Sun, Huangpu river and skyscrapers. Shanghai. A thriving, cosmopolitan megapolis. And then there’s Beijing with its imperial gardens, forbidden cities, walls and Mao’s. It’s been already almost a month since I came back from the Far East, so I thought I’d just share a few random observations of mine and attach here a couple of photos for your viewing pleasure.
Shall we begin?
I remember reading a while ago a statement of Anatole France. He said that the chief business of life is “killing time.” And so it is. What is the difference if we gather all the facts of the universe into our brains for the worms to eat? They might give the worms indigestion. What matters it how much we get together? It lasts but a short time. It never brings what we expect. All we get from it is the self-forgetfulness that comes from gathering it. We get from the gleaning the loss of self-consciousness, which after all is the only thing that makes life tolerable to the ordinary person, or the extraordinary for that matter. One can imagine nothing more tiresome and profitless than sitting down and thinking of one’s self. If you are bound to work and cannot avoid work, and can be lost in the work, it is the most tolerable life after all that one can have. Now, I never was industrious. I could prove that by a number of people here tonight. Still, I have always worked. Some task is always waiting for me and someone always calling to me. And I could not avoid the task or ignore the call. So the sixty-one years of my life have slipped by and I have scarcely known it. Continue reading