Monday, 31 January 2011

Wild Geese Flying

Wild Geese 2
Originally uploaded by joe with a camera
"Wild Goose Flying" is a classic t'ai chi movement, and there's a whole school of Qiqong centred on it. China is full of these recurring themes, and they're all inter-related... you see, it's not just the movement itself, but the mythology. Wild geese are traditionally associated with taoist immortals - those sages who achieved enlightenment through living in the world, rather than the buddhist perspective of seeing through it. They represent both longevity and freedom from cares, and also feature in Zen (which is literally a cross between Taoism and Buddhism).

Anyway, this gorgeous little statue is in the middle of a lotus pool on an island in XuanWu Lake, a major lake in the middle of Nanjing. A network of islands has been turned into a park, with gardens, museums, statues, and all manner of other things. At the moment it is also hosting an surprising number of giant inflatable rabbits.
We had to work quite hard to get the angle without a litter bin in shot, but it does seem to have worked. The lotus in the foreground is a type of large, and exquisitely gorgeous water lily. It's also edible - we've got a couple of roots in our apartment right now. It's going to be quite something come the summer, but this place has a charm of a different sort right now.

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