The Square of Peacemaking

2 Comments

Memory of this encounter popped up recently. I visited Beijing two years ago with our group of tai ji (or tai chi alternatively) practitioners. One day we went to see Tiananmen Square, of course. Our shifu or master, who was born and raised in Beijing, had told us stories about how he and his family used to go to fly a kite there then when his was just a wee boy. And it is a strangely alluring place with the guards, the monuments, its contradictory history as the space of power and of Sunday fun; the gates of the Forbidden City on one side and the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, seen here in the background, on the opposite side.

We wanted to have a group photograph and these high school kids stopped to help us. After one of them had taken a picture of us Westerners they spontaneously grouped around each of us for more pictures. We had such fun even if we had only a few common words to exchange. Of all the magnificent things I got to experience during this trip (the Great Wall, Forbidden City, the food, ah!) this turned out to be the most affecting one.

I wish I knew their names and where they came from. I so much would like to send this picture to them.

Tiananmen, the Gate of Heavenly Peace, is actually the gate leading to the palatial complex of the Forbidden City. But this translation of the gate’s name is not an accurate one. A more appropriate translation would be the ‘Gate of Heavenly Peacemaking’, the counter part of the gate on the south side of the square, Dianmen, the ‘Gate of Earthly Peacemaking.’ In between these two gates now exists an open square, a space, a void.

We filled it up for a moment. And every day the people, the ordinary and the power wielding, share that space with each other.

Revolutions

1 Comment

I found these saprophytic fungi growing on a dead but still standing birch tree one autumn few years ago. The tree was full of them, proving for new growth in its death. Today the snow is melting fast and great tits are collecting materials for new nests. The world turns and life regenerates – endlessly.

Evan Thompson

Professor of Philosophy, University of British Columbia

Quinn Creative

No one succeeds without excellent communication skills. Good writing is compelling. Good communication is convincing. Good training is rare. Welcome to QuinnCreative.

Les carnets de voyage de Flinflin

Travel sketches from across the world

Reflections on Horsemanship

Listening to the horse.

The Sketchbook

MOSTLY MONTREAL, MOST OF THE TIME

Le blog des Flinflins

Making a full comic strip out of an ordinary life

clipsimity

the science of pylimitics

Considering The Horse.

Welcome! We are looking forward to sharing some thoughts and ideas on horses and horsemanship with you. Be sure to check back from time to time for new installments!

Dear Me

notes from the future

busy mockingbird

a messy collection of art projects, crafts, and various random things...

The Last of the Druids

New Insights into Pictish Stones

RikReimert

Drawings

Danny Gregory

Inspiration for creative folks like you.

Quinn Creative

No one succeeds without excellent communication skills. Good writing is compelling. Good communication is convincing. Good training is rare. Welcome to QuinnCreative.