Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Eight Eccentrics of Shanghai

When I first came to Shanghai I was curious, and I asked its greatest sages to tell me the nature of Shanghai:

The first whispered  Shanghai is soft, malleable like the clays of the earth dredged up in springtime by blushing virgin women molding vessels for a great celebration.

The second spoke that Shanghai is hard, impenetrable, unassailable, a diamond so hard the lasers falter in its radiance, diverted into paths unknown, throwing the surest of men in their calculations to chance, to error and possible ruin.

The third railed Shanghai is a man, building himself from scratch, turning away the errors of the past, striving upward with an unassailable determination, reaching for the sky with hands that could grow fingers for fingers, nails for nails from the very thought of possibility, waiting for that moment to dig into a jugular and slake a thirst for power.

The fourth laughed that Shanghai is a woman, petty and longing for the capability of a man, searching for a mate to feed its desire, born in the streets of destitute greatness, the kind that longs for an order it knows it cannot have, but desires all the same.

The fifth said that Shanghai was fire, the kind that burned away all the viewpoints of old, to birth them better in a new light of day, miles beyond the haze of the rising sun, where the sun rays speak of new eras yet to coalesce in the shining.

The sixth said that Shanghai was flooding, ebbing, flowing, churning, rushing water, taking its toll, moving wherever it likes, held by the desire of gravity that says down, down and down. To follow it is a foolish errand, lashing oneself to a barrel only to know that it will topple over a waterfall deep towards its doom, where it might be eaten in the depths and recycled in the shallows.

The seventh said that Shanghai was death. He spoke little, and let the placid look on his face do the speaking.

The last spoke that Shanghai was life. His face contorted strangely and he laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed…

posted by ferret at 2:09 am  

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