The valley spirit –
Lies awake through the winter –
Undisturbed by cold –
Her seeds already planted –
Listen for her unheard voice.
– A tanka poem
This tanka poem was sparked by the scene captured in this image taken on my Android Phone at Mitsumata Ropeway Station at Kagura Ski Resort in Niigata, Japan along with the Arthur Waley translation (1936) of Chapter 6 of the Tao Te Ching (quoted below). Lao Tsu notes the inexhaustible nature of the valley spirit. Both in affirmation and in contrast to this strength, the sizable 120 passenger cabin of the ropeway is dwarfed by context and also threatens it with the physical penetration of the lift and the more than 10,000 people it is capable of bringing to the mountain every day.
Tao Te Ching – Chapter 6
The valley spirit never dies
It is named the Mysterious Female
Is the base from which Heaven and Earth sprang.
It is there within us all the while;
Draw upon it as you will, it never runs dry.