14 December 2007

A journal along the Silk Roads though the eyes of a Women (B.C.)

Day 1,

Today is the start of my new life in a foreign land. I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t afraid, but I have come too far, done too much to stop now. But I am getting ahead of myself, to move forward one must know where one has been. So with this inspiration in my mind I will start from the beginning.

My birth mother named me Mei Mei, which means little sister in Chinese. My mother was a concubine for the mighty emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty. After living a life that met serving a harsh, uncaring master; she decides to rescue me from that kind of serve and give me what she herself could never have: freedom. Mother, with the help of a slave girl, secretly got me out of the inner palace and to a Christian missionary. It was here that I learn to read, write and to think critical about my world and my place in it. I can remember my mother visiting when she could leave the palace without being caught, but after a while she stopped coming. I could tell if it was because someone caught her and killed her because she felt she wasn’t apart of my life anymore, so she thought it best to stay away.

Day 12,

In the monastery the other girls and I have hear talk of other different philosophical ideas that are taking root as religions. Emperor Wu has recently allowed Confucian thinkers to come and teach about their new ideas, but this as to be a conflict for those in his court for they are traditional legalist.

Legalism was also a philosophical idea created during the spring and autumn period of the Warring states period by Han Fei. Legalism is the harshest form of government that China has seen, because it calls for the emperor to rule by unsympathetic, cruel laws and to punish swiftly and without hesitation. The emperor also has ministers of legalist that advise him on how to rule as custom. But now that Confucianism is being allowed once again into the district, things will change; for the better or worst who knows.

The missionaries have explained just how different Confucian ideas are from legalism. In Confucian’s thought is base on ethics, moralities and how man should involve himself in society, politics to creative a world of peace. The ruler is responsible for his people and rules by the mandate of heaven, which means, the Gods have given him the authority to rule of them. Also in Confucians ideas there are different some main concepts that are stress: Loyalty, Humanity, the gentleman, rectification of names. I for one think that these ideas should be use for government, it is better than legalism and the people seem to enjoy listening and learning from these teachers of Confucianism.

Day 27,

Today is the day. I have deiced to leave the missionary and go in search of advantage. I can’t become a nun like the Christian’s leaders want, I am too free willed, undisciplined, and outspoken. I want to go explore the Silk Road, and see what can be found there, and what else I can learn. But, unfortunately, I am a girl and women don’t usually travel along or will be respected because we are women and not men. There is only one thing to do, is to conceal my identity. I have the help of my friend, Chan to cut all my hair off and steal men’s clothes. A regret that I will have to leave Chan. She is my best friend and is truly graceful and beautiful on the inside, just as her name says. But I most go. I need more than these walls and listening to prayers all day. I will leave at sunrise while the sisters are preparing for early mass.

Day 30,

Traveling through the Taklamakan desert is harder than I thought, even with all the preparation and help with Chan. Even thou I miss Chan everyday; I can’t help but love this new life and all the wonders I have seen. The desert it self is of course hot and dry, which is why I travel long distances at night and hide in what little shade there is during the day. But there are many Oases here, and there are actual tribal people living in these oases. And the best part is that no one knows that I am a girl, so I can learn about Buddhism, trade precious jade for food and talk with the tribal leaders as equals. Buddhism seems to be a new religion that comes from a place named India, it is really hard for me to understand the teachers of Buddhism because they speak a different language that I haven’t heard before now, so a lot of things get lost in translation from others who speak this Indian language.

Day 40,

So this is the last page of my journal, I have share many events with you and it pains me to end our journey together. But I don’t think that I will every stop learning and uncovering the new ideas and new beginnings. There is still so much for me to see, do, and experience in this life; and in the next according to Buddhist believe. So I am sure I will be seeing you in my next life.


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nisey said...

seriously, if your birth mother was the concubine of han wu di, would you have lived for about two thousand years?