Erenlai - Items filtered by date: Thursday, 22 February 2007
Friday, 23 February 2007 00:00

Treacherous Island

-1–
Two birch-trees and one monsoon frog
Converse under the majestic archway
That leads to Treacherous Island’s principal deity.
Tea leaves cover the slopes of the iceberg; rice fields
Give harvests of chestnuts; stones, shells and blades
Render the same tenuous sound; the wave never
Reaches the sand, the sand never offends the wind.

Birch-trees and monsoon frogs have little in common,
A few words, none of them coming from their mother tongues,
A few words left by Gulliver when he left these banks, a few
Words - just enough for their evening entertainment.
The principal deity remains mute, leaving ordinarily the talking
To the stars and the crabs, to the deer and the figs.

Here, men and trees are entrenched in bitter rivalry.
It seems that long ago men had roots, trees were free.
The trees were protecting these dwarfs from vultures and hyenas,
And, when the assault became too ferocious, the king tree
Consumed a sacrifice for the sweetest of the maiden, planting its feet Into the soil and freeing her from the same links, unknowing
That her descent one day would ax the fairest of its sons.

The evening is green and salty. On the top of the hill, the trees
Again recount past deeds with slow motions of the branches,
And the birds try to remember which foliage belongs to whom
Before hiding within the trunk - for these birds fear the stars.

The deity suddenly yawns, her hand raised up to the nostril.
Everything stops. Nothing happens. And the stars and the crabs
And the deer and the figs elaborate a bridge of bites and sounds
That overwhelms the poor talking of the frogs and the trees.

Below the majestic archway used to live an old witch
Hidden within a small sanctuary built for a long-forgotten hero.
She is gone now. She flew away the day a young woman
With green, curved eyes came from nowhere and silently took on
The witch’s duties.
The young woman has no name, no voice, no genealogy.
She is seen sometimes in the wood,
Speaking in her own fashion to the dead.

Such are the ways of the island.
Things just happen because it should not be that way.
And the stars and the crabs and the deer and the figs celebrate
The treacherous deity who lets them live and speak and again speak.

Frogs and birch-trees know far too much for joining in the feast

-2-
Where will I go after the night?
Into the limitless whiteness.
And I will sit there, with slow motions of the two hands.
As does a wind-up monkey with a drum.
I will sit there. In the Nowhere.
In the Nowhere so white as to defy the Artic tongues.
The countless words for “snow.” The meager word for “death.”
The whiteness has no banks.
The silence has no banks.
Except for the short night that still is to be crossed.

-3-
I fear and love water as I fear death
And try to love the thought of it,
A thought as small as these fishes purple and blue
Ten meters below the level, a thought
Sometimes as big and grey
As the monsters, lower, I never saw.

Reefs all around the island, reefs
Before and maybe after death, reefs
Green and black, reefs within me,
And the sea dugs deeper when she sees
The rocks that do not dare defy the rising waves.

Under the level of the sea,
Stories evolve into fishes,
Grainy philosophies into the stones and their flora,
And as to the giant waves that surge from the below
Nobody knows for sure what they were like before there was the sea.

This is not a country where you will find an apple-tree,
It is too shrewd or innocent for hosting fruits like these,
The fruits it grows bleed when you speak to them
And cry the cries of love once in your mouth.
The fruits are that treasure that disappears as soon as discovered.
This is not a country where you will find an apple-tree.

-4-
Fishes as sweet as pebbles are wandering
Throughout the night of the sea, and my eyes
Are lost in the drawer that hides the stars and the candies.
I have grasped the tree of coral, and the bliss
Of being alive reverberates into my knees.
Treacherous Island, I love thee, I love
The deceptive sound of the waves, I love
The insidious poison that makes the palm-trees grow
From the scars of the sea to the salt of the sky.


Thursday, 22 February 2007 23:26

豬年 積聚 永續

不管是哪一種動物,幼小的動物總是惹人疼愛。我們看到小老虎驚呼的憐愛聲,就像我們看到小兔子一樣驚喜。小豬博得的鍾愛聲,想必就像小龍一樣響亮(若有人見過小龍的話,應該會贊同我的話。)等到動物越長越大,就不見得個個可愛。老虎雄強生威,馬兒步伐優雅,兔子想到籠外跳躍。「豬」這種動物恐怕是胖得最多的了。小時候,我在法國對豬的印象就像許多國家的小孩一樣,很怕被冠以「豬」字,因為豬並不是用來稱贊人的,例如「吃相不要像豬一樣」、「個性像豬一樣懶惰」、「像豬一樣髒」、「胖得像豬」……感覺上「豬」的文化意涵不高,總是被拿來開玩笑。
然而,凡是視豬肉為美食的民族都懂得欣賞豬的美德,因為豬很實在,牠一點都不浪費,而且為我們回收廚房剩下的食物。雖然人類對豬百般貶抑,豬還是很慷慨地提供我們好吃的肉。豬不但是「節約」的同義詞,而且「豬」象徵著可以取得利益的資本。小時候我們不是都把錢存在小豬撲滿嗎?豬不被許多人喜愛,但是牠很有用,具有生產力;豬是貧窮人的救生隊,牠讓人類懂得珍惜、運用有限的資源。
豬年的來到讓我們正視人類未來發展需要的美德。為了確保未來的發展,台灣正在調適、尋找新的經濟與社會發展模式,然而台灣卻也遇到了空前的金融風暴,社會事件更是層出不窮。「豬」的特質也許可以給予我們許多靈感,讓我們構思台灣永續發展需要努力的方向:豬的生產力大於消費力,牠不是敗家子,剩下的食物牠都吃,牠告訴我們「積聚」的重要。台灣不敢再自稱「虎」,「龍」的經濟模式也不再適用。不過,我們改不了過去的消費習慣,適應不了平淡的生活,能源沒有做好回收與再利用,經濟成長開倒車……未來我們需要的發展模式,不但必須注意到資源的有限性,而且仍能顧及後代子孫的需要。三隻小豬蓋房子、尋求安全庇護的踏實作為看起來可比自傲放肆、摧毀一切的壞野狼來得有智慧。大野狼掠奪式的狂舉並不是永續發展的正面模式,三隻小豬懂得謙卑與團結,反而具有「永續」的意涵……
台灣應該貫注全力朝向永續發展而努力。未來六十年或是七十年,台灣應該立志當經濟翻飛的成功典範;未來八十年或是九十年,台灣應該立志當華人世界與東亞的民主典範;對於全球暖化的警訊、世界能源告枯竭的前景,台灣應當有所作為,立志當亞洲發展的永續典範。三隻小豬面對危險的時候團結在一起對抗大野狼,這個故事提醒我們「沒有團結,就沒有永續發展」。豬年讓我們省思積聚的美德,並藉這個機會展望往後重要的永續走向。

