Last night, some dear friends cooked me a good-bye dinner of duckling. This is my favorite thing in the world to eat and it was a gesture of tremendous generosity and love for which I am deeply grateful. I left with a copy of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, which I will watch this morning and return to them with their copy of Oracle Bones. Another friend just sent me a video of a place that may just need to get added to my tourism list: Tianmen Cave. You can watch some incredible pilots fly their planes through this arch/cave.
While I was eating duck, Barack Obama and Hu Jintao dined together on pear salad, lobster, dry-aged ribeye steak with buttermilk onions. They even had apple pie and ice cream for dessert. How utterly American! What is most important, though, is that China views the talks as a success. I am more and more confident that China and the United States can find a harmonious future. It would be shear arrogance to pretend that this blog can play any major role in this dialogue, but so many people each day fill my head with their prejudices and views of China. I hope that each of you will candidly ask questions of me while I am there and I will do my best to answer them in a way that fosters harmony between the two great powers of the world. I will not just serve buttermilk onions, though. I hope to give you a glimpse of the raw China, as much as I can.
I am deep into Pomfret's Chinese Lessons, which my twin sister gave me for Christmas. This is a troubling glance at the deep wounds of China's recent past, but there are lots of reasons to believe that things have changed.
My last post was about the Year of the Rabbit perhaps becoming the Year of the Sharp Pointy Teeth, but I think that luck is turning and many good days and weeks lie ahead for China and the United States. Maybe this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Wikipedia reports: According to the Esoteric Christian tradition, such as the Rosicrucians, the proximity and entrance in the Age of Aquarius—occurring after the present Age of Pisces, or age ruled by the "Sword"—will bring to the majority of human beings the discovery, true living and real knowledge of the inner and deeper Christian teachings which the Christ spoke of in Matthew 13:11 and Luke 8:10. I don't know too much about this nonsense, but I do know that Robert Frost made mention of Rosicrucians in a favorite poem of mine that true Communist revolutionaries are likely to embrace:
I advocate a semi-revolution.
The trouble with a total revolution
(Ask any reputable Rosicrucian)
Is that it brings the same class up on top.
Executives of skillful execution
Will therefore plan to go halfway and stop.
Yes, revolutions are the only salves,
But they're one thing that should be done by halves.