In less than 24 hours I should be boarding the plane for my "Celebrating Change 2008" tour. No, it's not political, it's personal. Even though all the campaign politicking, at least of those Yang Democrats (as opposed to the Yin Republicans) of which I have managed to avoid about 99 percent, seems to be making an issue of Change. It's in the air. And isn't it always. Change, as natural and inevitable as it is, is full of surprise, too. (Didn't Sen. McCain surprise us with what'shername. A little yang in the yin.) Change is never finished.
But the Change I'm thinking about more has to do with going back to places that are burned into my memory, those kind of memories that you can close your eyes and take a deep breath and be there. I don't usually like to revisit places, but there are a few that I have become fond of: Cedar Key and the Shell Mound Wildlife Refuge in Florida; Wudang; Hong Kong; Hana, Maui. I probably won't ever go back to Florida since my Dad died, and I could go to Hana any time I want.
But Wudang -- this opportunity created itself. I didn't intend to go back, but an earthquake changed my plans. Will they still have the silly Buddhist music playing in the speakers embedded in rocks along the trails? Will the street still be under construction, will the hotels be finished (there was one structure last year that was impossible to determine whether was coming down or going up.) I know the mountains will still be there.
And Hong Kong -- I haven't been there since 2001, the last of a string of visits since the mid-'80s. I was there for the handover, so I have seen both sides and I keep in touch with goings on there through blogs. I'm prepared for poor air quality: it's part of the last image in my mind, an incredible red sunset, poignant because I thought I might never be back. And indeed, because of change, it's likely to feel like a different place, even after just 7 years. (China is like that...eternally the same and changing before your eyes, a whirling taiji.)
But the real point of my tour is personal development, measured in how I deal with all those changes in the surroundings, in my body, in my "heart-mind." Heart-mind is a Taoist concept that I didn't quite get last year. Westerners separate heart and mind, that duality thing. But for the Taoist, it is one thing (xin), a blend of both and the center of our being. I hope to work on this in Wudang.
2 years ago