Friday, January 20, 2006

QingCheng mountain after an all-nighter

I'm no longer in school and I don't have a crazy job (more like a manageable and often enjoyable job) yet I still pulled an all-nighter on Wednesday night! Why? Cause of a beautiful thing called unexpected freelance contracts. Translating. My brother Nicholas hooked me up with a contact, and so I spent all night translating a power-point presentation about how GrossCola-X can make lots of money if they market to kids on a cool new program on TVnetwork-Y. Sweet! Marketing is all happy bunnies and love! So after that all-nighter (I got it in, self-respect almost intact) I went straight over to QingCheng Mountain... you guessed it: the birthplace of Daoism. I went with Robbie, a 15-year old I'm tutoring. His dad drove us and paid for me, as a way of getting his son a full day of English for the price of a day trip.

First we went to Dujiangyan, the place where the mighty Min river was tamed. I adored the town, although perhaps it was partly first-time-out-of-the-city-in-3-months euphoria. Then to QingCheng Shan. Being winter, the mountain paths were almost deserted and so, more peaceful than usual. Not non-action peaceful, but still peaceful. We ascended the mountain, smelled the sickly-sweet incense, which smells good at first, but close-up, more like poison candy, saw a lot of Laotzu-esque monks, and temples, and it was quiet and great. See picture captions for more. Mountain: beautiful. The Dao De Ching: sometimes inscrutable, beautiful. Religious daoism: ritualicious.

Today's song is the only song I could think of about climbing a mountain and religion. "Abraham and Isaac" by Leonard Cohen. Or, if you're Muslim, "Abraham and Ishmael" (Eid mubarak, yo.) It's not Daoism, but if you know any songs about non-action and eternal changeableness, you're welcome to teach me them.


laura said...

matthew, those are such amazing pictures! it's like you're a professional photographer or something. i know the subject usually has a lot to do with how well the photo turns out, and that looks like a spectacular mountain, but also you're just awesome. post more!

Matthew said...

Thanks! But I can't post more now, cause I'm off again, with my student and his dad, again, to see the pandas in Wolong. But I should be back on Sunday with pictures of Pandas, yo.

PINKSandROSES said...

i'm so back :)