Like a rising tide
Like a rising tide
This is no tourist destination. It is a small, busy, virile town of subtle charm like so many other small, busy, virile towns. You will never discover the charms if you arrive on the train and depart on the next bus.
I nodded an assent, then shook my head… paused. “What does that mean?”
She told me. I must still not have understood, because I’ve forgotten. Only the phrase is left. I couldn’t focus, and the image in my mind drifted away.
Like this photo of a dragon-handled brazier at Kong Miao, the Confucius Temple in Beijing. Ever so slightly, focussed too deep. And like a photograph, there is no way, hard as I’ve tried, to bring China fully into focus.
I am in Kashgar’s thrall. Its people, its buildings, its colours, its smells. Its efficient simplicity, driven by foot and hoof on these back alleys and lanes. The smiles; the furrowed brows; the twinkling eyes, the hard glares: of shopkeepers and shoppers.
All the better
A sun hangs low and wan
Its light dispersed
By an atmosphere
Thick with particles
Steinbeck dedicated chapter twelve of Grapes to Route 66, the road of flight for dust bowl refugees seeking the promise of something better in California. The chapter traces Route 66, its terrain, its places, its challenges, the experiences of its desperate travellers, from the Joad family home in Oklahoma all the way to Los Angeles.
But every now and again
The sun shines through
For weeks, or months
“My original convictions upon this subject have been confirmed by the course of events for several years, and experience is every day adding to their strength. That those tribes can not exist surrounded by our settlements and in continual contact with our citizens is certain. They have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement which are essential to any favorable change in their condition. Established in the midst of another and a superior race, and without appreciating the causes of their inferiority or seeking to control them, they must necessarily yield to the force of circumstances and ere long disappear.”
~ Andrew Jackson