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Han Shan

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Once, my back wedded to the solid cliff,
I sat silently, bathed in the full moon's light.
--
Encounters With Cold Mountain, tr. Peter Stambler, Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, (1996)

 
Han Shan

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In the east the moon was rising, a full moon that lighted the landscape so that he could see every little clump of bushes, every grove of trees. And as he stood there, he realized with a sudden start that the moon was full again, that it was always full, it rose with the setting of the sun and set just before the sun came up, and it was always a great pumpkin of a moon, an eternal harvest moon shining on an eternal autumn world.
The realization that this was so all at once seemed shocking. How was it that he had never noticed this before? Certainly he had been here long enough, had watched the moon often enough to have noticed it. He had been here long enough — and how long had that been, a few weeks, a few months, a year? He found he did not know. He tried to figure back and there was no way to figure back. There were no temporal landmarks. Nothing ever happened to mark one day from the next. Time flowed so smoothly and so uneventfully that it might as well stand still.

 
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The whole plain was like a battlefield—or a farmyard. There was a reddish light and I jumped down, cramped and stiff with cold; a sliver of moon was piercing the low clouds and it looked like a gash from a knife and bathed the plain in a blood-red light. I stayed looking at it for a while. It terrified me.

 
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Seeing the moon, he becomes the moon, the moon seen by him becomes him. He sinks into nature, becomes one with nature. The light of the "clear heart" of the priest, seated in the meditation hall in the darkness before the dawn, becomes for the dawn moon its own light.

 
Yasunari Kawabata
 

Tonight, I should watch the sun set, and think of the impending darkness as a metaphor for my wasted life: once it was bright, and full of potential, and now it is dark and hopeless and bleak. I should not make the mistake of thinking that the moon and the stars represent slim glimmers of hope, or evidence that there is light on the other side. Even if there is light somewhere I will never walk in it again.

 
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Although the semicircle of the Moon is placed above the circle of the Sun and would appear to be superior, nevertheless we know that the Sun is ruler and King. We see that the Moon in her shape and her proximity rivals the Sun with her grandeur, which is apparent to ordinary men, yet the face, or a semi-sphere of the Moon, always reflects the light of the Sun.

 
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