Let’s dance

Spring’s here! Let’s get up and dance!

Today, I spent a lazy afternoon at Fuxing Park. The wind was chilly, but the sunshine extremely warm, so I brought my book (but alas! forgot my sketchbook) for some time on the grass.

Beautiful day to spend in the park, made especially sweet that it's Tuesday! Haha ... not that it really matters, because every other person in Shanghai had the day off too.

Alas again, there was little grass and I didn’t have any newspaper with me to sit on. So I gave up the “pastures” and moved to the sidelines, where I sat cross-legged with my book –  “Factory Girls” – on the bench.

Sitting there on the bench reading for half an hour, I finally had to give in to the cold wind, and decide to get up and walk around the park in the warm sunshine.

I was entertained by these energetic old folks and their wheezing tops. They were very kind in teaching a young man the tricks too!

Some flew kites. Hope this goldfish does not fall casualty to the twiggy fingers of this tree that has caught too many stray kites.

Some went fishing - look! The boy and his mom already caught two.

As I walked further, cheery 1970s music (Chinese song) drew me in, until I was greeted by this sight. So, so wonderful.

Dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.
– William W. Purkey

I was especially enamored by this lady in red, who danced like no one's watching.

Life’s a dance we all have to do,
What does the music require?
People are moving together,
Close as the flames in a fire.

Feel the beat; music and rhyme,
While there is time.

We all go ’round and ’round,
Partners are lost and found,
Looking for one more chance,
All I know is,
We’re all in the dance.
Feist (We’re All In A Dance (La Même Histoire), from movie Je T’aime Paris)

And round and round they went, from sun up to sun down, the spring in their feet, lifted their spirit.

So, I just had to get my butt up and do a little dance! With my shadow.

Some uncles saw me swaying un-rhythmically, I think they must be very amused. One of them offered to teach me, guided me in some steps, but gave up on my clumsiness. Another uncle stepped in, showed me some of his own steps. I followed. He was extremely patient, and so I spent the next few songs dancing to different beats (even Cha Cha!) on the arms of Uncle Zhou. He asked if I was 23, I said hell, no, hahaha.

We talked about leaving our hometowns like my ancestors did 2 generations ago, and how young people are still leaving China in spite of its economic boom, while foreigners (like me) are pouring in. I said goodbye to Uncle Zhou after our chat brought us around Shanghai, to Singapore and even some Washington (his daughter now lives there, and from the sound of it, he misses her).

The setting sun always bathes Shanghai in glamorous gold.

Yet in the garden, the last rays of the sun cast a grim shadow.

Yet, still beautiful anyway.

My evening at Fuxing Park was made even more beautiful by the flowering trees in the courtyard. I think it's a variant of the sakura.

Last year, at exactly this time, I was in Tokyo, enjoying the sakura and hanami.

This year, I'm in Shanghai, and still greeted by the same ephemeral beauty that is both delightful and painful to behold.

Here, take a look again, before they're gone in a few days.

As the sun set today, I headed out of Fuxing Park, and back into the chaos of what is Shanghai most people know her for.

I leave you with music from Feist – We’re All In A Dance (La Même Histoire), from movie Je T’aime Paris)


About transez

Design researcher: curious about people, passionate about life.
This entry was posted in dance, discovery, friends, music, nature, urban and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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