And on the other hand...

Click here for The Yin Side where the other half of me holds forth!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Another Cycle, Endings and Beginnings

A busy intense hot summer with some travel, work, painting, too much Facebooking, neglecting the TAO 61s.  Over two months just flew by.  Then the  kolea returned and I booked my flight. I am about to leave, in two hours, returning once again to Wudang for three weeks.  

It feels familiar, this pilgrimage, but I know it will bring new insights and new people into my life, if only for a few days. (I will also be visiting some lao pengyou, old friends.  At last night's painting class, someone brought dim sum, so it felt like the kickoff for my journey.  I was attempting images of the Eight Immortals, especially fond of Tie Guai Li, with his iron crutch and gourd.
A little distorted, but he WAS crippled; teacher says, "You paint in the style of Li Keran."
So I am off, with my own gourd and walking stick.  Although over the summer I was troubled by a gimpy hip, like Tie Guai Li (in my case from too much seated desk work), I put myself to the test a couple weeks ago while visiting Mount St. Helens on the way back from a Washington, D.C. conference.  All these mountains --the Cascades, Wudangshan -- seem to have lots of stairs leading to forever views.
Stairway to heaven.
The Cascading Shan.
I passed the test and it even seems to have corrected my hip problem. Athough now I'm tending a little chronic plantar's fasciitis (one damned thing after another, cycles of pain and cycles of painlessness) will work out, but not sure if a coveted Chinese foot massage will be too brutal for my inflamed heel or will actually help.  Whatever, in just a few hours, my next adventure begins.
A message left in a scenic spot in the Mount St. Helens  area.
I ripped out the relevant dated pages from my ancient falling-apart copy of Deng Ming Dao's 365 Tao and packed them, in the equivalent gesture of trekkers who might cut the handles off their toothbrushes. Now that I think of it, I may not have actually packed toothpaste.  Something to do at the airport while I wait.

In any case, the message from Mt. St. Helens is pretty much the same as the one I get in Wudang.  Things are destroyed, but return.  To witness and accept these changes is magical.  Where there is life there comes death; where there is death there comes life.

Felled trees from the kinetic energy of the blast 33 years ago; new trees taking their places.
Trees not felled, but stripped by the energy of the blast.
The magnitude of resurrection.

No comments: