The Great Wall & Summer Palace on the Way to Wuhan: 7/9/10

I worked with some great teachers this summer at Wuhan University. We taught American Cultural Studies, getting to Wuhan on Saturday, July 10, setting up our homerooms Sunday, and starting to teach two classes a day on Monday. Talk about hitting the ground running! Me: American Music starting with Leadbelly, Pick A Bale of Cotton. If the rhythms of your life were represented by a song, what kind of song would it be?

I’d like to thank the always interesting and interested Allen Coleman for the last two photos, one at the Great Wall with everyone but the suave and debonair Erik Voss. Where is he? Probably somewhere out on that great wall chatting up a woman. His absence has me smiling. Not only does Erik play guitar, but he speaks several languages, so you can see all the advantages. And then there I am (the old curmudgeon) with Bob (whose unending able intelligence like a glue kept us all together), Sage (uplifting and vivacious; someone you’d want in your lifeboat) and Christine (who constantly amused and amazed me with her urbane yet homey wit). And everyone of the darned teachers was like this!

I took the video on Friday at the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, and then on the evening train from Beijing where you might notice I didn’t edit out my fingers sometimes over the lens. I hope it might give a feeling of the happy claustrophobia on the train. The video ends around 5:30 AM Saturday a few hours from Wuhan, people waking in the dining car. Ah the dawn!

Pull back the lace-like curtain to see the lotus fields, the ponds of pink flowers, the wide green leaves, irrigation ditches, ditches, trees, and electric lines all passing rapidly by.

The man with his back to me is smoking but seems to be the only one this morning; man in a fuchsia polo shirt whose eyes opening and closing stare at me suspiciously when they are open. Now two more men are smoking. In America I would complain but this is China and no one would understand a word I say.

The wet land is getting even wetter. It’s all outside. I’m in the dining car a little soggy and foggy myself. I have not only a pen, but a camera, the picture worth a thousand words. The passing houses seen from the passing train are mundane yet full of life and more than words can describe. We sometimes think of words as boring, right? But it’s with words we live until we die.

The camera can’t catch the heron and the water buffalo.

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