Amazing Strength

Self is at home, watching Anderson Live.  His guest is Carré Otis, former supermodel and also the ex-wife of Mickey Rourke.  Watching the interview, and how adroitly Cooper elicits the information that the audience needs to know, self can’t help but admire his conversational dexterity. She even thinks:  Could Anderson Cooper possibly be the next Oprah? The subjects of the interview ranged from body image to eating disorders to Nicole Brown Simpson to spousal abuse.  It was an extremely fascinating (and very Oprah-like)  interview.

Then, self decides to look for portraits of women in Bacolod.  Why?  Because she likes taking pictures of people!  Here are several:

Gemma and Weng are sisters. They trade off cooking responsibilities at the Negros Museum Café

The Girl from "Scoops," an ice cream place that has opened right next to Café Uma : Self loves the girl's gentle smile.

Manang Marilou is the mother of three lovely children

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Missed Mary Oliver Reading at Stanford

How sad self is to miss Mary Oliver’s reading at Stanford this evening!  But none of the people she invited could make it, and it would feel lonely.

Instead, self is going to spend a cozy evening at home.  Late yesterday, she stumbled across an anthology of Chinese poetry that Prof. James J. Y. Liu used in his Chinese poetry classes at Stanford (He was a very endearing man.  He always kept a scarf around his throat.  He died of cancer, oh years and years ago).

Although self’s avowed major was East Asian Studies, with a concentration in Chinese, she had never read much Chinese poetry (except for Li Po, and all she knew about Li Po was that he was often drunk, or seemed so)

The anthology she has is called Sunflower Splendor:  Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry, co-edited by Wu-Chi Liu and Irving Yucheng Lo.  Self keeps turning the pages, turning the pages, until she comes across her own handwriting, in blue ink, next to a poem by Tu Fu (712- 770):

Night Thoughts Aboard a Boat

A bank of fine grass and light breeze,
A tall-masted solitary night boat.
Stars descend over the vast white plain;
The moon bolts in the Great River’s flow.
Fame: Is it ever to be won in literature?
Office: I should give up, old and sick.
Floating, floating, what am I like?
Between earth and sky, a gull alone.

(Translated by James J. Y. Liu and Irving Y. Lo)

And here is what self wrote beneath the poem, in blue ink: “Gull — a symbol of freedom.”  Funny, she doesn’t quite “get” that interpretation of the gull.  Perhaps it was self at twenty-one who was reading into it what she needed in her life at that time!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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