Secret of Greatness
What sluices from a snowy mountain
Secretes under the skin. Warming.
Nov. 01, 2007
Literal translation of the Chinese:
Why bother building a house for a mountain?
You may hide in it. Enjoy alone.
The two lines for the original English is paralleled on the basis that the Chinese character for “secret” may be broken down into radicals which include “why bother” and “house/cover on a mountain.” To be a hermitage in the mountain is long considered as a way to achieve personal integrity, and of course the greatness of a hermitage is not to “conquer” nature but become an organic part of it. So this is the secret of greatness. This is also why there have been so many poems and artworks with the motifs of cottage and fishing boat and hermits.