A billion Buddhas

I was at the Asian American museum today. It was my first visit there. There were Buddhas on every floor. There were fat Buddhas and thin Buddhas, crowned ones and uncrowned ones, and Buddhas from different countries.

There was a jade gallery that I liked. Jade is difficult to work with. I learned more about how craftsmen make beauty out of stone today. From the very first time I had seen jade, a little carved jade trinket that my father had brought from his travels, I have liked the colour and feel of nephrite.

I discovered today that the Shiva lingam was a phallic symbol. I hadn’t known that. I tend to not pay too much attention to religious symbols and practices, particularly when I don’t come across them regularly. While Shiva had been always written about in different stories of my childhood as a virile sort of chap, I’d never made the connection with the lingam.

Also learned about Indian geography, a subject at which I’d never been good at, and my knowledge is sketchy north of Bangalore.

Impressed my companion with my navigational prowess in San Francisco, and I am quite chuffed about that today. I do adore it when someone notices my ability to manage reasonably without a GPS.

I did a survey, and got in exchange a pen and some postcards. The pen is not functional. The postcards will make their way to recipients next week.

I heard some negative news from my previous employment situation. It is good to be more detached from all of that, though it has taken me time. Detaching takes me more time than it seems to take many others.

Today, I witnessed a few policemen on bicycles coming to handcuff and arrest a man who had been lolling about on the green before the Civic Center. I did not understand the situation. I tried to put it out of my mind. The city is beautiful and I like venturing there, but I am yet to come to terms with the segments of poverty and displacement, of drugs and violence. It takes me a few days to recover from the sights.

I am trying to plan a trip home for Christmas.

I am in the process of writing my annual Make-a-wish story, for a young man from Bolivia. It is a story inspired by Mendelssohn’s Opus 81. It is flowing well so far, but I do have a tendency to get stuck in the penultimate chapters.

Yesterday was about making wine. I learned how to pluck the right grapes and how to know how to mix them to craft a Zinfandel. We were drunk silly on Verve Cliquot, and there was cheese and hummus to round it off. It must have been the intoxication which made us book tickets for Lauryn Hill.

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