Tuesday, March 16, 2010

After Traveling / 旅行後


I put off unpacking after traveling because I am afraid of forgetting the air and smell that belong to another world. But the moment arrives sooner or later when I have to move on.


I usually put books aside after traveling because my brain and heart are brimmed with too much energy and passion accumulated along the way. I can’t afford to absorb more nutrients until there’s some empty space in me again.


However, on this trip, I visited “some inexplicable old stonework” like in Elizabeth Bishop’s poem at the historic site of Yuanmingyuan and tons of ancient palaces with hundreds of years of history behind them. Thus, different from my previous experiences, this journey rekindled my interest in history and prompted me to do further reading.


As a tourist who witnessed the remaining relics on the spot, it is difficult to imagine that this was once the sumptuous stage on which desire, power, ambition, struggle, humiliation, violence and destruction were played out. I read two hundred years of history within four days. When approaching the end, I couldn’t help feeling sentimental. My paper journey was over, so was the once-powerful empire. But there was a drastic contrast, from everything to nothing.


Now, the table has turned. The fallen empire is once again in the spotlight. Yet, wise people have to bear in mind, only the sun rises and falls, which is the only exception to this constantly changing world.


shaggy said...


miragee said...