thinking about china


So I only had two and half hours of ballet class last week. Today I have the regular full schedule (three and a half house). Hope College doesn’t give Labor day off. But I am taking Friday off to go with my organ committee to Chicago to hear an instrument built by Martin Pasi. I hope we make a decision soon on which builder to contract with so this process can move on to the next stage.

Last night I browsed through a friend’s online library of ebooks. He seems to have added about a thousand more. Very cool, although many of them were in the pdf format which doesn’t seem to work well with my Kindle (paperwhite version).

But I’m not complaining. I love having access to so many books and my friend seems to have deliberately put books up that might interest me. Like this one:

I understand why pdf is a good format for this book because it such a beautifully laid out and illustrated one. When I consider China, I often think of its ancient literature and art which has been an ongoing interest for me. This morning I read a poem in it called “Calling to the Recluse” by Zuo Si. One couplet leaped out at me:

“ why depend on whistling or song,

when tree clumps hum so movingly? “

I love this. It reminds me of an observation of an artist I know that he spent his life trying to learn how to make beauty in his art and then beautiful and stunning images emerge in nature around us and in his phrase, “Just happen!”

Apparently the above painting is by the poet (at least that’s what Google says).

I also figured out that I have nine chapters plus an epilogue left in Fuschia Dunlop’s excellently written, Shark Fin and Sichuan Pepper.

This woman can write up a storm as far as I’m concerned. I read a chapter in it this morning and need to do that more often in order to finish it by the time I get on a plane to go visit China and my  new grand daughter.

Rick Perlstein: By the Book –

I follow this guy on Facebook. When this article was published this week end, he changed his profile picture to him holding a hard copy of it with a goofy smile.

Reflections on a Shooting Range Death, From One Who Knows –

The author of this article also accidentally killed as a child.

When Did We Get So Old? –

How to handle being the oldest person in the room when one is used to being the youngest.

Jorge Luis Borges interview.

Stumbled on to this. Haven’t read it yet but I do love Borges.

John Kerry: The Threat of ISIS Demands a Global Coalition –

John McCain and Lindsey Graham: Confront ISIS Now –

I do like it when involved parties go on the record with an essay. Unfortunately I didn’t get much from either of these essays.

David Rosand, an Art History Scholar Whose Heart Was in Venice, Dies at 75 – NY

Mr. Rosand’s career was shaped by the conviction that the arts of all eras and cultures are connected, and that past and present exist on a continuum, so that all art is immediately pertinent to our lives.

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