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Published: September 29th 2006
There's something about waking up at 5 in the morning to take a walk around the neighborhood. It's quiet, peaceful; a sign of a beautiful day to come. The first sign of peace in the daylight. It's too early to hear the dying yells from the man on the bike that cycles by my window every morning. It's too early to hear the firecrackers going off, or loud jets tearing through the sky. It's before the banging of street pails and before the fryers are heated. As I walk along the brick sidewalks in the fresh, cool morning air, I imagine that the neighborhood is letting out a quiet yawn.
I built my cottage among the habitations of men,
And yet there is no clamor of carriages
You ask: "Sir, how can this be done?"
"A heart that is distant creates its own solitude."
I pluck chrysanthemums under the eastern hedge,
Then gaze afar towards the southern hills.
The mountain air is fresh at the dusk of day;
The flying birds in flocks return.
In these things there lies a deep meaning;
I want to tell it, but have forgotten the words.
Tr. Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping
Morning; the only time of solitude in a city of five million people. It is common for the elders, with their aura of wisdom, to come out and stroll the sidewalks. Passing a small garden, the profile of a local apartment dweller can be seen practicing tai-qi against a tree bursting with
sunlight. Their soft and light movements seem to push away the sleep and welcome the calmness needed for the coming day.
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