Since returning from China, my native country, I've been stuck in a most peculiar psychological state which may be called an "ethnic identity disorder:" I was stuck in between being Chinese and American, a Southern one of the latter, even. The most confusing part of being in this limbo is what to eat. That's right, I spent the first post-China week ruefully looking into the fridge and pantries feeling absolute zero appetite for anything in sight. I missed the rice porridges with red, green and black beans and sesame seeds and goji berries in it; I dreamed of Sichuan hot pot and my sister's handmade pancakes with sugar and green onion tucked into them; I even had hard time shaking my newly acquired habit of drinking room-temperature water in my PJ's and slippers...
That's the extremely truncated account of the first post-return week. The second, however, is very different. It hit both KDM and me like a rock out of the blue sky, of which I wrote in a previous post, namely, two of our calves got sick and were attacked by our own dogs while recuperating. One died of drowning in the pond on the night of the attack. The other, "Bud," stayed with us and alternately treating us to hope and despair for two weeks and died two days after Fourth of July. The whole affair took on a transformative intensity which is very hard to write and to relay to outsiders who aren't schooled in cattle farming. I had thought during the ordeal what a good story it would have made for writers such as Hemingway: the story of saving the life of a calf attempted by a very odd couple who are also self-taught farmers.
After the death of "Bud," our life resumed some normalcy. Rain came after seven weeks of smoldering heat and everything in the pastures turning into dust. Then the deadlines of submitting works to shows and competitions moved up my to-do list. When it comes to deadlines, I'm really good at never beating them too far ahead, preferrably. just by an hour or two.
There have been numerous other threads besides these more salient factors. If I were diligent, they would find their way to this blog for your amusement, but alas, diligence has never been my strong suit.
But lest you are let down, here are a couple of things that stand out in my current affairs:
- I've finally begun reading The Lord of the Rings (with The Hobbit out of the way after two thirteen-hour cross-ocean flights last month).
- I have a new way to describe my total reaction to my latest home-going trip: China: a fascinating place. This is significant because I used to think of my motherland as many things, but never "fascinating." When I heard people use the word for their impression of her, I usually chalked it up to someone wanting to impress me with their multiculturalism.
- Our dogs are still alive, all four of them. KDM has gone back to talking to them and calling them by their names (not just names!)
- I've just purchased my first Spanx!!
I leave you at that, and bless you from my Hobbit hole although I'm not small and I wear shoes!