Poems of Meng Jiao
A Little Solitude
I drink but I don't get drunk.
I'm happy that I've long been quiet.
From the creek, I draw four or five cups.
On my lute, I pluck two or three strings.
Training my spirit to be quiet, solitary, and clear,
I purge emotions, going deep into the darkness.
Then I howl in frustration by the side of the road --
I want to be defeated. I don't want to be whole.
I find this a truly exciting poem. The last two lines accomplish so much. From some remote solitude, we are thrust upon the road (the one we started on?). From the silent darkness in the heart of Sitting Forgetting comes the howl of a conflicted heart. And then the amazing final line. Meng Jiao wants to be defeated. Don't we all? But defeated by what? Is it different for everyone or a fundamental human desire? Isn't it simply our fear of wholeness? And if you think you do not want to be defeated, isn't that the pre-emptive surrender of not approaching wholeness?