Thursday, September 27, 2012

Eroded moon

An eroded moon. An orange grim thing. That is the night sky that welcomed me as a newborn child, in the sky. My lunar birthday falls four days before Autumn festival, which has a full moon. Four days before Mid-Autumn festival it is less than full. It doesn't bother me that my moon isn't full. My solar birthday, the first of October, marks a particular angle of the sun at its highest point in the day in a season. No-one but a calendar can see it. My lunar birthday, 11th of the 8th month, I know can expect the same incomplete moon, maybe orange, maybe white, maybe yellow, maybe blue, hanging on less than full in the sky year in and year out of my life. That is my moon. The moon of my birth.
After 3am I know that moon would have set. All that would remain is Orion, a visitor to my sky. I've only seen it this once in the three years in Guangzhou. I can only savour in this. The grim moon gone; the hunter rises; this early in the morning; after the guests have left; after the party; on the day; of the same moon; on the day I was born; I type and live here; in the distant city of Guangzhou,

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tripping point

Guangzhou had its first tumble into autumn. Temperatures dropped finally to the comfortable range of 20 to 30 degrees. Guangzhou also tumbled into protest for the second time since I came to China. The Senkaku / Diaoyu Island dispute flared up. The roads around my office became choked with people, police and barricades. Japanese made cars in Tianhe district, as in other cities recently, were vandalised. At least one was set alight. A plume of smoke reached to the sky. Sound like a war-zone? Well, barring all out street battles tomorrow, naturally it is but an image produced is a mere spark in an otherwise dry, normal day. Let's hope the spark burns out.
I've almost always had an apocalyptic streak. Maybe it was a result of watching and reading (well, half of) The Stand in my youth. I sometimes consider what would happen, so far from home, should a real pandemic engulf the world. Or with a economic crisis, China lurches back into revolutionary mode and relive unpleasantness of the Cultural revolution as the foreign influences are blamed. I'm psychologically ready for anything.
Why is damp Guangzhou so dry? Well, the country is a historical tinderbox. Some dates are flashpoints 9.18 (September 18th). With still another day to get to that mark, things could be interesting. Though I'd rather them not be.