Friday, December 14, 2012


The Wind in the Pines

Liu Chi (1311-1375), "The Wind-in-the-Pines Pavilion," in Richard E. Strassberg, Inscribed Landscapes: Travel Writing from Imperial China (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), p. 281:
Now, the pine as a species has a stiff trunk and curled branches, its leaves are thin, and its twigs are long. It is gnarled yet noble, unconstrained and overspreading, entangled and intricate. So when wind passes through it, it is neither obstructed nor agitated. Wind flows through smoothly with a natural sound. Listening to it can relieve anxiety and humiliation, wash away confusion and impurity, expand the spirit and lighten the heart, make one feel peaceful and contemplative, cause one to wander free and easy through the skies and travel along with the force of Creation. It is well suited to gentlemen who seek pleasure in mountains and forests, delighting in them and unable to abandon them....Gazing at the pines soothed my eyes; listening to the pines soothed my ears. I escaped from my duties and with this leisure time wandered free and easy here and there without any worldly concerns to perplex the mind. I can feel happy here and pass the entire day this way.
Related post: Forest Murmurs.

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