Jan 23, 2008 - OF DRAGONS AND HORSES    1 Comment

Scars

Filly began to notice something everywhere she went. Scars! Everything in the Dragon’s Lair was sooo old…it was hard not to be confronted with the lines of age on everything. Evidence of the age of the Dragon’s Lair was everywhere, from the population to the buildings to the very foliage that was all around. The very thought of this awed filly for she came from a very young place and everything about where she came from was flooded with the idea of youth.It is quite an awesome realization when you are walking along a stone paved street and it hits you that the very ruts created in those stone pavers have been there for a thousand years. Everything in America is youthful. Our roads are new, our buildings are new, our people are new. In China, everything is old. The elders are regarded and honored. Their traditions are older than most other cultures now existent upon the earth. Even me. I was considered impetuous at times and though I had been raised among a group that advocated honor and respect for elders and parents, found the degree of their reverence for age and wisdom profound.

This was about 12 years before 9/11, so for the most part, America is a scarless place. We have events that have scarred us – Pearl Harbor, Wounded Knee, the Civil War – but these events dwarf when compared to the history of the Chinese.

Our Civil War was unique throughout the world. We fought each other over a principle and then rebuilt and moved forward. In a revolution, such as the Cultural Revolution, the fighting continues silently. The wounds never heal. They are always rupturing into things like Tianamen Square that get world attention, but remain unresolved within.

Meanwhile, evidence of the unspoken struggle is left behind. Buildings on my campus were used during the Manchurian War when the campus was a prison camp for Chinese POWs under Japanese control. These buildings were one story buildings with bars on the windows.

This photo is of doors which at one time were beautifully carved and probably quite a show piece in addition to being used as doors. I wanted to cry for the loss…the wood has not been protected or cared for and there is much here to suggest that they were beautiful and intricate works at one time.

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This is a picture of the stone pavers used to pave the roadways and pathways in the back areas. They are worn from age and the ruts of the carts which have been used to transport across them for hundreds of years.
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This is a photo of a house which at one time would have been considered a mansion with an outer courtyard. Instead, it has been overrun with more people than it was truly meant to house and allowed to fall into disrepair. The building inside the circle was added later in order to accommodate more people. This would have had a fountain with an outer circle around for use as a laundry for the actual mansion.
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What Filly learned was that sometimes scars themselves can be a thing a beauty…a mark of character that comprises the whole picture.

1 Comment

  • Could not agee with you more..