Walking on Water

Walking on Water

It’s a wonderful time to be young and physically fit; for there are so many brilliant inventions for leisure activities. In summertime especially for the fair weather opens up opportunities for a wide range of exciting, thrilling sports. Now every young athlete can play at being James Bond with incredible stunts. I’m pretty sure I saw this in one in one of those spy movies.  A truly awe inspiring aerial tricks rising up into the air from the water, walking, gliding, riding or doing flips and all of it on water. What would the ancients say if they saw such an activity? No miracle is need here, only technology. Recently I witnessed this at the CNE on September 1, 2017. What a thrill it was! By chance I was on a bridge leading to Ontario Place and able to take these shots and video:

Please click here to see the video: https://youtu.be/HMqex1mMG7Q

Enjoy the following pictures:

Fin

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Tibetan Ornamentation- Khampa

Tibetan Ornamentation- Khampa

 

01-Pic by Antoine Taveneaux -800px-People_of_Tibet13-By Antoine Taveneaux - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, httpscommo

Pic by Antoine Taveneaux -800px-People_of_Tibet13-By Antoine Taveneaux – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, httpscommo

The summer months have come to a close all too quickly and it is now September. And with that, on this Labor Day Holiday, Ontario’s biggest city Toronto buzzed with a beehive of activity satiating the senses of sight, hearing and taste via umpteen exciting festivals. 

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This last hurrah compelled us all to live it up, as though our lives depended on it.  For soon the humdrum of daily life will be back upon us. Back to work, back to school, the end of nice, easygoing time and weather. All will be replaced by cold icy temperatures, shorter daylight hours, and the flu season. Then comes the dreaded snow…Uggg, winter is coming! (Pardon the private joke from this fan of the HBO series’ Game of Thrones).

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And if you believe the Farmer’s Almanac, this winter will be a particularly harsh one!   But I digress, in between the haste of cramming in as much summertime fun; there is also the hustle and bustle of shopping. And with winter attire acquired; why not splurge on something frivolous?

04-Antoine Taveneaux - own work-People of Tiebet (in Nagqu Horse festival)

Antoine Taveneaux – own work-People of Tiebet (in Nagqu Horse festival)

 Recently my interests veered towards unique jewelry, the indigenous sort. Tibetan jewelry presented itself as a new area to be explored. I visited several vendors that offered some unique, antique and rare geometric designs encompassing pieces of turquoise and amber. There was one particular necklace that drew my attention; however, when I put it up against my neck, I felt a strange sensation. The feeling of a pair of hands choking me became more pronounced when the clasp was fastened.  I couldn’t get  it  off me fast enough and, paying no heed to the special deal the vender offered for enticement, I hastily but politely exited the premises.  As my steps took me to safe distance, now don’t laugh, I felt as though I’d dodged something unholy. I’m not averse to acquiring antique pieces and sometimes they can be quite interesting as I am a History buff. Still, my subsequent move was to pay a visit to another Tibetan vendor that I was sure sold new jewelry pieces. No pre-owned stuff after that scare. I selected a few pieces that appealed to my taste and were moderately priced. 

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Sometime later, I came across some interesting pictures on the internet about Tibetan Khampa Posted on Flickr by Better World 2010.  The men and women were covered in plentiful huge chunks of amber, coral and turquoise jewelry.  This was intriguing to say the least. Why be burdened with such weight?

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Better World2010-01

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Better World2010-11

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Better World2010-13

Then I came across some even more fascinating info about legendary Khampa people living in eastern Tibet who never fall ill and live a long time. As seen in these pictures, they are usually tall, well built and fearless. The Khampa men often stood out in a crowd, same as the women; all decked out with gold and silver, amber and red coral accessories, with their long plaited hair and tanned faces. I read somewhere that their bright unrestrained laughter resonated in the air when in festivals they moved in clusters like the moving hills.  I wish I was there to see it in person.

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Better World2010-14

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-Better World2010-08

 

Intrigued, I prodded further: The indigenous group was said to reside on the mysterious snowy plateau and furthermore, they were believed to be the offspring of the god of war and the goddess of beauty. With such lineage, the women were sure to be beautiful and the men always, stoic and valiant. Clearly, surviving the hostile elements of nature has only strengthened their life-force.

13-Better World2010-06

-Better World2010-06

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Better World2010-03

 

There was even a mysterious legend about this indigenous group: It was believed that once, a long time ago in the Medicine King City, there lived the Medicine King. Impressed by the Khampa’s fearless and gallant nature, he often dispensed free medical treatment. Furthermore, he passed on to Khampa all that he knew, including all the herbal medicine and disease treatment methods. Since then, the Khampa had never fallen ill.  More interestingly, all the panaceas (universal remedies, cure-alls, magic potions) came from the Medicine King City.

As great as this belief is, the disbeliever may attribute Khampa people’s lasting good health to their inherent good habits, the sensible and diligent care they have in the prevention of all diseases.

Meanwhile the whole Tibetan regions, its indigenous customs, ceremonial ornamentation, Khampa, are all a marvel to explore.  Here is some more which I would like to share:

Did you know that different regions of Tibet have their own unique customs, dialect, and styles of ornamentation? The styles of ceremonial costumes worn by the rich families are as distinct and therefore easily recognisable in determining the region.

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Better World2010-12

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Better World2010-10

Headpiece’s elaborately studded with coral resemble a crown. Coral studded gold armlets, or Copal beads (‘sherpa coral’) may be used by both men and women in the place of coral, covering the length of their forearms and fingers in gold bracelets and rings.

