I may have seen a small or young mountain lion across the street last night, calmly walking down the sidewalk to where the road turns right over the I-5. Straight ahead, a trail of a city sidewalk is obscured by dense conifers and barricaded by two ties of guard rail. Once down a steep dirt trail, it runs parallel to the freeway over-grown with wild chicory, fennel, sweet pea, ceanothus, elderberry.Read More
The month flew by. Spring green has ripened to the greens of summer: the oak leaves thickening, the ornamental conifers push bushy tufts of soft, balsam scented needles. The red, pink, yellow and creamy white roses, tea scented or musky or spicy.Read More
Alan Feng, my contact for Penjing in China, notified me they will be having an exhibiton 19th-23th November, 2014, at the International exhibition center, Dongguan, Guangdong, China. I have offered to help them organize a tour from the US. Stay tuned for more details!Read More
While enjoying dim sum breakfast today, we're overlooking the world's largest flower and bonsai market. Alan Feng is washing the tips of our chopsticks in a little hot water before eating. He explains this is a local custom.Read More
From the airport in Guangzhou, the taxi takes me to a large hotel in Foshan City where I am met by Alan Feng and his Master CHEN Zhi Jiu. After getting to know each other over supper at the hotel, they drive me to another one in the downtown district. It must have been grand in its day, a little shabby now but royally gorgeous. I can imagine great leaders staying here in the day. The lobby is loaded with gigantic stone penjing and carved wood pieces in glass cases. In the elevator area on my floor a huge glass etagere displays countless small ceramic treasures without as much as a cover. My room features a huge bed and baroque trappings, the bath is all sculpted ceramic tile and stone with fancy appointments to hold water glass and such. Marvelous glass encased shower with lots of hot water.Read More
One apple caught in the crossing branches,faded red, rotten, hiding in the new snow.
As if marking a milestone, my old gmail account crashed in December. Google denied me access. When I finally got into it, it was empty, everything gone, emails, addresses, all my old Beijing Breakfast Letters. Fortunately I have my old hardcopy diary. I was able to import all my addresses from another location. Finally I am writing to you again.
After spending several wonderful weeks with my family in california, I returned to Beijing on New Year's Eve, Dec 31. I wake to misty mornings, wisps of steam condensate drift between the apartment buildings, feeling sad and confused.
On Jan 2 I had a meeting with my boss Chen. While Bruce prepares for his STanford U Medical Center appointment, Cheryl returns to Beijing. After taking care of business at Tsinghua, I packed up my apartment, visited friends, had my last Chinese hair and massage treatments. I shipped 5 parcels for $4,000. I mounted art on scrolls. I gave away everything I could. We drank saki at my farewell luncheon with Feng and the Department.
On Jan 16 we drive to Stanford, staying at my aunt vera and uncle jay. Sunrise at their house in San Leandro hills in the east bay, near san francisco and stanford. After a good meeting we head home ahead of a storm. Next day it snows 12 inches.
Boxes from China are arriving everyday. The Overseas office is closed for four weeks during Spring Festival. It's been snowing for days. It started the day we got back from the bay area. 12 inches the first day.
Quiet in the afternoon. Snowing outside the nook which is my winter painting studio. Spread out dishes and brushes and paper and enjoy painting persimmons on a branch in black and colored paint. Outside the window I see the snow bending the two kinds of bamboo and burying the tops. Walking in the quiet streets, warm boots and snow sticking to the wool scarf around my neck.
On nice days I walk up the hill behind the house. I took my old dell computer to the shop to get its broken lid removed. The idea is to use the keyboard on the CPU and the external monitor I brought back from China in my suitcase. Later I walk around Castella with Helen. She shows me her juniper bonsai.
At home I scrape snow off the concrete blocks I use for stands for clear plexi lids, reinforced this summer by Bruce using old redwood from the McCloud mill site. The lids cover my bonsai collection for the winter. We now have about 30 inches snow accumulation!
See you later