What is so marvelous about living today is that it is possible to extend, like a flower, spreading petals in all directions. ~ Carolyn Kizer

Happy Persian New Year!


I say, if your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life. ~ Bill Watterson

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Was heute nicht geschieht, ist morgen nicht getan,
Und keinen Tag soll man verpassen.
Das Mögliche soll der Entschluß
Beherzt sogleich beim Schopfe fassen.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In Yubeng, a village elder juggles a pile of arrows like pick-up sticks to cull the lucky one that will be used by local men to compete with for the coveted white-silken Khada (scarf) in a traditional game of archery played every Losar, the Tibetan New Year. It is imprudent for women to step over the arrow, a faux-pas I committed out of ignorance while the arrow was lying on the ground. Yubeng is located near the upper Mekong and Salween rivers at the base of Khawa Karpo (Kawegebo), a sacred ‘white snow mountain’ in the eastern Himalayas that is worshiped by Tibetans.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. ~ Albert Camus

The old Botanical Garden in Göttingen, Germany covered with a blanket of fresh white snow for the first Advent.

The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man’s. ~ Mark Twain

Ruhe in Frieden
Kerlchen, 1.1.2002-29.10.2017

Finally, she mused that human existence is as brief as the life of autumn grass, so what was there to fear from taking chances with your life? ~ Mo Yan

The Altai Mountains in the far western reaches of Mongolia lie roughly within 100 kilometers of China, Russia, and Kazakhstan. In his research on the border, scholar Alexander Diener presents the following perspective of a local Kazakh herdsman about the region’s political geography:

One day the Chinese came to the nomads of our region with maps. They were great, large papers showing the whole territory of Mongolia with all its lakes, arid mountains, and pastures. One of these Chinese asked our fathers (ancestors) if, in the interests of peace, we would be willing to cede a matchbox size of land to China. Nomads, you must understand, are not accustomed to maps — we know our land in our heads and hearts. We are not so used to looking at the world in such a way (two dimensions). Also, nomads are generous people and like to show guests hospitality. So, they agreed to give the Chinese the land of a matchbox size. The Chinese then placed the matchbox on the map and traced its edges. The land beneath it was the great gold producing territory southwest of the Mongolian Altai range. They took the city of Alotai, the clean rivers of that region and, of course, the gold. What’s more, they created this infernal gap. I can almost throw a stone to Kazakhstan, but must have so many papers to travel there (Diener, 2011: 377). 

The ‘Lucky’ Ones: Land, Citizenship, and Inequality in the Wa Self-Administered Division (Special Region 2), Myanmar: http://www.twai.it/magazines/land-citizenship-inequality-wa/

Whenever you should doubt your self-worth, remember the lotus flower. Even though it plunges to life from beneath the mud, it does not allow the dirt that surrounds it to affect its growth or beauty. ~ Suzy Kassem

Jingshan Park, Beijing

Peace and nation building in Myanmar (www.newmandala.org/peace-nation-building-myanmar)