Thursday, November 25, 2010

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

If there's anything more sublime than autumn in the mountains, I haven't experienced it yet.

On the road, as usual, when I decided to stop and meditate on the stark beauty of a view from a mountaintop. I sat with my back to a pine tree and thought about Li Po's poem, "Zazen on Ching-t'ing Mountain":

The birds have vanished down the sky.
Now the last cloud drains away.

We sit together, the mountain and I,
Until only the mountain remains.


  1. Reverie... sounds almost... spiritual.

  2. That's an actual photo, by the way, run through the "watercolor" effect in Windows Movie Maker. Those mountains in the distance are probably thirty miles away.

  3. The image and the poem are beautiful. I thought it was Photoshop "posterize". Randy and I have a few acres in west Texas with a similarly distant view, but of desert mountains. We can sit on our cliff and stare off into the distance for hours.

    The impression I get when "only the mountain remains", is that the universe seems alive, a vastly important project of creativity which is the front of existence, which pushes into the infinite possibilities of the nothingness beyond like a cumulus cloud pushing into the blue sky, a membrane between two kinds of nothingness, with everything that exists wanting to continue to exist and make something new, and a cricket near me is buzzing "THIS-IS-HAPPENING-NOW, THIS-IS-HAPPENING-NOW" and the wind and a crow, in concert, say, "REALLY".

    That's the kind of thing that happens to me if I let it. You see why I claim to be "spiritual"? It's a wonder I can hold a job.

  4. A lot of acid in the '80s, you say? ;)

    That poem came from this translation by Sam Hamill, my favorite translator of Asian poetry. A "Zen Buddhist atheist", he calls himself. His own work isn't too shabby either.