Lúshān; Hut Mountain


 
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Lushan is indeed a difficult mountain so see and understand. Su Shi's famous poem puts it best, '不知廬山真面目', 'No way to know Lushan's true face!' With experience I think I understand the genesis of his poem, and his experiences that brought it about. On Lushan the mist shuffles back and forth over the mountain obscuring any bird's eye view of the mountain. Mist and rain blanket the mountain 200 days a year. But what caused Su to discribe Lushan using horizontal and vertical images?

In September 2002, I clambered up Xianglufeng, Incense Burner Peak, above Hui Yuan's Donglinsi, in a steady rain and a complete whiteout. No path led the way and it was only by luck of dead reakoning that I stumbled on the peak. I hunkered down on summit and waited for the mist to clear. Three hours later I was rewarded as the peak suddenly shot up in the air! I had the feeling I was on an ascending elevator! Of course the mist had receeded, but the feeling was one of the peak rising vertically in the air. Often in the misty Lushan landscape, floating without a firm foundation, in a misty vertigo, one has the feeling that the peaks are rising, not the mist receeding! A second mist phenomenon that often occurs is that the mist moves sideways and peaks appear as if from behind a sliding curtain pulled horizontally across a stage.

So in one case the peaks move, not the mist. The mist is stable and the mountain shoots out of it. In the other case the mountain is stable and the mist acts like a horizontal curtain, revealing the peaks as it slides across.

This, I think, may be what Su may have been thinking when he wrote his poem on the wall of the Xilinsi, West Forest Monastery.

 
 
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Hánshān Déqīng 1564-1623 憨山德清
Huì Yuǎn 334-416 慧遠
Lǐ Bái 699-762 李白
Qíjǐ 864-937 齊己
Sū Shì (1036-1101) 蘇軾
Táo Yuānmīng (Táo Qián) 365-427 陶淵明 (陶潜)
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Xú Xiákè 1587-1641 徐霞客
Zhū Fàng 750-790 朱放
 
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Cíhángsì 慈航寺
Dàlinsì (Big Forest Temple) 大林寺
Dōnglínsì (East Forest Temple) 東林寺
Guīzōngsì 歸宗寺
Kāixiānsì 開先寺
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Táo Yuānmíng Jìniànguān 陶淵明紀念館
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Wǔrǔsì 五乳寺
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Yǎngtiānpíng 仰天坪
Yuánfódiàn 圓佛殿
Yúnzhōngsì 雲中寺
Zhúlínsì (Lúshān) 竹林寺 (廬山)
Zhúlínsì (Wǔtáishān) 竹林寺(五臺山)
 
BáilùdòngShūyuàn 白鹿洞書院
Dàtiānchí Pàotāi 大天池炮台
Dòuyèpíng 豆葉坪
Guānyīnqiáo (Qīxiánqiáo) 觀音橋 (棲賢橋
Gùlǐng 牿嶺
Huājìng 花徑
Jiāngxī 江西
Jǐnxiùgǔ 錦繡谷
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TáoYuānmīng Mù 陶淵明墓
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Tiānqiáo 天橋
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Wàngfūtíng 望夫亭
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Xuánsuǒqiáo 懸索橋
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Yùyuāntán 玉淵潭
Zhàojiāngyá Shíkè 照江崖石刻