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Monday, August 27, 2012

Stuck in Neutral

After the milestone of TAO 61 making 225,000 miles, everything else in August seemed anti-climactic.  But not, really.  I have been exhausted after hectic business travel to Washington, D.C., returning home with a bad summer cold (though made bearable on the long return trip by the fortuitous upgrades to first class--real kind, with full reclining seats and elbow room and custom-made ice cream sundaes and free booze and real cutlery and dishes for real hot food. I don't quite know what I did to deserve it.)

Then an all-day program/presentation in which I had to teach faculty about research grants.  At first I approached that task in utter fear and not a little loathing, but it turned out to be a cat-herding exercise. And now people know me and what I do for them. 

The real pleasure of the month, counter-balancing the disappointment in the collapse of my September China trip plans, has been my Chinese painting class, with an extraordinary teacher who has taken my studies up yet another level.  I was painting images of my Taoist hermit, which kept coming out sad, despite his reputation for cheer, probably channeling my frustration at not being able to visit him and make obeisance in his little cave temple.  But finally, I laid in a sketch in ink, which only needed to be intensified with some color.  My teacher helped with that, so the final result is a true collaboration.  Not yet properly mounted, or signed, I share it here in its wrinkled state.  I don't want to mount it without laoshi's assistance. But I want to share it.
Jia Ye, by Laoshi and Me
Any morning now I should notice the returned kolea; my Chinese haiku-writing friend saw one a few days ago and penned this:
on my neighbor's roof
sighting of first kolea
autumn closing in

I should get brush, ink and paper together to illustrate it.  If I can't fly to Jia Ye, the kolea at least can come to me.

1 comment:

Brandon said...

Man, that painting is awesome! Love it.