Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ten Thousand Lamps

There had been little that Wan Liao’s mother had given the boy from the day he had been born. He had no talents that anyone would notice.  He seemed to have no physical attributes that would set him apart.  He was not all that clever either. His mother took all her desperate dreams for a better life out on the boy, for when she had a chance to join the Hsin Chu Opera Troupe, she vanished without notice when he was five.

But there was one thing she did for her son; one gift she gave him that he was forever grateful for; his name.  Ten Thousand Lamps is a splendid name for a boy who would eventually become a monk.  When he arrived at the temple atop Chi Shan Yuan for his induction, the Abbot read Wan Liao’s name aloud and then paused  to look over the lad closely.  

“Ten Thousand Lamps,” he said with conviction,  “You will shed light on challenging questions and illuminate the path ahead for many pilgrims. I believe you will live up to your name.”

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What I have Been Waiting For

This is what I have been waiting for.  The birth of my nephew, the son of my youngest brother
Timothy and his wife Mariko.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Painting Names

Da Jie knew that any day now, her mother would give birth to a baby and this was a thought that filled her with Exceeding Joy. To have a sibling, fourteen years younger and most assuredly a girl, would be the one movement in the universe that would finally put right all that had so far gone wrong in Big Sister’s short teen life.

She practiced writing her soon to arrive  little sister’s name every night. She used reams of paper perfecting the the way the letters would lay above and below the line. With each stroke  her bond to this baby became as close as ink stained on paper.

Da Jie is now an old woman and the hoped for baby sister turned out to be a boy.  But this brother became like a son to her. She would later say that his birth saved her life. After he was born, she had purpose and a place to go.   She carried him around on her hip until he could run and he slept tucked under her arm until she went  to university.  

“So it is fitting”,Big Sister thought to herself, “That tonight I am again practicing calligraphy, trying out names that have yet to be spoken for a boy yet to be born.”

 This boy is the son of Da Jie’s little  brother.   He will arrive in the world at any hour now and she will never be the same. He, like his sister, will  bring exceeding joy to their old Gu Ma.  The name she practiced over and over was  Exceeding  Heaven.

~I am waiting in Shang Hai for news from Hong Kong and will fly with my reams of paper as soon as I am called.  The Vegetable Cleaning Brush purchased in Hang Zhou on New Year's eve, worked  perfectly.  A new modern kind of calligraphy!