【聯合報民意論壇,2007年2月26日】

附加的多媒體:
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Thursday, 22 February 2007 21:26

China's Forests

- China is home to 4.5% of the world’s forests. With only 18% of forested land, compared to the world average of 34%, China is poor in forest resources. Virgin forests account for 1% of its total territory. Its wood stock per inhabitant is around one sixth of world average. The proportion of young and middle-aged forests is of 70 per cent of all secondary growth forests, and the growth stock per forest unit is low.

- In the last 50 years China has undergone three major deforestations:
> 1958-1961: The Great Leap Forward
Entire forests were depleted to fuel backyard furnaces for smelting steel.
> 1966-1971: The Cultural Revolution
Hectares of forested sloping lands were converted into arable land, meant for corn and wheat cultivation.
> Early 80s: Beginning of the Economic Reforms
Allowed increased responsibility and fearing the policy might change again, farmers fell down all the trees on their contracted land.
20% to 40% of the forest cover was lost during these three episodes.

- 0lder forests are still disappearing (740,000 hectares of forest have disappeared in 2004) and the quality of newly planted surfaces is far inferior to that of older forests. In China the wooded area per inhabitant is four times inferior to world average. Since the quality of Chinese forests is very weak, the ratio of wood quantity per inhabitant is even weaker: only one sixth of world average. National regulations are still often disregarded, and the rise of paper consumption makes things worse.

- Forests affected by illness accounted for less than one million hectares in 1950. They account for around 10 millions hectares nowadays.

- Biodiversity loss: China has 15%-20% of the world’s endangered species, higher than the world average of 10-15%.

- Simple conifer forests comprise two thirds of China’s planted forests, with four great conifer accounting for 80 per cent of the total.

- In 1998 the government imposed a logging ban on 17% of forested areas in the upper reaches of major rivers. At the same time, massive reforestation effort and biodiversity conservation projects were implemented. As a result from 1982 to 2005 China has recorded a net gain of 20% in forest cover.

- As the world’s largest importer of wood and covering half of its domestic demand,
China is driven deforestation to South East Asia & West Africa. China is nowadays the first world importer of wood and imports from countries that manage very badly their own wood resources (Burma, Cambodia, Congo, Eastern Russia.) In other words, China is exporting its wood problem.

Attached media :
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Are Chinese experts paying attention to the potential contribution of religious organizations to social policy? What are the views of the intellectuals who pay attention to that issue? This short research note briefly examines Chinese intellectuals’ thinking on these issues. It focuses on the Buddhist religious tradition of its long presence in China, its tradition as a provider of social assistance, and its generally positive reception by both officials and intellectuals.

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Download Laliberté’s article in pdf

Attached media :
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Thursday, 22 February 2007 16:42

Religious Organizations and Welfare Policy

The charitable activities of the Tzu Chi Buddhist Compassion Relief Foundation in the Republic of China (ROC) draw our attention to a phenomenon seldom explored by political scientists: the reliance on religious organizations to supplement the shortcoming of modern states in the provision of social welfare.

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Read the article (pdf)

Attached media :
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Thursday, 22 February 2007 16:37

Jesus-Christ and the Chinese Religious World

English and Japanese versions of a paper on the reception of the figure of Jesus-Christ in the modern Chinese religious context.
Plus the Japanese version of a paper on Christianity in the Taiwanese religious landscape.

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Download the pdf file in English

Attached media :
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Here are English and French papers by Benoit Vermander on the practice of Chinese painting as spiritual encounter.

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Chinese painting and spiritual encounter (pdf in English)

Attached media :
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Thursday, 22 February 2007 16:19

The Hagiography of St Francis Xavier

From Mission History to Hermeneutic Strategies...

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Attached media :
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Thursday, 22 February 2007 16:17

李金远的天路历程

纪念一代伟人利玛窦到北京四百周年

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下载 pdf

附加的多媒体:
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Thursday, 22 February 2007 16:16

李金遠的天路歷程

紀念一代偉人利瑪竇到北京四百周年

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下載pdf


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