Saturday, December 01, 2012

the moon, my shadow and me

I haven't been writing very much lately, or painting or drawing or anything else of much consequence. I have, however, been doing my share of drinking, which I like to think of more as a hobby than a vice. My way of making the world a little happier place. You know, for me.

I am drawn to wine labels, not for their pedigree but for their design, which makes me an object of oenophiliptic contempt*, but one must amuse oneself somehow. I soak them off when I can, which lately is not as often as it used to be. They seem to be using some sort of rocket glue that cannot be removed with the help of blow torches, water, vinegar or time. They either remain pointlessly clinging to their vessels for all eternity or surrender completely, dissolving at once into nothingness. Existential bottles. Choose your path wisely.

When successful, I glue the more pliant labels to paper and doodle around the edges. Sometimes in the morning I like how they look. Sometimes I don't, but it doesn't really matter. Mostly, I am drawn to the moonlight and the shadows and the flowers and the wine.

Drinking Alone Under the Moon
A translation of a poem by Li Bai (701-762 CE)

Alone among the flowers with a jug of wine,
Without a single friend to drink with me,
I lift my glass and invite the bright moon to come
Join in—now the moon, my shadow and I make three.

I know the moon is not a famous drinker,
My shadow’s toast no more than mimicry,
And yet for a little while the three of us
Carouse in springtime camaraderie.

I sing, and the moon sways to and fro in rhythm;
I dance, and my shadow floats in harmony.
Drinking, we share our joys with one another;
After, we’ll need to find them separately.

Let’s meet again, at the end of the Silver River, 
And there, my friends, resume our revelry!

* a phrase I have almost certainly made up, and quite like

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