrigued by its author ever since. No surprise then that I ordered the following book from Amazon UK when I very recently became aware of it, as it includes biographical information about Gu Taiqing ;).

‘Biographical Dictionary Of Chinese Women: The Qing Period, 1644-1911’
Edited by Lily Xiao Hong Lee, A. D. Stefanowska and. Clara Wing-chung, 1998

[The image above is from Wikimedia]

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The uncluttering…

‘The Way is gained by daily loss…’

Ch. 48, ‘Tao Te Ching’, as translated by R.B. Blakney (1955)

The Book Maze, Royal Festival Hall, London, 29th July, 2012

The Book Maze, Royal Festival Hall, London, 29th July, 2012

I stumbled upon the above art installation one summer’s afternoon last year, and it brought with it a wry smile, given the gentle (but persistent) chiding of my partner, who’s forever telling me I buy too many books ;). However, I think too, it serves as a useful metaphor for the extract from the ‘tao te ching’ quoted above; there’s probably far too much clutter, both material and otherwise, in all of our lives…

Anyway, changing seasons from summer to winter, yesterday saw heavy snowfall in much of the UK, so here are a few photos of some Hampshire snow, taken in Fareham, Hilsea and Fratton…

Looking eastwards along Fareham West Street, about nine a.m...

Looking eastwards along Fareham West Street, about nine a.m…

Looking westwards along Fareham West Street...

Looking westwards along Fareham West Street…

Awaiting a westbound train, Platform 1, Fareham Station...

Awaiting a westbound train, Platform 1, Fareham Station…

Taken through the window of a Portsmouth Harbour-bound train, at Hilsea Station...

Taken through the window of a Portsmouth Harbour-bound train, at Hilsea Station…

The Portsmouth Harbour-bound train heading towards Portsmouth & Southsea Station, from Fratton...

The Portsmouth Harbour-bound train heading towards Portsmouth & Southsea Station, from Fratton…

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