Recalling the Past at T’ung Pass


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As if gathered together,
rhe peaks of the ranges.
As if raging,
The waves on these banks.
winding along
these mountains and rivers
the road to the T’ung Pass.
I look west
and hesitant I lament
here where
opposing armies passed through.
of countless rulers
now but dust.
Empires rise:
people suffer.
Empires fall:
people suffer.

Chang Yang-Hao, 1269 – 1329

“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” Ecclesiastes

When we are young many things seem so important – reputation, career, money, position, politics, beliefs. Aging offers the opportunity to see things differently. Often, regret is a by-product of this reflection; regret for what was done and for what was not done. It seems that suffering is a constant of life.