Family and Friends · music

Westwards From Jingmen (or When Beethoven Met The Migrant Kids)

About the time Li Shangyin and I were meeting in Shenzhen, the drug wars in Central America had intensified. The United States was still a country that drew the oppressed, huddled masses. However, there was a growing sentiment in the country that change was coming too rapidly. America was turning brown and many were afraid.…… Continue reading Westwards From Jingmen (or When Beethoven Met The Migrant Kids)

Family and Friends

A Reply Sent From The Southwest Expedition

A Reply Sent From The Southwest Expedition (or How Did Time Begin, And Why Does It End  When One Dreams?)   When I was a child time vanished, or perhaps nothing ever changed. When I made my first deep breath, the baobabs and acacia trees of the savannah and the tea and coffee bushes of the…… Continue reading A Reply Sent From The Southwest Expedition

Family and Friends

Again to Official Pei Ming’s Abode (or On what did Atlas stand?)

We writers are the greatest of narcissists – we make a profession of consuming ourselves and then try to sell what we spit out. Books themselves, the paper kind, give me much pleasure. All my life, I haven’t cared if they were soggy and wet, dry, burnt, or new as long as I could hold…… Continue reading Again to Official Pei Ming’s Abode (or On what did Atlas stand?)

Family and Friends

Jasper Lake (or After The Formlessness, Who Gave Things Shape?)

My mother was the first of her generation to be born in America. Her father and mother escaped Russian pogroms when they were children. She was born under Sagittarius, in Brookline, Massachusetts. She didn’t know (or care) she was white and Jewish until her parents and friends learned of her Kenyan fiancé, and her mother…… Continue reading Jasper Lake (or After The Formlessness, Who Gave Things Shape?)

Family and Friends

My Cherished Son

When Li Shangyin visited J.S. Bach in Leipzig in 1736, he was surprised at the size of the great composer’s family. Children were everywhere, under the stairs, by the gate, even lying on the harpsichord. Although the school building was cramped, the view over the moat was pleasant. A faint mist covered the idyllic countryside,…… Continue reading My Cherished Son

Art and Aesthetics · Family and Friends · Religion

Painting of the Pines

Two Pages Of 40 Verses For Li Gong In Return For His Painting Of The Pines A cool dew covers ten thousand plants1 I open the scroll to reveal the old pines Everywhere the mountains are covered with a sea of green How they grow on such peaks remains to be seen? Unaided, their lonely…… Continue reading Painting of the Pines