Written and Published by Han Institute, August 2, 2013

One Thread Heaven, Chapter Two


Waking up to Sound of the Bells

I woke up in Nanyang to the sound of the early morning bells, from the city government building.

At 8 o'clock, I was awakened by the very peaceful sound of bells, from the old part of the city. The tradition is to have bells in the morning, and drums at dusk to mark the time.

Nanyang has a river traversing through the city, named White River, which creates alluviation.

The city is situated in a basin, surrounded by mountains on three sides, and open to the south like a downward facing cup. The mountains have red soil, where Nanzhao prehistoric maní»s bones were discovered, from the same era as Peking Man.

For some reason, I was reminded of the Carpentersí» "For All We Know" rhythm flowing along with the gentle but sorrowful bells.

Love, look at the two of us
Strangers in many ways
We've got a lifetime to share
So much to say and as we go from day to day
I'll feel you close to me
But time alone will tell
Let's take a lifetime to say
I knew you well
For only time will tell us so
And love may grow for all we know

Love, look at the two of us, all alone in my father's homeland.

Ah! What painful comprehension, bitter and sweet memory! My identity is as an American in my father's homeland. My family is nowhere to be found, as last night, I requested our tour guide to assist me to find them. All I have is the phone number of a cousin. The hometown terrain is not on the map. Mark, the American son in law is helping me to solve my puzzle and pay tribute to the grounds of my roots.

Somehow all the Yin and Yang forces add together, I was produced, and only now, I made it to here, too late to see my grandparents alive.

Blue Moon Lovers

We found ourselves in an old Army barracks with computers. Both worked in the high tech field. I was all alone as a minority, but he is an elite majority and commands high respect.

We were together, rather compelled by psychological quest for companionship. For me, it is the second plum blossom, and to him, it is but a first time love.

White River flows through the whole Nanyang city. Here, the fertile river has bred talents throughout dynasties. Northern Dynasty's number one tablet was written by Governor Zhang Menglong, of Nanyang, White River.

We had a simple breakfast with millet soup and Henan Mantou thick layer bread.

The street was lined with Chinese parasol trees, which cooled the autumn day. Our tour guide James Chang greeted us in at the lobby, James said that he was in the middle of contacting my relatives and he would arrange the time for us to meet. Then we headed toward the famed Nanyang Wolong Gang, Sleeping Dragon Hill, to pay tribute to a Three Kingdom era premier Zhu Geliang (181-234).

Zhu Geliang was nicknamed "Sir Sleeping Dragon". He hid in the Sleeping Dragon Hills near Nanyang and only after three visits by Shu Country's King Liu Bei, did he promise to assist. He was a great statesman, strategist, inventor and writer of prose. The reason that Shu Country could sustain in Sichuan to compete with Sun Wu and Cao Wei was because of talent from China proper such as Zhu Geliang's great mind, hard work, dedication, great strategies, and admirable character.

This reminds me that the success of Taiwan is not relying on Taiwan Islandí»s limited resources and talents. Premier Sun Yun-suan (1913-2006), an engineer trained in the U.S., managed the Taiwan electric company, started Xinzhu Industrial Park, and modernized Taiwan. It is because of great talents from the mainland surging to the island circa 1949 to earn the Taiwan economic miracle, as dubbed by Time Magazine. But now Taiwan is lagging behind, as the advanced structure is not being kept up.

The estate has stone tablets, but they were split and glued together. The tour guide told us this was damaged by the red guards during the Cultural Revolution.

We walked along the wall and read the carving of his writing, and the touching calligraphy still resounded with the maní»s character in founding the system to enrich the countryí»s economy and training with defense. He built up the silk industry in Sichuan Province as Shu Country.

Zhu Geliang's spirit was continual stamina, and great dedication.

We watched the Han dance in a straw matted cottage. These are well balanced dancers who basically are like stepping on air tiptoeing on 7 plates.

Then we headed toward Zhang Heng (78-139) Museum, an Eastern Han Dynasty's astronomer, cartographer, and artist. Zhang Heng invented an instrument to measure earthquakes. He also started a new genre of literature, descriptive prose interspersed with verse.

In the evening, we went to a night market in a Muslim neighborhood. Nanyang has both Jews and Muslims in different neighborhoods, which have been there for centuries.

Zhu Geliang and Zhang Heng are the very essence of China proper men, with great value, scientifically and politically. They found the balance of their conscience to battle against powerful eunuchs and warlords, to conduct strategic battles without being war mongers and to serve their community with their talent. They are why China is great.

In the big market gathering with shows, I can almost see both my grandparents in the crowd just like all the folks there, ready to enjoy those Henan operas with music of Bang Ze wooden clappers which perform bygone stories.


To be continued

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