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Monday, December 19, 2016

Updating an Old Friend

I look into the river.  I see my reflection standing still in this fast moving world of flowing waters.  There are fishes swimming against the current.  They move and yet they remain where they are.  I wonder if I am a fish in this rat race of the human world. Go with the flow and you will go far.  To the river's end and then what? I am tired, worn out byt he abrasion of time.  I need but to seek shelter in the quiet pools with no eddy surging round and round.

This was written on a summer's day of 2013.  As a translation exercise in semi-classical Chinese,

河中水, 速流而我映仍然留停不動.水界魚族逆流, 只見移動不見進. 疑問在此快度人世間中是我一條魚? 隨水而去當然有成就. 但到了河盡又如何? 疲倦的我, 精力經已被時間靡費.要尋找一個靜池安棲, 沒有旋渦團團轉.

The other day, as I was digitizing all the physical copies of my handwriting that I came across it again.  This time, I rewrote it solely from a Chinese viewpoint.

Each line is restricted to four characters. Some minor differences with the original ensure due to different cultural argument forms. Hopefully, my Chinese had improved. Also the style used as new material for my brush writing practice.

流水速速,  Waters flowing fast,
去而不復. Going, going but return not.
影動不去, The reflection moves but going nowhere,
鼎立如浮. Solidly it stood, flimsily it looked.
魚族逆水, Fish swimming upstream,
有移無進. Movements but progress made not.
心中自疑, Self-doubt in my heart,
我魚實也. A fish that I must be.
人界逆流, Swimming against the current in the world of men,
禍從己賜. Catastrophes are self-given.
順水者往, Those going with the flow,
前程錦繡. The road ahead, a success.
河終頭盡, At the river's end,
安焉何用? Of what use is there then?
精力疲倦, Tired are my physical and mental prowess,
時光所廢. Crippled by the passage of time.
覓尋安棲, Safe haven I seek,
靜池無渦. A quiet pond of no eddy.
團轉莫須, Swirls not required!
瑤池乎耶? Hark! 'tis the Jade pool of Paradise is it not?
風過漪缺, Ripple not as the wind passed by,
清風明月. A life of serenity led.
世外不必, Real paradise need not,
紅塵非惹! Just that the vulgar world be no longer courted!

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