East of the town

The  yoga class at Yoga Space in Hengshan Road, a few metro stops from the Square Mile, was another reminder of traditional Chinese teaching methods. “Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one…Go!” The Shanghai Museum, considered the finest museum in China, offered me an antidote of cultural authenticity. The intricate and subtle relationship to the natural world is overwhelmingly present in the third floor Painting and Calligraphy rooms.

These qualities must still be deep in the Chinese psyche, even in my Square Mile.

Sighing Wind Among Mountain Pines, Li T'ang, 11th Cent

Sighing Wind Among Mountain Pines, Li T'ang, 11th Century

East of the Town

From office confinement all year long,

I have come out of town to be free this morning

Where willows harmonise the wind

And green hills lighten the cares of the world.

I lean by a tree and rest myself

Or wander up and down a stream.

…Mists have dampened the fragrant meadows;

A spring dove calls from some hidden place.

…With quiet surroundings, the mind is at peace,

But, beset with affairs, it grows restless again….

Here I shall finally build myself a cottage,

As Tao Qian built one long ago.

Wei Yingwu, 8th Century

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