Death · Family and Friends · music

The Peony (or How Long Is The Path From Death To Birth?)

What wonderful virtue does the moon possess that allows it to rise each evening? Whether in Nairobi or Shenzhen, I see the same moon in the sky, just as I see the same sun rise and set in either city. If they are not the same, how many thousands of suns and moons trace a…… Continue reading The Peony (or How Long Is The Path From Death To Birth?)

Family and Friends · music · Politics

Opinion: The Lost Ones (or The Other 9/11)

Associated Press announced recently that 2,975 people died in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria.  At first, The New York Times web site placed a modest link beneath a flurry of headlines about a so called NAFTA deal, the passing of a statesman and the profile of an actor. Belatedly, it added an editorial. Most media…… Continue reading Opinion: The Lost Ones (or The Other 9/11)

Family and Friends · music

Guest Of The Sea (or The Gecko’s Virgin Blood)

In the Tang dynasty geckos were crushed in mortars to prepare a potion, which was then applied to mark a young girl’s arm. If she lost her virginity, its red color would change. This fantastic potion was used to regularly inspect and discipline women. The poet Li Shangyin wrote: The red Shou Palace lies in…… Continue reading Guest Of The Sea (or The Gecko’s Virgin Blood)

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)

music

The Palace of Emperor Chen – Two Poems (Or Mozart in Prague)

On one of his travels across time, Shangyin landed in Prague. It was January 1787. During a brief stint as a reporter for Prager Oberpostamtszeitung , he interviewed the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart was a little under 5 feet tall, with an unusually large head topped with a mass of carrot colored hair. He…… Continue reading The Palace of Emperor Chen – Two Poems (Or Mozart in Prague)