Monday, July 27, 2009

deer fence

isaac levitan the watermill at sunset 1880.


there are so many magical sounds. lying inside a tent listening to the sound of rain. the wind whistling through a little opening. leaves rustling in a summer breeze on a hot day. i have a long list . . . .

walking through the nearby woodlot i hear voices - children riding bikes, climbing trees, building forts, playing chase games. what i love is that i can’t see the source of the voices - just the voices, muffled in the leaves and undergrowth. so, even though i know i’m sharing the woods with countless other people, i still feel alone. sharing a space.

wang wei captures this experience in his beautiful poem “deer fence”.

deer fence

in the empty mountains

i see no one,

but hear the sound

of someone's voice.
slanting sunlight

enters deep forest,

and shines again

on green moss.

wang wei
 trans. greg whincup