Cool picture, right? It’s the Great Wall of China. You knew that, though.
So, ever since our move a couple of weeks ago things have been super busy. We have unpacked, hung pictures, decorated out back, set up all our services and utilities, explored the area, and much more. Most nights I get off work and think “Holy crap, I won’t be doing anything productive towards writing or editing tonight. I’m wayyy too tired!” And so I don’t. (Don’t worry, I will talk about the wall soon!)
While I was busy doing other things recently, I listened to some webinars about writing and business. One thing that I kept finding remarkable is that all these most successful self start-ups put out so much content. Some even do a blog post every single day! Another thing I noted was that Hugh Howey echoed what I have read elsewhere–write even when you don’t feel like it. On the show, they said it did not have to be anything productive. It could be a random post about an ‘adventure’ you had to the grocery store. The most important thing is to just write. If it turns out terrible then oh well. You can toss it out later. You got some practice in. The last thing involving this random content was that, surprisingly, people actually like to read it. There are going to be people out there who will enjoy reading your thoughts on any subject, even if it is just your family and friends.
So, in light of that I decided to do more blog posts. It is my page so I can do whatever I want on it. My posts do not have to be only geared at writing and publishing. I mean, I already knew this, but for some reason once it was said on there it clicked.
Another thing that was mentioned was Pinterest and how to use it in integration with your blog. I knew about Pinterest and am pretty tech savvy but had just never signed up. My wife has used it for a while. I signed up and will start posting each of my blogs to an image on my author Pinterest. Here is the link if you want to follow. http://www.pinterest.com/adampoe/
Alright, now if you are still with me, I will talk about the Great Wall and why there is a picture of it up there.
Recently I re-watched a movie that I like. It isn’t a great movie, nor one of my favorites, but I like it. The Bucket List. It always makes me think of all these places I want to see before I am done in this world. Things I still want to do. I have a lot of time left, and I know I will do them. Hopefully sooner than later.
This movie was still relatively fresh in my mind when I made my Pinterest account. So, when the website asked me to make a board to start pinning random cool images to, I thought of the things on my bucket list. This first one, as I said earlier, is the Great Wall of China.
When I tell my wife I want to walk on the Great Wall, she says, “Why?” My reply is always, “How could you not?” It is a funny conversation, and I am not sure how many times we have had it. It is always in good spirits. I can’t quite place the reason I would like to. It is just one of those things I have always wanted to do.
The Wall was first conceptualized and started way back in 221 BC when Qin Shi Huang conquered the states and united China. As far as I can tell from the internet and TV, anyway. This incredible feat cost many human lives. There is no way to know how many but, judging from texts from the time it is estimated hundreds of thousands died during the strenuous work, possibly over a million. That is insane. Some people spent nearly their entire lives knowing nothing other than the work on the Wall.
That wall is long gone though for the most part, faded into time against the force of man and nature. The one we see now is mainly due to the Ming Dynasty. They revived the wall due to innumerable Mongol raids on the kingdom. And unlike their much earlier ancestors, they built with brick and stone instead of packed Earth–materials that could stand more resolute against the forces of time. This wall spread for many hundreds of years, connecting watch towers and other bits of previous wall. Untold amounts of people grew this winding dragon across the country a few stones at a time.
Now for some facts that are really mind boggling. The Wall is huge. Well, maybe huge is an understatement. I mean, we all know it is big. It dips and bends through the length of China, but just how big is it? The Ming Dynasty addition to the Wall, in its current shape, stretches over 5,500 miles! Holy crap!
5,500 is a big number, but how does it compare with other things we West-Worlders may be able to comprehend better? Well, let’s see. The United States going from the coast of Maine all the way diagonal to California is about 2,800 miles. So the Great Wall could cross the continental USA at its widest point and have 2,700 miles left to go. It is almost DOUBLE the size of the US! I mean, holy frigging cow shit Batman. Look at a map of the world. The distance from the top corner of Maine to Hawaii is ‘only’ 5,200 miles! The great Wall covers that and still runs a 300 mile pier out into the Pacific ocean. That is insane. And don’t forget, this was made by the hands of men. The thought of measuring the literal blood, sweat, and tears that went into this thing is unimaginable.
Okay, so now you might be blown away…but there is more. I said the wall was 5,500 miles from end to end, but that is just the continuous standing wall. More and more has been discovered. If you include all the Great Wall’s various branches, loops, disconnected bits, towers, and fortifications, it is a staggering 13,170 miles long. The Earth itself, at the equator, is 24,000 miles around. All the currently known parts of the Great Wall could stretch more than half way around the Earth at its absolutely longest point.
So yeah, I want to walk on the Great Wall. To stand and take in exactly what I am standing on. To think about the countless souls who went into building China’s real great serpent.
The farms beside it reap and sow.
Looking up and seeing star after star.
Brick by brick,
Tower by tower,
The toiling men are cooled by a short summer shower.
Like the dragon of long long ago,
Today, there she is all on show “
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If you have not seen The Bucket List yet, I highly recommend picking it up. It is only four bucks or so from our good friends at Amazon. You can buy it by clicking either of the following images.
And as always, thanks for reading!