Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai win Nobel Peace Prize (image via: firstpost.com)
We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.
Image via: peytonresner on 8tracks
Maurice Ravel - Pavane pour une infante defunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess)
Pablo Heras-Casado, conductor - Chicago Symphony
Won Sou-Yeol HERE
Keith Haring for Sesame Street
… I come here every day, say hello to the butterflies, and talk about things with them. When the time comes, though, they just quietly go off and disappear. I’m sure it means they’ve died, but I can never find their bodies. They don’t leave any trace behind. It’s like they’ve been absorbed by the air. They’re dainty little creatures that hardly exist at all: they come out of nowhere, search quietly for a few, limited things, and disappear into nothingness again, perhaps to some other world.
Image: Emma Powell -Juggling Butterflies
Frédéric Chopin - Prelude in E-Minor (op.28 no. 4) - Aldona Dvarionaite
Dashboard click box below for Jimmy Page’s version. :)
Through flocks of mountains, myriad valleys,
I arrive in Jingmen,
where Ming-fei was born and bred—*
the village is still there.
Once she left the crimson terraces,
there was nothing but endless desert;
only her evergreen grave is left
to face the twilight.
Portraits have recorded
her spring-fresh face;
the tinkle of girdle pendants heralds
her soul’s vain return by moonlight.
For a thousand years the pipa
has wailed in its alien tongue,
as if its strings bemoan in song
her tragic tale of grief
Du Fu - Thoughts on an Ancient Site: Birthplace of Wang Qiang (tr. David Lunde)
From Wiki: “Wang Qiang (Wang Chiang; 王牆, also 王檣 and 王嬙), more commonly known by her stylistic name Wang Zhaojun (Wang Chao-chun; 王昭君) was known as one of the Four Beauties of ancient China. Born in Baoping Village, Zigui County (in current Hubei Province) in the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC–8 AD), she was sent by Emperor Yuan to marry the Xiongnu Chanyu (呼韓邪) in order to establish friendly relations with the Han
Dynasty through marriage.
In the most prevalent version of the “Four Beauties” legend, it is said that Wang Zhaojun left her hometown on horseback on a bright autumn morning and began a journey northward. Along the way, the horse neighed, making Zhaojun extremely sad and unable to control her emotions. As she sat on the saddle, she began to play sorrowful melodies on a stringed instrument. A flock of geese flying southward heard the music, saw the beautiful young woman riding the horse, immediately forgot to flap their wings, and fell to the ground. From then on, Zhaojun acquired the nickname “fells geese” or “drops birds.”
Entering the harem
Wang Zhaojun was born to a prominent family of Baopin village, Zigui country (now Zhaojun village, Xingshan county, Hubei) in the south of the Western Han empire. As she was born when her father was very old, he regarded her as “a pearl in the palm”. Wang Zhaojun was endowed with dazzling beauty with an extremely intelligent mind. She was also adept in pipa and master of all the Four Arts of the Chinese Scholar – Guqin, Weiqi, Calligraphy and Chinese painting. In 36 BC, Emperor Yuan chose his concubines from the whole state. Because of Wang’s fame in the county, she was his first choice for the concubine from Nan county. Emperor Yuan issued the edict that Wang should enter the harem soon. Wang’s father said that his daughter was too young to enter the harem, but could not violate the decree. Wang left her hometown and entered the harem of Emperor Yuan in early summer. According to the custom in the palace, when choosing a new wife, the Emperor was first presented with portraits of all the possible women. It is said that because of Wang’s confidence of beauty and temperament, she refused to bribe the artist Mao Yanshou as the other maids did. As a reprisal, Mao Yanshou painted a mole of widowed tears on Wang’s portrait. As a result, during her time in the Lateral Courts, Wang Zhaojun was never visited by the emperor and remained as a palace lady-in-waiting. Wang Zhaojun’s portrait was either never viewed by the Emperor, or was not in its true form, and therefore the Emperor overlooked her.
Departing for the frontier
In 33 BC, Huhanye Chanyu visited Chang’an as part of the tributary system that existed between the Han and Xiongnu governments. He took the opportunity to request to become an imperial son-in-law, which is recorded by Lou Jingde under Emperor Gaozu of Han. As Queen Mother Lü had only one daughter she did not have the heart to send her too far away. Typically the daughter of a concubine would then be offered, but, unwilling to honour Huhanye with a real princess, Emperor Yuan ordered that the plainest girl in the harem be selected. He asked for volunteers and promised to present her as his own daughter. The idea of leaving their homeland and comfortable life at the court for the grasslands of the far and unknown north was abhorrent to most of the young women, but Wang Zhaojun accepted. When the matron of the harem sent the unflattering portrait of Wang Zhaojun to the emperor he merely glanced at it and nodded his approval. Only when summoned to court was Wang Zhaojun’s beauty revealed and the emperor considered retracting his decision to give her to the Xiongnu. However, it was too late by then and Emperor Gaozu regretfully presented Wang Zhaojun to Huhanye, who was delighted. Relations with the Xiongnu subsequently improved and the court artist, Mao Yanshou, was subsequently executed for deceiving the e Emperor. (via: wiki)
Artemis: Wang Qiang is also known as Mingfei