preparing … – slowly but surely

As the time here is coming to an end, and as there will be many things just before leaving – a conference on education, a skype-participation in an event that is linked to the G20-summit, a ‘larger birthday party’ – not only Smith in Beijing [see also here], but also the Royal House in ChangSha – I started already grabbing things together, this way hoping to reduce end-of-time hectic. Part is the ‘selection’, the question: what to take with me, what to leave here, not least about the little presents and memorabiles …, little souvenirs, presents as the figurines Jenny nearly dedicated to me, from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince, Jiaying’s handwritten [or does one say hand-calligraphyied] poem: a copy of the ancient piece.

 

Well, looking at the translation I have[1], reading the last lins, I am wondering, I am wondering if it had been written for me, written for these days:

Younger than they, I have my hair all turned gray.

Life is but like a passing dream,

I’d drink to the moon which once saw them on the stream.

There is also a box with photos – Gerhard gave it to me as present, when we once met during the last years, on one occasion, when I had to visit Europe. Another poem, on the lid of the box, reading it I hesitate:

Tidying up

Here some letters, manuscripts,

mostly fragments, photographies –

but who can, after I left,

name the persons?

(Hans Bender)

Some other ‘souvenirs’ – immaterial, though very real as the seeming eternal replay of the Trials and Tribulations: memories, thoughts, fears, hopes, disappointments and appointments –  – a few answers and many questions …, the replay, lacking the reply …

and you can, after I left,

and you have to find the answers!!

=====

[1]

“The Charms of Niannu”

Su Shi

The great river eastward flows, with its waves are gone all those gallant heroes of bygone years.

West of the ancient fortress appears the Red Cliff.

Here General Zhou won his early fame when the Three Kingdoms were all aflame.

Jagged rocks tower in the air, swashing waves beat on the shore, rolling up a thousand heaps of snow.

To match the hills and the river so fair,

How many heroes brave of yore made a great show!

I fancy General Zhou at the height of his success, with a plume fan in hand,

In a silk hood, so brave and bright, laughing and jesting with his bride so fair,

While enemy ships were destroyed as planned like shadowy castles in the air.

Should their souls revisit this land, sentimental, his wife would laugh to say,

Younger than they, I have my hair all turned gray.

Life is but like a passing dream,

I’d drink to the moon which once saw them on the stream.

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