Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

Sunday Morning!

Sunday Morning


The air outside encloses and the view continues to shrink.  The air is stagnant and heavy. Yesterday I read the book Hav by Jan Morris and she describes this kind of weather as claustrophobic.  The outside air seems too thick and polluted to fit easily into the air passages of the lungs.  The lungs say no to thick, yellow air. 


When I read the paper, I see that the pollution index in our area was at 120 yesterday.  It is predicted to get worst.   “When the index reaches 100 or above, people with heart or respiratory illnesses are advised to avoid prolonged stays in areas with heavy traffic.”  No wonder it felt difficult yesterday to motivate on getting, and then, staying out.   We could feel the heat even in the hotel. 


There was an Autumn Regatta yesterday that might have been enjoyed from both sides of the bay but visibility was difficult between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, which is a very small space, and so it is.  All this movement and increased activity and productivity reap a cost.  It becomes more difficult to see and breathe. 


We are both ready to join a Buddhist monastery in the country, one with a very few people and many green trees.


We went out yesterday into the heat and people-clogged streets. On a Saturday in the shopping areas of Causeway Bay, there is not a space without people, either in the stores or on the streets.  I see why there are no benches or places to sit.  It is a wave moving through, a wave near the shore, spilling in both directions.


We decided to go to a movie to get out of the heat and crowds, so we saw Hairspray in a multi-plex theatre at Times Square.  We waited in a long line to get a ticket because the seats are reserved, so each purchase takes time as people choose their seats.  As you wait and crawl slowly forward, you watch the overhead computerized seating chart of your particular movie fill up.  By the time it was our turn, we had a choice of the extreme front or back of the theatre.  We thought we chose the back but it was the front and that was quite fine. You can have buttered popcorn or chocolate popcorn, neither of which would knock your socks off  which is no problem because you probably aren’t wearing them.  The movie was great and it was fun to see it with Chinese sub-titles and note when people laughed.  Everyone applauded at the end, and walked out chatty and exhilarated.


We planned to eat dinner out, but we were on overload, so we came up to our place and ordered room service.  Perfect!!   Even the lovely man who brought our food seemed like an intrusion in our much-appreciated cocoon.  We have everything we could want here, and there is something about the comfort of one’s own home that is important to renew.  It felt good to take a break from the “need” to sightsee and honor also the need for quiet, privacy, and solitude.


Oddly, this book by Jan Morris turned out to fit the circumstances.  I picked it out because it was the only book by her in the bookstore.  She has been writing travel books for forty years, and Hong Kong, a maritime capital and traveling spot, seemed the place to read some of her books.  To be sexually correct, she was a happily married he.  He and his wife enjoyed their four children, but he had always, even as a child, felt a sense of being female.  Somewhere in here, he began taking hormones and eventually had a sex change operation.  His wife understands and they are happily still together, deeply fulfilled in their many years of marriage.


The book, Hav, begins as Jan Morris, the lady, visits a little place called Hav, a place created in her imagination, that represents a composite of many places she has traveled.  We travel with her once and then again when she goes back to visit Hav twenty years later, and writes of the change.


It is disconcerting to be here in China, and read how she speaks of the Chinese and how they have the money and motivation to create or re-create a place.  Whole villages are being built in China, cities, and towns, and there is probably as much “double-speak” here, as at home, as we saw this week with Bush and his speech that had nothing to do with reality.  Memory re-creation is alive and well.


I continue to feel I am living in the science fiction books I read in the past. We, too, are passive like the crabs in slowly-heating water not noticing the boil, and yet, would it matter if we did.  How much must we accept in the currency of change?  Life has always been unusual and required adjustment.  We seem to want to be lead and told what to do.  We do need an organizer, someone who says the roads will go here and there.  No wonder we need a God to organize chaos for us.  It is too much.  Surrender, and cog. 


I read today that “Global warming makes the Northwest Passage a navigable reality.”  Who would have thought?  Is this fascinating, or what?  We are seeing that the earth, like us, now needs a rapid change of dress. She is becoming quite the vamp, revealing and giving us more visibility and ease of access. 


There is a hiking guidebook called The Serious Hikers Guide to Hong Kong.  The author is upset with the “obsessive” practice of turning Hong Kong’s nature trails into cement pavements.  Pete Spurrier writes:  “The often mindless waste of taxpayers’ money is cruelly obvious on many trails; the authorities have flattened undulating paths with bare concrete, channeled once-vibrant streams into square-sided concrete drains and on even, gentle climbs have built uninspiring concrete steps and bomb-proof railings of heavy-duty steel.”  This is true.  How much one wants to feel dirt and soft leaves under their feet.  I think it is why legs and feet feel so tired.  They pound cement.  The department in charge responds that they are only making things “safe,” and, so it is.  Safety is the word of our times.


The Hong Kong Maritime Museum was fascinating in its exploration of the history of water travel that began with log rafts and evolved into the container ships we now know.  I love the ingenuity of the past and wonder if that creativity can continue if our main focus is safety.


Oddly, Jan Morris kept talking about container ships.  She must have toured the Hong Kong Maritime Museum. 


Today we will head out early for the Hong Kong Museum.  It is time to view some art.



Emerson said:  One is rich in proportion to the things one doesn’t need.


It is to contemplate in a place loaded with so much one doesn’t need.  There are necessities in these shops.  Natural roots and herbs are mixed in among the array of shops selling cosmetics and watches, and yet, it seems to be so much more than I can imagine needing and yet, maybe it is like the breakfast buffet.  At first, I was overwhelmed at the array of food, somehow thinking I should partake richly since it was there.  Each day I take a little less and find the more there is, the less I want.  Even the dainty little pastries and tiny donuts are no temptation for me now.  I did enjoy the tiny popover on top the grilled tomato this morning, and Steve loves the teeny-tiny Kaiser rolls but it is so much.   Maybe overload is what leads to simplicity.  Ah, yes, I finally understand the words of William Blake.  “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.”  I won’t claim I am in the palace of wisdom, but I am certainly aware of the joys of simplicity and ease of nourishment.  A bowl of oatmeal may be the best sustenance of all.


Yesterday we chose to eat downstairs, but today we returned to the Executive Lounge.  The young woman was pleased that we returned.  She was very disappointed yesterday when we asked for the voucher for downstairs.  “Why do you leave?  Is there not enough variety for you here?” 


I am touched and in my reclusive way will probably enjoy returning to my own coffee pot and morning bowl of cereal.  How funny we all are.  I laugh at the silliness of myself and I feel great peace and joy and the love and beauty of this world.  It does boil down to people and their sweet, welcoming smiles, and Hong Kong overflows abundantly with those. 


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