mjj (flemmings) wrote,

The first time I saw the terracotta warriors, in mid-December, the exhibit was full of school groups, teens and preteens in long trailing lines and clumped yattering knots. Negotiable enough for someone who regularly passed through Shinjuku Station in the morning rush, so I saw the exhibit at my leisure. The second time, after Christmas, the whole museum was packed with families pushing small children in the miniature tanks that (cough) a certain breed of parent thinks de rigueur for their darling. Seeing anything-- moving anywhere- was something of a challenge, so it was lucky I knew exactly what I wanted to see and snaked my way through the obstacle course to see it.

I can't say why I then remember the terracotta warriors as a jewel moment of happiness, but I do, especially on this snow-flurrying day so much like that first day. The dark, the spotlights, the silent figures raised above the eddying human flotsam at their feet: yes, blast it, it *was* impressive. The background exhibit on pre- and post- FirstEmp was extensive and informative and very satisfying for my purposes. Which still shouldn't account for the bodiless quiet happiness I associate with it. Maybe it's just the reappearance of the museum itself in my life, like an old friend from high school (note that my high school days were happier than many people's: so many friends, so many sympathetic minds and genuinely nice people)-- altered by the intervening decades and with a truly unfortunate taste in makeup or partners nowadays, but someone I loved long ago and retain affection for still.

(Which said, dear god the Lee-Chin Crystal's entrance hall really is a downer.)


Just a rainy day or two
In a windy tower,
That was all I had of you—
Saving half an hour.

Marred by greeting passing groups
In a cinder walk,
Near some naked blackberry hoops
Dim with purple chalk.

I remember three or four
Things you said in spite,
And an ugly coat you wore,
Plaided black and white.

Just a rainy day or two
And a bitter word.
Why do I remember you
As a singing bird?

--Edna St Vincent Millay
Tags: china, rl_10, verse

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