Sunday, 25 December 2011

To Heaven! (Two Love Letters by Yu Xuanji)

There is no other way
To heaven but through love
No faster way to hell
Than fearing love is lost.


Merry Christmas everyone!

In thoughts for those who are apart from loved ones over the holidays — 
a video offering: two love letters by the Tang dynasty poetess Yu Xuanji.

I'm really hoping this bout of melancholia doesn't make people sad,
but on the contrary grateful and happy...
But if it does dampen the Christmas party spirit,
 then that wasn't the intention and I'm very sorry!


Spring Love to Zian
The stone paths up the mountain are treacherous and steep.
I climb them without fear or strain, missing you so deep.
 Ice melts and in far streams I hear music from your lips.
 In snowy peaks I see the jade contours of your hips. 
Don't listen to gitana songs nor drink unripe wine, 
Give up idle company and playing chess all night. 
We shall hold firm in our union as the rock the pine, 
Two wings of the same bird, no-one else could give us flight.
Though sad I am to walk alone, this last winter day, 
When the moon is full, my love, we'll meet again I pray. 
Parted, what gift of mine could I offer up more true?
 Fallen tears in the spring light upon a poem... to you.

Yu Xuanji
a courtesan-poet-nun from 9th century China who died at 25 on charges 
(possibly trumped up) of beating a maid to death.

Gazing into Jiang-Ling Horizon Longing for Zian

Maple leaves, by thousands branching, ten thousand each tree,
Under yonder bridge, dusk falls, the last sails slowly leave.
Love! my heart is rushing like the flow of river Xi,
Day and night, it eastwards scrawls, longing you without reprieve.


  1. Beautiful share, Okei! I loved listening to the recitation--well done. I do not consider it melancholy at all; rather, it is more of a much feeling longing. Thank you so much, and Happy Christmas! ~ Blessings!

  2. Happy Christmas Kathy! Good to hear that. :) Blessings also to you and yours!

  3. Thank you dear Jamintoo, it is so good. I enjoyed it very much.

    Have a wonderful Christmas day !

  4. It's lovely Okei, thank you. I agree with your sentiment! Hope your Christmas day is going well!

  5. Merry Christmas Jamintoo !!!!!


  6. Thank you Catherine! Merry Christmas to you!!!

  7. Hello Eden-Catherine! All going very well, thanks... in the UK we have turkey lunch on Christmas day and don't celebrate Thanksgiving, so I enjoyed that with my family. Turkey sandwiches for dinner! (apologies if I offend vegetarian sensibilities... I'm a kind-of semi-vegetarian lol... that's a vegetarian who eats meat.)

    We had a interesting conversation this morning by the way when it was still before midnight in Canada. It just occurred to me it went something like this:

    Adam: Happy Christmas, Eve!
    Eve: Here it's still Christmas Eve.
    Adam: Oh! then... Happy Christmas Eve!

  8. Merry Christmas, Marie! Your comment about fear a week or so back I think re-surfaced that idea of love and fear which inspired the little verse at the top of this blog. So, I'm guessing you agree with it...? :)

  9. Merry Christmas, Lin! You're almost the birthday girl! So many December celebrations :))) First Lin, then Jesus, and tomorrow, Deano!

    Happy Birthday Deano! Hope he comes back and sees this...

  10. Haha! Good one!

    Yes that's how it was. :)

  11. Just got in from a wonderful Christmas party!

    Yes, Jami, I saw it and thank you, mucho!

    It has been a great celebration!!!!
    We topped it off with chocolate gravy and fried bread!

    Love to all!


  12. Cool! Great to hear from you Deano! Chocolate gravy supremo. :)))

    Much love to you and yours too.

  13. I thank you, Okei.
    Isn't love about you and living without fear of giving love to another.
    Which would make you vulnerable when giving of self in trust.

  14. If love is conditioned on another, this definitely makes us vulnerable. Not sure to what extent this is a good thing (like Achilles' heel which makes him such a hero) or a bad (if it means we are caught up in attachment)... I wonder if there's some holy middle, vulnerable but not attached...

  15. Isn't attachment a dependency from another for your own happiness?

    I should not define myself from anothers lens.

  16. There is a universal/eternal Truth in these words, Okei....

    Very nice readings as well.... so glad your Christmas was nice and Happy New Year!