Yuyuan garden,Shanghai, China, October 2011
On a trip to China last October ( Yes, I logged serious airmiles, long story), our guide took us here, and I loved it. Smack in the heart of the city, with skyscrapers rising all around, was this bustling, but tranquil, if there can be such a thing in a city…park. Built by a son for his aging parents and then preserved in their memory.
It was a delightful rabbit warren of nooks and crannies and winding walkways and ponds bubbling with orange and red fish, like, the water was churning with them. Lots of little overhanging nooks that were meant for familial ceremonies, tea, writing, contemplation.
Of course as much as I loved it, the writerly part of my brain snurched the locale, thinking how lovely it would be if you, an immortal, weren’t confined to a stuffy library in your velvets and lace, sipping wine as mortals curled at your feet.
Mind you, I never bought into that vampire stereotype. You’re immortal. Do things with your life. Create, read, make things. Do things. Hang out in a library with books untouched and contemplate the woe of it all? naaaaaaaah.
Go out to a lovely little garden with your lover and kiss under the stars, in a little canopied shelter as it rains. Live.
Never understood the angsty angry vamps. I’d go study biology, and biochemistry and art and whatever else. I’d relish the extra lifetimes to do and see all the things a mere lifetime makes you decide which ones on your great life list to do.
But the garden, slightly fictionalized, appears in my writing in a few places, as sanctuary, just like I experienced in Shanghai.
Still could use an extra couple lifetimes. Someone get on that.