Archives for posts with tag: Vietnam

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I found the above card (“Have a sweet dream,” Halong Bay Vietnam)  a while back in a book purchased at a used book store.  I have a small collection of things I’ve found in used books — but this one is my favorite. This lovely message brought to mind a favorite bittersweet poem….

LAST NIGHT AS I WAS SLEEPING (Excerpt)
by Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

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“I’d be smiling and chatting away, and my mind would be floating around somewhere else, like a balloon with a broken string.”

HARUKI MURAKAMIThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Photo: “H’mong children play with their balloons on a foggy day in Moc Chau, Son La province, Vietnam” (January 2012), photo and caption by Vo Anh Kiet. This photo took 2nd place in the 2012 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. Visit the National Geographic website for all the winners.

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Earlier, I wrote about the Canadian dime I found on my desk today. While dusting, I also ran across the above card (“Have a sweet dream,” Halong Bay Vietnam) which I found a while back in a book purchased at a used book store. I haven’t seen this card in some time (it was buried under books and papers) — and finding it was a pleasant surprise. (I looked up “Halong Bay” on Wikipedia and learned that the words mean “descending dragon bay” — love it, since this is the Year of the Dragon.) I have a small collection of things I’ve found in used books — but this one is my favorite. Thank you, I will have a sweet dream.

This lovely message brought to mind a favorite bittersweet poem by Antonio Machado (1875-1939) “Last Night As I Was Sleeping.” Here is an excerpt:

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

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“I’d be smiling and chatting away, and my mind would be floating around somewhere else, like a balloon with a broken string.”

HARUKI MURAKAMI, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Photo: “H’mong children play with their balloons on a foggy day in Moc Chau, Son La province, Vietnam; photographed January 2012.” Photo and caption by Vo Anh Kiet. This beautiful photo took 2nd place in the 2012 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. Visit the National Geographic website for all the winners.

Thoughts on Photo: What does the balloon symbolize or make me think or feel? Joie de vivre, soulfulness, art, poetry, music, all the things that make life worthwhile — and, while sometimes elusive, their pursuit gives our lives meaning. I also think of destiny, pursuing one’s destiny, I think of dharma, I think of truth and beauty. The balloons make me think and feel many things. Innocence and wonder, and maintaining the capacity for innocence and wonder throughout life. Thank you Vo Anh Kiet for your amazing photo.

Thoughts on Quote: What can I say about The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, except “read it!” (if you haven’t already). I’ll admit that I wasn’t an early adopter of this 1997 (in English translation) novel. I read the book in 2005 at the recommendation of someone with similar taste in books. I’ve never read anything like it. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle blew me away more than any book I’ve ever read — the novel is strange, wonderful, engrossing, with gorgeous prose, fascinating characters, and mind-bending scenes.

Since I find it beyond my ability to summarize the book, here’s an overview from bookrags.com: Toru Okada quits his job as a gofer in a Tokyo law firm and stays home to take care of the house while his wife works…Toru’s quiet life changes a few days after their cat disappears and he meets an unusual cast of characters who help him explore connections between waking and dreaming, past and present, good and evil.