shanlung (shanlung) wrote,

Earthquake, tsunami and meltdown // Li Bai the man // Li Bai the bird


Earthquake, tsunami and meltdown

You all knew I had been thinking some time to get that GGLB.
It was on Friday that I decided it was time.

On that afternoon, news came of that major earthquake in Japan on CNN. I knew then with magnitude of 8.4 then that a huge tsunami would be coming. I flipped the TV channel immediately to NHK, a Japanese channel. And saw frightening tsunami in real time at that time coming in onto cars, houses and everything.

That life in peaceful Japanese cities and seaside towns gone and wiped out just like that. Scenes of buses on top of 3 storey houses, of a house perched on top of elementary schools, and many other ghastly images.

And since then heard of sea water being used to flood and cool nuclear reactors in great desperation. What could be facing them to do such a step?

That meltdown of 2-3 reactors. If that is the case, will even more peaceful lives be irrevocably be affected depending on how the wind blows?

Winds blowing to the West will carry fallout to Korea and China. Or winds blowing to the East will carry the fallout to USA.

We have to live on hopes and trust of Japanese government words that we all have nothing to worry about. Wearing blinkers and rose tinted glasses can be very good and soothing for the soul.

People in one of the most technologically advance country, and much better prepared than all other countries on this planet for earthquake and tsunami got hit by one beyond their wildest imagination. And its not decided if quake was of 8.9 or 9.0 , not that it mattered to those lives lost or devastated.

Putting aside meltdown and fallouts, how long will it be before that economic giant that was Japan will get back to her feet again? Transport chaos, manufacturing not getting supplies, rolling blackouts are now real in Japan. No impact on rest of the world? Is your safe safe job not at all dependent on that interconnectivity with economy and Japan?

My not getting that assignment yet is laughably unimportant. After all, I have enough money and not have to work or worry of bills. No Lear jet or caviar for me that I have to do without.

I decided life is too short and too uncertain.

I decided to get that bird. I cycled over to the shop in Bukit Batok Avenue 4 on Saturday and birdshop keeper and I decided it was not feasible to cycle with that cage and bird back home.

Gave a deposit and it was on Sunday I got the birdie and came back by cab.


Li Bai the man

On saturday, after seeing the birdie, I was thinking of calling him Sieben, a poet and troubadour and swordsman companion to Druss the Legend of the world of David Gemmell. I checked with my wife who laughed at my pronunciation of the name Sieben.

Then I thought of another swordsman and poet, this time of the real world. A man so incredible that indeed, truth and real life can be greater than fiction.

Li Bai is a man who lived in the Tang Dynasty. His martial prowess was that good in that he died at 61 years old and not by the sword. In his words
"When I was fifteen, I was fond of sword play, and with that art I challenged quite a few great men."

By the age of twenty, it was said he fought in death duels a dozen times. Since he died at 61, it was left unwritten Li Bai was not killed at those duels.

Modern day martial artists are no match for Li Bai. Bruce Lee, Jet Li, all the Gracie brothers would be chewed up by Li Bai with only their bones spit out.

Li Bai reminded me of Miyamoto Musashi , another peerless swordsman who died of old age. Perhaps if Li Bai crossed swords with Musahi, Musahi would not have gone on to old age and to write his "5 rings".

LiBai fame as swordsman was far over shadowed by his astounding poems.
English can barely convey the beauty of his works.



Mountain heart question and answer

You ask me why I dwell in the green mountain;
I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach-blossom flows down stream and is gone into the unknown,
I live in a world apart that is not among men.

Libai was in exiled from the court for upsetting folks there. Whether from fucking the wrong gal or not , or letting his tongue got the better of him and insulting one too many, or from killing someone with very strong friends with his peerless swordsplay, I do not know.
He was too good to be left alone in exile , and in time, all was forgiven. The court send emissary to him telling him his disgrace over. That he would be welcomed back into the court.

And that was his reply.
And as said by me, if the background to the poem is not known, how can one appreciate the beauty of the poem, and the evne more powerful beauty of that poem in its context of life.



Drinking alone under the moon

Amidst the flowers a jug of wine,
I pour alone lacking companionship.

So raising the cup I invite the Moon,
Turning to my shadow which makes three of us.

Because the Moon does not know how to drink,
My shadow merely follows the movement of my body.

The moon has brought the shadow to keep me company a while,
The practice of mirth should keep pace with spring.

I sing and the moon begins to reel,
I dance and the shadow moves with me.

While I'm still conscious let's rejoice with one another,
After I'm drunk let each one go his way.

Let us bind ourselves eternally for passioned travellings.
Let us swear to meet again far in the Milky Way.

LiBai was a supremely talented man and denied by fate from the high position that he sought.

I feel a strong kinship to him.


Li Bai the bird

On release from his tiny cage yesterday, I was despondent to see that he could barely fly at all. He kind of clawed around the cage to the photo you have seen. He fluttered down and on the ground and disappeared behind the chair where the big cage was. As if the long stay in his tiny cage caused his wing muscles to atrophied away.

He was likely to be a wild caught as it is not known if GGLB were ever bred.

He tried to fly again and with little flight control which was when I left the room and him alone.

I watched from my living room and noticed his flight returned somewhat to him. And became stronger and stronger.

I went back inside to keep him company. He was not skittish of me the way Yingshiong the shama was initially. To my nice surprise, he made no move away from me when I brought my hand slowly to him. I then took a mealy worm and offered that to him to have him taking it from my fingers.

I decided to let him be and not use his apparent acceptance of me to push the level of interaction with him.

As my equal and as respect to him, he will be the one to set the level of his interactions with me.

I set bowl of kitty mash on the perch near my arm chair and added tiny mealy worms to that and the other bowl had water.

He was able to fly quite well, watching me and showing little fear at me.

The next morning, he was able to fly much better. Showing hovering and flying under and around the table, back into the big cage, and up and about on the other perches in the room.

I cut him a piece of mango and placed that into a bowl in his cage that he seemed to love to eat. I caught a cricket by hand, slowly extend my hand into the cage. He hesitated a while, hopped nearer to my hand and took that cricket.

Here are better photos of Li Bai.

So that you folks have a better idea how a GGLB is like.

Those who followed Yingshiong would recognise the cage and the flight room.

2nd shots of LiBai








2nd shots of LiBai


A few weeks ago, my wife unearthed some very old photos of that first trip I had taken to Lhasa that I wrote about in

Harry Potter // Rustaq // 1st overland into Lhasa

Those old photos were scanned and uploaded into Flickr folder
Tibet first trip scans



If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice

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