Saturday, March 3, 2018

Moon Over Shanghai

I have been teaching steadily some six hours a day for 21 out of the last 27 days. And those 6 days without  teaching have mostly included plane flights. I have loved each day and felt at home and thoroughly enjoyed whoever I was teaching— children, Chinese teachers, Thai teachers, Indian teachers, American ex-pat teachers.  It’s a blessing and privilege to do this work. I’m not complaining here.

But all work and no play makes Doug a dull boy. Last night, I awoke briefly at 2 am and was gifted with a lovely sight out my hotel window— a full moon shining over Shanghai. Unlike the Chinese poets of old, I didn’t go outside with my cup of wine and stay up all night walking around the pond basking in its cool light and writing poetry on parchment. I walked to the hotel window and gazed out at the moon and remembered a life beyond clapping and singing, the time and good sense to look out at the world of moon, sea, stars, trees, the whole glory of creation without “man’s smudge and man’s smell" (Gerard Hopkins).

My wife and daughter still have the good sense to include backpacking in their schedule and I, always “too busy” with work, have not joined them. But someday I shall return to sleeping with the earth for my pillow, the moon and stars my nightlight, a fire too gaze into instead of a screen, the discourse of night crickets and morning birds instead of politician’s insane ramblings.

Meanwhile, happy to have had a moment with the moon over Shanghai.

(Feb. 26)

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