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)


the sound of loneliness

Nikon D750    f/6.3    1/50s   35 mm   I00 ISO

Let me introduce you to Hu Ge, one of the top actors in China who has an amazing singing voice.  His role in a series entitled, Nirvana in Fire, has been noted by fans to parallel the leading character’s rise from a tragedy.  In 2006, a serious car accident that took the life of his friend and assistant, resulted in major surgeries which included over a hundred sutures on his face and neck.  It would take him nearly a year to recover.



The poetry of Japan has its seeds in the human heart and mind and grows into the myriad leaves of words. Because people experience many different phenomena in this world, they express that which they think and feel in their hearts in terms of all that they see and hear. A nightingale singing among the blossoms, the voice of a pond-dwelling frog–listening to these, what living being would not respond with his own poem? It is poetry which effortlessly moves the heavens and earth, awakens the world of invisible spirits to deep feeling, softens the relationship between men and women, and consoles the hearts of fierce warriors.

~Ki no Tsurayuki, (preface Kosinsbū, ca. 905)

weekly photo challenge: fresh

at the roadside

clear water flowing

willow shade

thinking to rest for awhile

have come to a halt ~ SaigyO*


This poem of SaigyO’s is very well known, for it is the source of inspiration for the no play Yugyo Yanagi, The Priest and the Willow.  In the play a wandering priest is guided by “the Spirit of the Withered Willow”. The spirit tells of a pilgrim who is looking for the source of the clear water at a temple, and found there a “golden light shining. A decayed willow tree suddenly revealed itself as Kannon of the purple will…it’s become a holy polace for walking pilgrimage.” (Kannon is the Buddhist goddess of mercy.)*

Additional images submitted for this week’s WordPress weekly photo challenge can be found here


*The Haiku Handbook

William J Higginson w/ Penny Harter

to gift to give

The peony bud,

When opening,

Shoots forth a rainbow. ~ Buson*


Within us is the gift, which is the capacity to give.  Many people suffer from not being able to give their love. It is a terrible pain to feel the treasures of generosity and compassion within us, and yet have no one to receive them, no one who wants them.  Untransmitted love can ultimately destroy us.

What can we do with this energy, which can harm us or even destroy us, if we do not “spend” it? Here is where the process of inner transformation through prayer and meditation can help. Through this practice, the energy is not lost but offered up. Through prayer and meditation one can indeed transmit and channel this energy for the well-being of all creatures.  It does not have to be transmitted to a specific being. This principle operates like a physical law.  We do not really know where the energy goes or who benefits from it.  We do not know what will be the effects of this loving kindness that fills us, taking the form of prayer, which asks for the welfare of all beings…(86)**

May all beings be free from suffering


*The Classic Tradition of Haiku

Ed., Faubion Bowers

**Compassion and Meditation

Jean-Yves Leloup