The Moon & Monte Bello …

The arrival of cold weather moons on our mountain always moves me; there is a timelessness to the experience that connects me to time itself; by the simple act of raising a toast to the moon, one is at once at one with the past, with the elders, with a wisdom that skates upon the shimmering surface of mortality as a child does with the first icing down of the park.

The Moon & Monte Bello ...

I am reminded of a wondrous and beautiful poem by the great Chinese poet T’ao Ch’ien (written sometime around the year 400 C.E.), here translated by David Hinton (by far and away, in my humble estimation at least, the very best contemporary translator of ancient Chinese poetry):
After Kuo Chu-pu’s Poems

We had warm, wet weather all spring. Now,
white autumn is clear and cold. Dew frozen,

drifting mists gone, bottomless heavens
open over this vast landscape of clarity,

and mountains stretch away, their towering
peaks an unearthly treasure of distance.

These fragrant woodland chrysanthemums
ablaze, green pines lining the clifftops:

isn’t this the immaculate heart of beauty,
this frost-deepened austerity? Sipping wine,

I think of recluse masters. A century away,
I nurture your secrets. Your true nature

eludes me here, but taken by quiet, I can
linger this exquisite moon out to the end.

Categories: Monte Bello, Wine & Poetry

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