Xiangchou (Nostalgia)

Orchid… Sony RX100-3 f/2.8 1/640 25.7 800 ISO

I was a child,
Nostalgia seemed a small stamp:
I was here…
My mother was there.

When I grew up
Nostalgia became a ticket:
I was here…
My bride was there.

Years later,
Nostalgia was a little tomb:
I was outside…
My mother was inside.

And now,
My nostalgia is a shallow strait:
I am at here…
The mainland is there.

~ Yu Guang Zhong

“The Chinese expression for “nostalgia” is xiangchou, literally “village sadness.” …xiangchou describes the grief that accompanies the traveler who cannot find a way back to the home village…[it] is not a geographical predicament but a spiritual state of being. First he finds himself outside the mother as a tiny emblem of apartness, then he is the man who contemplates her tomb. The shallow waters of the Taiwan straits are, similarly, not only a spatial divide between the island and the mainland but a reminder of the longing for, and the impossibility of going back to, ancestral roots.” *

*cited: V Schwarcz (Bridge Across Broken Time)

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