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May-06-2021
365 Days For Travelers
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Wisdom from Chinese Literary and Buddhist Classics

365 Days for Travelers

5/4: A PIECE OF SUNLIGHT (EXCERPT)

Phyllis Lin (1904 - 1955)
English translation: Miao Guang and Hsin-Yu Huang

The golden sunlight near noontime creeps into the room through the window lattice, and sparkles in all directions with translucence. I gaze at the sun’s bright and clear nature, as if I could recognize the dazzling colors that intertwine with one another, and then pursue its untraceable motions. As I see it shining crystal clear on my desk, I feel that laying on it were some kind of peace, a type of exuberance, and leisurely delight. This might be what is described as “clear window and clean table.” Guarding this silently is a sense of mystery, and a rippling poetic atmosphere.

We undoubtedly cherish culture by respecting every type of art that has existed since the beginning of the world─be it the abstract artistic creations or the nonnaturalist impressionist that has so smartly dominated natural materials. Nevertheless, when it comes to the origin of art, that little bit of human touch, and human intelligence (or the so-called human emotions), how do we express reasonable fondness towards such?

There are two kinds of extravagant lights in the room that often makes me anxious. Just like when a flower blossoms, it rides on the breeze of sensations and scatter among the branches and leaves of calmness and composure. The first type is candlelight, which sits high on the stand with waxed tears drooping down into the distance, and the light and shadows of its blazing flame flickering here and there behind dropped curtains. The light, bright yet elegant with a sentiment of the past, though a part of the scene, embodies even greater poetic senses.

The second type is the afternoon sunshine in early spring which subtly spreads across the entire room. The window lattices, tabletops, brushes and inkslabs would bathe in the hazy light, forming a picture of stillness. Added with a few dabs of red flower buds and thin stems, the room becomes even more delightful and fragrant, to the extent that spirituality is sensed in even the slightest movements.

── from Lin Huiyin Wen Ji
(A Collection of Phyllis Lin’s Works)

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Recorded by Leann Moore         0:21

Peace is the art of etiquette;
     talking softly is the mark of
     civilization;
smiling is the sunshine of
     relationships;
trust is the friend of success.
This is the protocol for modern people.

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