OctPoWriMo2019 — mountains — mountain flame

Image result for chinese woman official retires to mountains painting

 

I’ve only been to the ocean a few times and to the mountains a handful of times in the geographical sense. I have been to the mountains many times in my mind while reading about them in Chinese poetry while studying Chinese philosophy from the time of philosophical taoism and the introduction of Confucius and how his filialism and duty ended up dominating the scenery with the unification of the kingdoms into one empire.

In many poems and stories I’ve read of the government workers spending many years in the cities, doing their duties as good citizens, but when their government work was over, they retired to the mountains to live out their days.

In some ways I feel a kindred spirit with them. Michigan is a flat place except for dunes out along Lake Michigan, and there are some smaller mountains in the Upper Peninsula near Hancock. Yet I “did my time” as a government worker and ended up leaving the city to retire to the countryside.

Going through the motions –
Then ancient mountain’s call
sparks soul’s flame to life.

 

Images painted by He Dazi (赫達資)
Top image 梁木蘭 Mulan of Liang
Bottom image  漢蔡文姬 Cai Wenji of Han

The following is from the 300 Tang Poems website.

Li Bai

DOWN ZHONGNAN MOUNTAIN
TO THE KIND PILLOW AND BOWL OF HUSI

Down the blue mountain in the evening,
Moonlight was my homeward escort.
Looking back, I saw my path
Lie in levels of deep shadow….
I was passing the farm-house of a friend,
When his children called from a gate of thorn
And led me twining through jade bamboos
Where green vines caught and held my clothes.
And I was glad of a chance to rest
And glad of a chance to drink with my friend….
We sang to the tune of the wind in the pines;
And we finished our songs as the stars went down,
When, I being drunk and my friend more than happy,
Between us we forgot the world.

Morgan Dragonwillow is the host (with today’s co-host, Maria L. Berg) of OctPoWriMo.  Maria says:
Word prompts: awe, strive, conquer, majestic, vast, bold, brisk, exhaustion (the happy kind)
Suggested form: Haibun

23 Comments Add yours

  1. In ancient India too, a move to the mountains was for spiritual growth. There is a sense of calm and tranquility in your haibun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Punam, thank you. I’m happy to learn it took place in India as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome, Li.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. memadtwo says:

    The mountains of the mind are a powerful place. (K)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. sgeoil says:

    The call of the mountains, hard to resist. Well penned.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Indira says:

    I always had this feeling mountains are calling. We were in hilly area so all picnics and climbing we did. Even going to my office I preferred to climbing up and down instead of bicycling. Excellent post and poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Indira, thank you and glad you connected with the poem. I have always wanted to live by mountains so I could wake up in the morning and see them waiting for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indira says:

        My house was near a hill. A lovely site but after 8 years we got transferred to another city.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Sunita Prasad says:

    An air of spiritualism touches in every word. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, glad you enjoyed it, Sunita.

      Like

  6. Mountains are definitely a place for spiritual growth.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. pvcann says:

    We have so few mountains in our south west, but they are indeed spiritual both for the indigenous and for others like myself. So too the ocean, Jung wrote of water that it was indeed spiritual or soulful. What a great Haibun

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Paul. Jung was a prophet and a seer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. pvcann says:

        Yes, very much so, I do like his thought.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. pvcann says:

    Also – you survived the gulag!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      ?? You mean when the government official left the city?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          I know I escaped by the skin of my teeth.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. pvcann says:

            In the nick of time, I got out and worked in the bush, back in a small regional city, retiring later to tiny rural coastal village for some peace and quiet 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. msjadeli says:

              Ahhhhh that sounds juuuuuust right.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. pvcann says:

                I’ve spent my life working with people, now I’d like some space. 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

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