All Journeys have a Rhythm

100 Bird Miao

China is a wild and complex mixture- in time and placeancient and modern all at once.

There is building and construction everywhere
 from the small tribal villages to the provincial cities and towns we are passing
through.
 There is a hum of activity
 new roads are being built-towering bridges and dams – and homes
 in the villages they are wooden
 all built without nails
 in the cities they are concrete and without much charm.

 Today’s drive was on a bone jarring mud and rock road for hours…

 
Stopped at two amazing villages
 100 Bird Miao and Shui
 they danced for us and offered food and drink
 then we explored the village.

Now we have arrived at our hotel
 and there is an Internet connection…

 The images are challenging
 trying to connect –

To see with feeling
 it’s all fascinating and good
 though not always easy…

I planned to post images
while traveling on Facebook.

I completely forgot
China does not allow Facebook or tube
so I will begin now…
Epiphanies sometimes flash and flare for the traveler – flickering moments of discovery, seen out of the corner of your eye.

This journey reminded me of our sacred rhythms and rituals – what and how we celebrate together  – Its for moments like this I left home.

100 Bird Miao


Departure and Arrival

This is a great moment, when you see, however distant, the goal of your wandering.

The thing which has been living in your imagination suddenly becomes a part of the tangible world.

– Freya Stark


 

 

Off to China – leaving this afternoon – into the wild blue yonder…

I will post pictures if I can – if not I will be back in touch when I return late April !

Practice meandering towards the center of every place

Sisters Meal Festival-Guizhou, China 1997

These last days before I leave  are always the hardest-a mix between organizing my art, business and life at home, trying to make my bags lighter and focusing on my goals for the trip – how to go deeper – to see with feeling. I have been rereading”The Art of Pilgrimage”, a book I always look at before I leave .

I came across these thoughts and  I am printing them  to read each morning

A good way to begin the day…

The Five Excellent Practices Of Pilgrimages

Practice the arts of attention and listening.

Practice renewing yourself everyday.

Practice meandering towards the center of every place.

Practice the ritual of reading sacred texts.

Practice gratitude and praise-singing.

South Of The Clouds – In Guizhou and Guangxi

A Toast In Guizhou

South Of The Clouds – as Southwest China is known – is pastoral, stunningly beautiful, richly steeped in minority culture – I am returning to the provinces of Guangxi and Guizhou in April, which I last visited In 1997.
I will be traveling from village to village, with my sister and a few others. Along the way  engaging with local families and exploring their individual customs, history and lifestyles and how they are changing with the incursion of the modern world. The rich tapestry of minority life is truly Guizhou’s majesty. In 1997 I visited villages that had never received western guests. I wonder how different it will be…
As we gradually make our way to Guangxi, we watch the surrounding landscape evolve. One destination is Guilin, where stunning scenes of  limestone hills across a horizon of lakes and rice fields, have been the source of inspiration for Chinese painters for centuries.

Getting ready now- in expedition mode-assembling all my gear-reading and studying about the culture and getting focused mentally on what I might want to create knowing it will evolve once I get there.