Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Things that make one's heart beat faster

In her Pillow Book Sei Shōnagon (966-1017) has a list of "Things that make one's heart beat faster": 
  • Sparrows feeding their young.
  • To pass a place where babies are playing.
  • To sleep in a room where fine incense has been burnt.
  • To notice that one's elegant Chinese mirror has become a little cloudy.
  • To see a gentleman stop his carriage before one's gate and instruct his attendants to announce his arrival.
  • To wash one's hair, make one's toilet, and put on scented robes; even if not a soul sees one, these preparations still produce an inner pleasure. 
  • It is night and one is expecting a visitor. Suddenly one is startled by the sound of rain-drops, which the wind blows against the shutters.