Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thoughtful Thursday

One of my favorite gifts this past birthday was a gift certificate to a book store.

Because I am ca-RAY-zee for the books; they're shiny, they have that smell, when you hold them in your hands you can feel the potential hum between the covers. I also love that oh-so-satisfying "crack" when you break their spine - I feel very Hulk-like.

But before I went on my hunting/gathering foray - and because I know that this bookstore sells a variety of things other than the written word - I presented myself with a challenge.

"Self", I said (please note that the majority of conversations The Baroness engages in are either talking about herself in the 3rd person, or talking to herself)(so very easily self-amused is she), "Self - I dare you to go into that store and use that certificate for everything but a book".

"Self?" I shot back (because the Baroness is such a sassy wit), "you are on like Donkey Kong."

I almost did it.

Out of all embarrassment of riches I procured, I only got one book.

That is some kind of record. For me.

Interestingly enough, today's Thoughtful Thursday source is not from this book, but from an T'ai Chi DVD I scooped up.

The quote comes from one of China's preeminent poets, Li Bai, who literally roamed the earth from 701 to 762. It is said that he perished during one of his many artistic benders, when he went to embrace the reflection of moon while riding in a boat on the Yangtze River (let's be real here - hasn't this happened to us all at least once in our lives? Praise be the PFD).

I'm afraid I don't know the title of the poem, and my translation and punctuation from 8th century Cantonese might a a little rusty. But enjoy it as you can:

I take my body and breath
And I go to play
beneath the trees in the mountains

We are always three
Counting the sky
And my friend the nurturing earth

The sky
does not judge me

And the earth
gives me lessons

After class, students and teachers
go their separate ways
But this sadness
I do not know

When I go home
The earth goes with me
And the sky follows me.

And on this blustery fall day, these are just the soothing words I need to hear to appreciate the humble majesty that is the outdoors - the beauty I dare only see through a window.

Have a connected Thursday, everyone.


Mental P Mama said...

I try to be very careful when embracing the moon. Beautiful poem, though.

Sandi said...

I just wanted to say Happy Belated Birthday. My brother's birthday is also the 10th.

Bubs said...

Thank you for something calming to think about today. I'm off work, the cleaning is done, and now I have a little time to read and rest.

{i}Post said...

Beautiful poem.

However, I am stuck at trying to get what "on like Donkey Kong" means. I've heard it in a song before too.

Was Donkey Kong on stuff?


Baroness von B said...

Countess MPM: If you are embracing the moon, you are way too tall, and have to give girlfriend back the lucite booties. It's time, shoe thief.

Countess Sandi: Is this the Uncle Itch?

Sounds way too nice to be a fellow Scorpio - I can't guarantee that I wouldn't have made Aidan wait for cake.

Count Tiki: That Ms. Bubs is one lucky lady! And such focus that leisure only follows toil - highly impressive.

Countess iPost: Oh, my. I just sent you an e-mail, then I re-read this and realized with your :0P that you were joking.

Please disregard my lame-o explanation - I was trying to be nice. Really!

stacy said...

oh so nice.

your words as beautiful as his.

Asthmagirl said...

Girlfriend and I are still chuckling about you being on like Donkey Kong! That and neither of us can recall embracing the moon whilst gliding along on the Yangtze river. No doubt the onset of hormonal deprivation on my part... perhaps early dementia on hers. Nevertheless, we both thank you for the chuckle and the poem!

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess Stacy: And your words? Always inspirational. Thank you.

Countess AG: Do you know how long I've been waiting to use that phrase in the proper context? MONTHS!!! I am v. pleased that it amused you and Girlfriend; I'm a little concerned that you've forgotten one of your past-life experiences. The one with the kegger at the Imperial Palace, with that Ghengis guy, where we all got crunk and rode the elephants down t the harbour and stole that boat?

Good times, my friend. Good times.

Asthmagirl said...

That was you????

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