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Humble hospitality

Posted April. 01, 2022 07:48,   

Updated April. 01, 2022 07:48


The poet is busy greeting a guest visiting in the lonely hour. He sweeps the flower path that has been left untouched and opens a twig gate that has been locked for a while. He must have stayed home most of the time, let alone having a guest over. As he serves simple snacks and old rice wine, he asks his guest if it would be okay to bring an old neighbor to join them. The poet annotated that the guest was a governor surnamed Choi. The guest and the neighbor must have gladly agreed to the poet’s generous proposal.

Chinese poet Du Fu (712-770)failed state exams multiple times and did not keep the government post that he earned with partially his own efforts and partially others’ recommendation before experiencing a war. He was looking for a place to settle in with a family and briefly stopped his long wandering life by getting a thatched cottage in Sichuan. With a friend’s help, he finally got to experience some humble comfort for the first time and the last time in his life here at the age of 50. As he was living on ‘acorns picked up by following monkeys into mountain valleys on cold days until evening’ before this place, he must have felt content with even the boredom from the fact that ‘only things he could see were seagulls coming over every day.’