Things picked up this morning, and I’m back on the tracks after a nice breakfast of toast and sliced tomatoes, a banana, and juice. Ice, everywhere, outside (hence, the temporary change in my blog’s appearance), and I did a fairly good imitation of some Olympic skater this morning while Lucky dragged me along for our walk. You would think that living in the country would give me the sense of safety needed to let him off the leash, but this is a dog who will chase a semi in the darkest hour of night, in the middle of a hurricane, so let’s just say that he’s enjoying life on the short end of the rope. Raisin, on the other hand (now our dog, because when the neighbors moved, they packed up and left him without a word), stays closer to home. It’s the hips.
I never did post all my photos from China. Here’s a couple from my trip to Xi’an. I took about two hundred pictures of the Terracotta Army, but as no one would thank me for making their computers explode, I�ve only posted a handful—which is not enough to convey what that place is like. Honestly—and I am sorry to say this—but it takes being there.
Pit #1, which resembles an airplane hanger (and can be seen below), is immense, but what it protects is utterly mind-blowing. You feel as though you are in the presence of living ghosts when you gaze down at that army; truly, as though those men were ensorcelled where they stood, turned from flesh to stone. There is a level of individual spirit in each soldier that is eerie, and when you see the statues broken, lost in rubble with merely a face or a hand visible, you feel, too, that you are gazing upon a graveyard or a massacre; that those men are not just fabulous works of art, but real people. It is an incredible experience.
Only a fraction of the soldiers have been uncovered and reconstructed. Most of that hanger seen below has not be excavated. Who knows what else is sleeping beneath that soil?
A little bit of history: The Terracotta Army was buried in 210-209 BC with the Emperor of Qin (Qin Shi Huangdi, one of the most pivotal figures in Chinese history, and the first emperor of a unified China, who standardized roads, the written language, money, not to mention conquering the hell out of people, all from the age of thirteen until his death when he was in his late forties) . The purpose of the Terracotta army, so folks say, was to help rule another empire with Shi Huangdi in the afterlife.