@my best friend: the time for an old poet

leaf and life thought

The poet gazes afar as the two slowly walk,

Through a strait gate palm in palm they talk.

Now I am ninety-nine and you not younger dear,

Friend to friend, goodbye without fear.

Time to leave them all: sanctuary abode round the corner,

Old dreams of love and whimsy bliss that can not be

Reconciled with the ultimate Initiator and Sustainer of life

Artful tiled floors, Christmas tree, green attic, Jacuzzi in style, red waving palm, sunken secret garden, tinted glass canopies, white-washed walls, yellow brick steps and all.

Yes, we seem to have lived here all our lives,

Season to season, rain and draught, tears and laughter, colors and paleness, words and silence adrift as each decade drives.

I always liked to stay up all hours of the night,

Sitting alone by the green attic window star-gazing into the dim gentle light,

Crafting, designing, evaluating, fantasizing what mattered then,

A future of retreating retiring reviving resurrecting right.

Hearing perhaps a faint sobbing in your sleep,

Urging we must leave and sail across the vast blue deep.

Looking for a blue hope bird in springtime great beyond,

Never again shall we be contented with mere earthling’s song.

Hence in this poem I now give all to time,

To our new home the young country soon we come.

random thoughts, pictures and colors of friends

Friend is a word we often use to depict any kind of relationship. I decide to use a set of pictures from the coloring book to show what we can make of friendship. We start with plain colorless pages. The relationship adds colors, some messy, some quite beautiful. We can have entirely different tastes like the two houses in a picture or we can have exactly the same appearance and lifestyle like the two adjoining wooden doors. Yet we are still different. You cannot be me and I cannot be you. There is always a boundary between us no matter how buddy we are. We may be close enough to takeover a friend’s role sometimes if needed, like helping one another in crisis. When things resume normal we each return to doing our own stuff, staying at a distance. That is the unspoken realist’s rule of friendship. On the other hand there is a friendship that calls for more, and it borders the common ground of love. That is another story.

Travel review 2014-2016 (15 random points)

The sound mind man’s rather personal three years’ travel in review in fifteen random realms as follows:blue-snow-gold

1. weather experienced: extreme heat (over 40 degrees C to extreme cold (thick snow on the way) but blessed with moderate weather mostly.
2. ocean: Pacific from end to end.
3. work: two medium size books completed.
4. natural hair color: turned mysteriously from dark to medium and now light brown with specks of gold(?) (LOL).
5. eye sight: complete change of lens inside. now 20/20.
6. belief: Christian.
7. computers: one Dell crashed (physically) on arrival in backwater place; now e and q and caps lock on the left side of keyboard refuse to behave. purchased one Samsung as backup for USD100. Finally I received a gift of a 2016 MacBook Pro!
7. cell phone: received a gift of a good-as-new Samsung Note III (?).
8. geography: from drought and flood-prone land-locked flat land at sea level or below (?) to mountains of an altitude of 8000ft.
9. blogs: tried new ways and perspectives in different blogs. not enough time to do better. LOL. Just maintaining from time to time hopefully for various reader-interest groups.
10. photography: second to writing. some monotony sets in. Alas.
11. relationship: nothing to declare.
12. 2017 assignment: continues to be stuck to the computer(s) and various related technological tools now for at least another year doing translation.
13. hobbies: basically i like writing fictions and non-fictions (memoirs) and thinking about life (in different realms). interest in both art and science. a generalist. Multitasks practitioner.
14. travel class: only as appropriate. economy. But not as courageous as backpackers.
15. love: faithfulness and compassion. 

2017 resolution: Be the one who finds the gold. Be Resilient .

find-the-gold

photo credits:
the blue snow picture was taken by the other dear lone traveler using her cell phone.
the other picture was also sent to me by her (uncredited)

a tiny goodbye with two poems

tiny-flowers
He said goodbye to this Tiny garden that morning as he did the usual round of walking solo before he left for another country.

Walking is a passion but it cannot be done with joy without the existence of the teeming lives on the way. This cluster of tiny flowers livens up his walk. They are like friends who are so used to each  other that they hardly need to talk. A gentle tilting of the head and a shadow of a smile at the tip of the lips, a slight lighting up of the eyes, and a mutual recognition in the heart…are all that requires. For good friends it is not hard to say goodbye. They update travel schedule by forwarding the airline email. Sometimes they text the other when they are onboard waiting for others to settle and the waitresses to walk pass and remind them to turn off the mobiles.

