January 11th, 2016

Climbing up Incense Burner Peak,
My heart hoards the memories.
Today I resolve to start up,
Tug at vines, mount perilous crags.
Hand over hand inch upward,
Three friends start with me,
Two dare to go no further.
At last I reach the summit,
Dazzled, awe-struck, my spirit soars,
The void stretches ten thousand feet,
Where I stand only a few inches!
Until you see the whole world like this,
How can you know its vastness?
The Long River a narrow thread,
Pen Town could fit in my palm.
I chafe at my life...so petty,
Unable to throw off the halter,
I turn back with a sigh,
Grudgingly return to the ant's nest.

Bai Juyi (772-846)