I am poor, and continuing to re-dip into the literary cellar. One of the joys of moving – those forgotten books which had been pushed to the back of the shelf are now at the top of the boxes.
Bridge of Birds – there’s a missed friend.
In the early pages, Master Li says:
“Take a large bowl,” I said. “Fill it with equal parts of fact, fantasy, history, mythology, science, superstition, logic, and lunacy. Darken the mixture with bitter tears, brighten it with howls of laughter, toss in three thousand years of civilization, bellow kan pei – which means “dry cup” – and drink to the dregs.“ Procopius stared at me. ”And I will be wise?“ he asked. ”Better,“ I said. ”You will be Chinese.”
Then this book is better than wise.
And I could quote it all day.
I was a long way from drawing nearer to Tao, and childrn’s games and nonsense rhymes and ginseng roots and birds and feathers and flutes and balls and bells and agonized ghosts and terrible monsters and the Duke of Ch’in whirled round and round in my brain…