In the olden era in an eastern country the traveler is usually accompanied by the friend and they walk outside the city gate to where the meandering highway touches the foot of a mountain. They pause and toast each other a farewell drink and then part. The same for the waterway. They part at the quay and wait till the boat sails off with the traveler. Many beautiful farewell poems are written and I quote below two poems in the translated versions I found at random on the internet.

Wang Wei (701-761): Farewell (1- Here in the hills, I bade you farewell)

1 Here in the hills, I bade you farewell;
2 And by dusk I closed my twiggen door.
3 O grass will again be green next spring!
4 Might you, my lord, be back once more?

Farewell to a Friend
by Li Bai
Green mountains bar the northern sky;
White water girds the eastern town.
Here is the place to say goodbye,
You’ll drift out, lonely thistledown.
Like floating cloud you’ll float away;
With parting clay I’ll part from you.
We wave and you start on your way,
Your horse still neighs: “Adieu! adieu!”

NO, they are not mine

Nostalgia for vintage cars of another era.
vintage16vintage15It is hard to describe how one feels about old cars. These are from the 1950s. A 1953 CHEVROLET Model: Corvette, made popular by John Wayne, and a 1954 Kaiser-Darrin. One thing that is striking about these two is the cream colored exaggerated bonnet. These were taken from the car museum and I was merely a traveler visitor using a Samsung mobile phone camera. I like the cream color. Somehow it reminds me of another much smaller car I used to own. Alas, I do not have a photo of it. Nostalgic memories often associate with a good time. Yes, I did enjoy driving the tiny machine. In fact I liked that car so much that I owned two of the same model at two different times. I finally grew out of it and set my heart on bigger vehicles. But over the years, having changed my favor many times I now park myself in the middle-range driving a medium foreign made with supposedly best performance, best re-sale value and reportedly most economical in terms of gas consumption and maintenance. How my taste and priority have changed.

his web blog frozen in a time and space

Cherry On Top2007 Fuji Mt n structureThe day was like any ordinary day. We were all set to go to a hot spring and this picture was taken from a coach. The guide said we would go near the mountain but not too near. At that time they were speculating that it might have some volcanic activities unsuitable for travelers. It had not erupted since the 18th century. But we were told to be cautious. Anyway we had a good ride to the place famous for its hot spring. The idea of a sleepy mountain suddenly woke up and erupting into an inferno was a bit unsettling for the travelers.

But the company was good and some sang songs to cheer up the rest.

We started early in the morning but arrived in the evening due to slow traffic and closure of certain stretches of the highway. There was no road rage even though traffic was crawling and we moved practically in terms of inches. I looked out of the window and saw other drivers and passengers unperturbed and calm sitting in their cars and waited to inch forward. As a mere traveler I could only look at the people superficially. The mountains looked beautiful from afar. And we were told not to go near. I did not visit the country again after December 2007. In 2011 it was struck with the most powerful earthquake ever recorded to have hit Japan, and the fourth most powerful earthquake in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900.

I quote below passages from the wikipedia: “Japan has also been the site of some of the 10 worst natural disasters of the 21st century. The types of natural disasters in Japan include tsunamis, floods, typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. The country has gone through many years of natural disasters, affecting its economy, development, and social life. The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami were devastating.On 10 March 2015, a Japanese National Police Agency report confirmed 15,894 deaths,6,152 injured, and 2,562 people missing across twenty prefectures, as well as 228,863 people living away from their home in either temporary housing or due to permanent relocation. The tsunami caused nuclear accidents, primarily the level 7 meltdowns at three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex, and the associated evacuation zones affecting hundreds of thousands of residents.”

An internet blogging Japanese friend who used to work and stay in Tokyo lost contact after the disaster. We used to share one common interest: We were both avid fans of Kazuo Ishiguro (who created remarkable stories of love, loss and hidden truths in The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go.) and we both liked the movie  Australia. His  website remained the same as many years ago and froze in a space and time. I gave up visiting his web blog eventually.