Steep tracks by clear streams

In A.S. Kline‘s wonderful book: Like Water, Like Clouds, I found a letter from poet Wang Wei to his friend P’ei Ti:

Now I am sitting alone listening to the silence. I think a lot about the old days, when we made poems together, climbing the steep tracks by clear streams. We must wait till the trees and grass grow green again, and, idling in spring hills, we can see fish leap in the light, the gulls soar, the white dew on green moss. At dawn we will hear the birds call in the fields. It is not long till then, when you could come wandering with me. If I did not know your natural sensibility, I would hold back from making even this indirect invitation. I speak from a deep impulse, but it is not pressing.

Journal Entry: 21 January 2016

Yesterday the evening was so clear and still. All warm colours filled with birdsong. Toward the east an eerie half moon among light clouds.Kate and I walked the garden in the last light. I noted that the largest of the tree ferns I transplanted late winter last year was showing a single small green leaf at its crown – a good 2 to 3 metres from the ground. I felt joy, seeing that life had pushed on upward despite the shock of the transplant.

Awake once during the night – very dark – a light breeze across the summer air in our room. In the last moment before sleep returned, I thought about that young fern leaf pushing out into the dark unknown outside – not pressed, but spurred by a deep impulse.

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