Today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt brings to mind the serried mountains of Guilin which served as a backdrop to a project (ignore the foreground, it is just part of the construction site). Other mountain ranges didn’t come to mind, I suppose they feel more natural, while these of Guilin felt somewhat jostled and awkward, however beautiful.
This handsome young man here is my dearest mentor – the master mind and one of the brightest brains in the planning arena. If you want to know how my home country is so neat and tidy (and clinical), tada ~ that’s him to thank. We have our differences, but he really guided me a lot through my raw years of being young and impressionable. Everyday his little analogy rings in my head, “remember your velvet glove with your iron fist”. That’s how I learnt firmness with elegance. To this date (eight years since), I still hold my ground, and after years of fist fights, I have learnt to dress my velvet glove.
I picked up many analogies from mountains as we travelled around Chinese cities that came with so many poems and poets and the like. I learnt more Chinese (language, culture and philosophy) those four years on the road than my twelve years in school. We went to Mount Tai, and he explained to me how life can be lighter than a feather, or weightier than Mount Tai, depending on what noble cause(s) we put to it. Because Chinese proverb, “人固有一死，或重于泰山，或轻于鸿毛，用之所趋异也。” We dissect the words and give it our own meaning, and this became another analogy that he would remind me whenever I get too caught up in seriousness about some issues which can be trivial depending on how we frame our thoughts. “Light as feather”, he would always remind.
We also went around Mount Lu before, spinning around to have a full view of “庐山真面目” (the real truth of a person or a matter at hand). It is another Chinese proverb/poem, “横看成岭侧成峰，远近高低各不同。不识庐山真面目，只缘身在此山中。” Basically pointing to the fact that when you are deep in something, you cannot see the full picture – whether it is a mountain range (frontal view) or a peak (side profile).
The most fun random mountain-ish analogy was “一山不容二虎”, which basically means there cannot be two tigers in one mountain. Many layers of meanings here: his name is pronounced as Tiger (just like mine is pronounced as Leaping. haha); on occasions (probably delirious from too much travelling), he would elbow me out of the discussion table on grounds that “there cannot be two famous people here, i have to jostle you out of the field”. Tsk.
I have such a cultured mentor. I’m sure some essence has osmosised to me in those four enriching years. ❤