Thursday, August 14, 2008


A few days after 1999 melted into 2000, I was in the courtyard of Bai Yun Si, the White Cloud Temple, in Beijing with a friend. The temple was near her boyfriend's home, and I was looking for something special, something jade, something I could wear to remember my time in China. The jade disc I bought spoke to me. I probably paid more than I should have, but at less than $10, it was still a bargain.

I tied it around my neck and it didn't come off for 7 years. Then, the cord broke. I replaced it, but the new knot would untie itself every few days. I wondered if Someone was trying to tell me Something. Frustrated and scared that I would lose my bi, I stopped wearing it. Last week, DUN bought new cord for me and spoke to a worker at a bead store about the best way to fasten it.

Last night, I added a hook and eye clasp to the new cord. I put the bi back on ... and, it's weird, but I felt like a little piece of me had returned. I felt complete.

And, then, I remembered a story I started -but never finished- a few years ago, [tentatively titled] The Story of Bi.

On my last day in Beijing, I met him at Bai Yun Si. “I have something for you,” he said, giving me a small red box. “Open it.”

Inside was a jade bi, a pale green circle on a long red cord. He took the ends of the cord. “This is my heart,” he said, placing it around my neck. “I’m tying it short so you can’t take it off.”

“I never will,” I promised. And we kissed for the last time, standing underneath the old wisteria.

I remembered that, you know, sometimes I'm a pretty decent writer. Maybe that part of me is coming back, too [obviously not in the form of blog posts].



  1. Well, I look forward to reading your "decent writing". Meanwhile, I love your blog.

  2. Geesh! Everyone gets to go to China but me.


  3. your story reminded me of a a comic that i have read. maybe you might like it too.