You are to assume the persona of Wang Daoyuan 王道原, an elderly eighteenth-century Qing 清dynasty (1644-1911) official who, because of political reasons, has again been exiled to south China (his third exile!), this time the area around Yongzhou 永州. One day, while visiting a scenic, mountainous area by a river outside of Yongzhou called "Solitary Hill" (Gushan 孤山), you (that is, Wang Daoyuan) spot the following Liu Zongyuan 柳宗元 poem inscribed on a rock. The poem, which many people believe to be autobiographical, is titled "River Snow" (Jiangxue 江雪; this title could also be translated "River in the Snow"):
千山鳥飛絕, A thousand mountains—birds in flight cut off;
萬徑人蹤滅. Ten thousand paths—all human traces extinguished.
孤舟簑笠翁, A solitary boat, an old man in a rush cape and a straw hat,
獨釣寒江雪. Fishing alone on the cold river in the snow.
You (Wang Daoyuan) were very moved by this poem, and inspired by it to write a about your experiences, thoughts, and reflections at Solitary Hill. Your prose should be written in the persona of Wang Daoyuan and it should follow, as closely as possible, the standard conventions of Chinese writing. It should also say something, but not too directly.
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