Saturday, December 4, 2010

Self Portrait

Self Portrait
"Trees and Rock Bank," Shih t'ao (1641-c.1717)
My primordial nature has no liking for the life in the cities.
To be free from the noise I built a thatched cottage
Far away in the depth of the mountains.
Wandering here and there I carry no thought.
When spring comes I watch the birds;
In summer I bathe in the running stream;
In autumn I climb the highest peaks;
During the winter I am warming up in the sun.
This I enjoy the real flavor of the seasons.
Let the sun and moon revolve by themselves!
When I have time I read the sutras,
When I am tired I sleep on my straw bed.
If you ask me, "Whom do you see in your dreams?"
I would answer, "The Yellow Emperor." *
It was he who transmitted the secret teaching to me,
Which I am forbidden to pass on to you.
I have worn the black robe now for decades.
The meaning of the teaching is profound and vast like the ocean.
When I reveal it in my brush-stroke, its merits are limitless.
Should I explain this secret teaching to you
The solid mountains, I am afraid, would blow away.

*The earliest Taoist ruler according to legend.
Have you a secret you would like to share?
I would love to hear from you!

If you want distinctive nature, documentary or portrait photography--photography with soul that inspires you to live a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me. Thank You!


  1. But if I leave a secret in the comments, it won't be a secret any longer. And I have so few that I must hold them as treasures.

  2. omg, what a beautiful poem. would it be called a poem? oh to live a life such as that. hmmm, a secret? i like to sneak into the movies. i have shared that fact about me before but it isn't something i share with everyone. will that do?



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