Swallows may have gone, but there is a time ofreturn;willow trees may have died back, but there isa time of regreening; peachblossoms may havefallen, but they will bloom again. Now, you the wise,tellme, why should our days leave us, never toreturn? — If they had been stolen bysomeone, who could it be? Where could he hide them? Ifthey had made the escapethemselves, then where could they stay at the moment?
I do not know howmany days I have been given to spend, but I do feel my hands aregetting empty.Taking stock silently, I find that more than eight thousand days have alreadyslidaway from me. Like a drop of water from the point of a needle disappearinginto the ocean, mydays are dripping into the stream of time, soundless,traceless. Already sweat is starting on myforehead, and tears welling up in myeyes.
Those that havegone have gone for good, those to come keep coming; yet in between, howswiftis the shift, in such a rush? When I get up in the morning, the slanting sunmarks itspresence in my small room in two or three oblongs. The sun has feet,look, he is treading on,lightly and furtively; and I am caught, blankly, inhis revolution. Thus — the day flows awaythrough the sink when I wash myhands, wears off in the bowl when I eat my meal, and passesaway before myday-dreaming gaze as reflect in silence. I can feel his haste now, so I reachoutmy hands to hold him back, but he keeps flowing past my withholding hands.In the evening,as I lie in bed, he strides over my body, glides past my feet,in his agile way. The moment Iopen my eyes and meet the sun again, one wholeday has gone. I bury my face in my hands andheave a sigh. But the new daybegins to flash past in the sigh. Whatcan I do, in this bustlingworld, with my days flying in their escape? Nothingbut to hesitate, to rush. What have I beendoing in that eight-thousand-dayrush, apart from hesitating? Those bygone days have beendispersed as smoke bya light wind, or evaporated as mist by the morning sun. What traceshave I leftbehind me? Have I ever left behind any gossamer traces at all? I have come totheworld, stark naked; am I to go back, in a blink, in the samestark-nakedness? It is not fairthough: why should I have made such a trip fornothing!
You the wise, tellme, why should our days leave us, never to return?