Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Wooded Mountains at Dusk, 1693 (Qing Dynasty)
Chinese landscape painting, more than any of the visual arts, captures the way mountains make me feel. I don't know what it is - I know that art historians will point out the small figure in the foreground, the way that the landscape is both beautiful and inhabited. But perhaps this poem by the artist Kuncan explains why his work resonates with me:
I want to go further,
But my legs are bruised and scratched.
The bony rocks appear chiseled,
The pines look as if they had been dyed.
Sitting down, I feel like a small bird,
As I look out at the crowd of peaks gathered before me.
Having ascended the heights to the brink of the abyss,
I hold fast and ponder the need to sincerely face criticism.
Wherever a road ends, I will set myself down,
Wherever a source opens, I will build a temple.
All this suffices to nourish my eyes,
And rest my feet.
I've felt like that while doing field work, from the scratched legs to the need to sincerely face criticism.
Accretionary Wedge #10: Aesthetic Geology