Archive for August 1st, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

Summer in Northern Germany

Recent summers have been hot here, with the exception of 2007. This summer is another hot one, but not in a monotonous way. There are sunny and rainy days, and there are days like this one, when sunny and hot spells take turns with storm, thunder and rain – all within one day.

Lin Yutang (林语堂), a man who made classical Chinese literature and thought popular in the West, once said this about the seasons:

summer night

summer night

“I love spring, but it’s too young. I love summer, but it’s too raging. So I love fall most, despite its mild suggestion of sadness, as it is peaceful, ripe, abundant, a combination of jade-green and golden colors, sadness and happiness, chance and memory.”

Before quoting this, you better check it yourself – it’s probably an imperfect translation. In Chinese, it seems to go like this:

“我爱春天,但是太年轻。我爱夏天,但是太气傲。所以我最爱秋天,它虽略带忧伤,但是宁静、成熟、丰富,翠绿与金黄相混,悲伤与喜悦相杂,希望与回忆相间.”

I may still be in a raging mode. I love summer. I see variety in summer. Some nights ago, a cargo train passed by at 1:45 a.m. It usually doesn’t disturb my sleep, or anyones sleep. And maybe it wasn’t really the train. Maybe it was the sky full of stars, with the reverberations of daylight dimming them slightly. Summer is as diverse as autumn.

But maybe I will look at it differently once I’m in my fifties or sixties.

Friday, August 1, 2008

“The whole point about Human Rights laws is that their purpose is to defend individuals, not ‘macro’ interests”

There is a discussion about human rights in China where the debaters actually listen to each other. So far, anyway.

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