Sunday, February 13, 2005

and also...

#45 to meet one's lover

to meet one's lover summer is indeed the right season. true, the nights are very short, and dawn creeps up before one has had a wink of sleep. since all the lattices have been left open, one can lie and look out at the garden in the cool morning air. there are still a few endearments to exchange before the man takes his leave, and the lovers are murmuring to each other when suddenly there is a loud noise. for a moment they are certain they have been discovered; but it is only the caw of a crow flying past in the garden.

in the winter, when it is very cold and one lies buried in the bedclothes listening to one's lover's endearments, it is delightful to hear the booming of the temple gong, which seems to come from the bottom of a deep well. the first cry of the birds, whose beaks are still tucked under their wings, is also strange and muffled. then one bird after another takes up the call. how pleasant it is to lie there listening as the sound becomes clearer and clearer.

--sei shonagon, the pillow book


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