Monday, May 19, 2008

I was there!

72,000-80,000 strong and I was there.

Earthquake in China

Mercy Corps: donate now to help survivors of the China earthquake.

I lived in Turkey when the massive earthquake killed thousands just south of Istanbul. I saw first-hand how a devastating quake could rock an entire nation. Now China is reeling under an even more serious quake, where entire villages were gone in an instant, countless lives. Coranna has been watching the images with her grandfather on the news and she's very worried about the children. This morning she heard a report about a thousand children who were stranded and in danger of starving if food was not brought in. As we walked to the car she told me that we had to do something to help the children.

After school, we explored the Mercy Corps website and we found out that you can give directly to relief efforts in China. My daughter happily agreed to give up a movie night we had planned for Friday night and use that money to donate to the effort. She even talked my mom into giving something.

If a five year old can so easily give up a night of entertainment to help, can't others? Challenge yourself to stay in one night and send the "fun" money to Mercy Corps.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ershou Meigui

This is a new video from Cheng's favorite band. This is the song that haunts him through his journey. The "Chinese horn" sound is the Suonas. Many say that it is the sound of a thousand birds crying.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I don't mean to sound like Timothy Leary, but time is more fluid than Terminator 2. Little things, like listening to the radio this week when they announced that the Twix came up with the peanut butter Twix twenty years ago blew me away--I still think of the peanut butter Twix as the new, upstart candy bar. I wanted to slap myself across the face. Get with it! Times, they are a'changin', and I'm in some sort of strange cross current that just pushes me against time so that I'm runnin' to stand still.

Is this what happens with age, life melts together, a beautiful Ebru artwork? Memories of childhood more indelible than yesterday's conflicts. The sky charging you with the energy of your twenties. The earth calming you with the wisdom of your future. Trippy. Maybe it is not Timothy Leary, but us who are on the outside lookin' in. Maybe it is just me.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Hara Shankar

I have the title for the new novel, Hara Shankar. It will be the nicknames for the two protagonists. I wrote the first chapter and I'm working on the skeleton. In the meantime, I have a quick novel structured loosely around Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice just busting out. I'm thinking of juggling both and then just see which one dominates. They're both set in Nepal, but one is Nepalese and the other American.

Yo Yo Ma

Click on the link to hear beautiful samples from Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Journeys. It is a beautiful collection of music from Turkey, Indian, Iran, Mongolia, and other countries between Europe and China. As someone who listens to music from the part of the world, I'm amazed at Yo Yo Ma's ability to evoke the spirit of these cultures through the passion and the tempo of the pieces. If I ever figure out how to put music on this site, I'll upload some of the songs.

Music has been important this last week. I went to Glen Hansard and Maketa Irglova's concert last Monday. On Friday I did a three hour Kirtan, and on Saturday Coranna and I went over a friend's house to "play" guitar and sing. I think Coranna played better on her violin than I did on my guitar which does not say much for me. But I'm determined to finally pick that monster up and learn it. I have two learning goals for the summer: the guitar and Japanese. I have my foot in both doors, it's just a matter of walking through.