17-Better World2010-15a

Better World2010-15a

 The beautiful costumes of the Khampas are considered to be the main store of the family’s wealth and announce the social status of the wearers. They are handed down from generation to generation.

Till recently most Tibetan families were nomadic and had to move every few months because of the snowy seasons in the Himalayas so, being unable to store wealth in the form of estates or houses or land or in a bank,  Khampas developed this practical and portable means of transporting and storing their wealth.  These rich nomadic ornaments are set in colorful, chunky and bold designs.

Tibetan culture is very specific in determining the type of stone or ornaments that are to be used: these are usually amber, turquoise, coral and jade, because the stones are believed to hold spiritual power. There is also a firm belief that the stones provide good luck and protection from disease. Dyed red coral is the most sought after stone, but interestingly enough, Tibet is quite far away from any oceans and therefore coral must be acquired through trade. Archeological finds also revealed that the beliefs of spiritual protection being provided by coral, amber and turquoise probably originated from the ancient shamanic Bon religion, as the designs of pieces predates the arrival of Buddhism in Tibet.

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Better World2010-15

Now these stones are always set in pure gold or silver that is naturally found in Tibet. Tibetans also consider these precious metals sacred and that they hold spiritual power of their own, therefore, mixing gold or silver will be a sacrilege. As a result, some costumes are worth somewhere between $10,000 all the way up to many millions of US dollars, depending on the quality of stones and antiquity of the ornaments. The costumes can weigh up to 44lb, much of that weight derived from the gold and silver amulet pieces attached in front, behind and on the head. These costumes are worn on annual festival days such as at the Litang Horse Festival.

19-Better World2010-02 (1)

Better World2010-02 (1)

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Better World2010-02 (2)

These ornaments have the utmost sentimental value and significance, because they are the physical remnants of generations of their ancestor’s hard work or success. This belief has also been traced by the archeological finds all the way back to the 1st century AD.

 Testament to this truth is unearthed ornaments that are found to be essentially the same in design and materials as those today.

21-Better World2010-07

Better World2010-07

The End

 

Why Blackfoot Never Kill Mice

Why Blackfoot Never Kill Mice

(Indian Why Stories- Author Frank Bird Linderman, 1869-1938)

 

1-Muskrat--Final-_Painting800

Muskrat and his grandmother were gathering wood for the camp when they came upon an old buffalo skull.  The plains were dotted with these relics of the chase, for already the hide-hunting white man had played havoc with the great herds of buffalo.

 This skull was in a grove of cottonwood-trees near the river, and as they approached two Mice scampered into it to hide. 

Muskrat, in great glee, secured a stick and was about to turn the skull over and kill the Mice, when his grandmother said: “No, our people never kill Mice.  Your grandfather will tell you why if you ask him.  The Mice-people are our friends and we treat them as such.  Even small people can be good friends –remember that.”

All day long the boy wondered why the Mice-people should not be harmed and at dusk he went to War Eagle’s lodge. When he entered he found the other children already assembled there. As soon as he was seated Muskrat sounded the question:

“Grandfather, why must we never kill the Mice-people?  Grandmother said that you knew.”

“Yes,” replied War Eagle, “I do know and you must now know too.  Therefore I shall tell you all about why the Mice-people must be let alone and allowed to do as they please, for we owe them much; much more than we can ever repay. 

“It happened long, long ago, when there were few men and women in the world.  Old-Man was Chief of all then, and the animal-people and the bird-people were greater than our people, because we had not been on earth long and were not wise.

“There was much quarrelling among the animals and the birds.  You see the Bear wanted to be Chief, under Old-Man, and so did the Beaver. Almost every night they would have a council and quarrel over it. Beside the Bear and Beaver, there were other animals, and also birds, that thought they had the right to be Chief.  They couldn’t agree and the quarrelling grew worse as time went on.  Some said the greatest thief should be chosen.  Others thought the wisest one should be the leader; while some said the swiftest traveller was the one they wanted. So it went on and on until they were most all enemies instead of friends, and you could hear them quarrelling almost every night, until Old-Man came along that way.

“He heard about the trouble.  I forget who told him, but I think it was the Rabbit.  Anyhow he visited the council where the quarrelling was going on and listened to what each one had to say.  It took until almost daylight, too.  He listened to it all–every bit.  When they had finished talking and the quarrelling commenced as usual, he said, ‘Stop!’ and they did stop.

“Then he said to them: ‘I will settle this thing right here and right now, so that there will be no more rows over it, forever.’

“He opened his paint sack and took from it a small, polished bone. This he held up in the firelight, so that they might all see it, and he said:

“‘This will settle the quarrel.  You all see this bone in my right hand, don’t you?’

“‘Yes,’ they replied.

“‘Well, now you watch the bone and my hands, too, for they are quick and cunning.’

“Old-Man began to sing the trickster song and to slip the bone from one hand to the other so rapidly and smoothly that they were all puzzled.

Finally he stopped singing and held out his hands–both shut tight, and both with their backs up.

“‘Which of my hands holds the bone now?’ he asked them.

“Some said it was in the right hand and others claimed that it was the left hand that held it.  Old-Man asked the Bear to name the hand that held the bone, and the Bear did; but when Old-Man opened that hand it was empty–the bone was not there.  Then everybody laughed at the Bear.

 

02-BearFinal-_Painting--800

Old-Man smiled a little and began to sing and again pass the bone.

“‘Beaver, you are smart; name the hand that holds the bone this time.’

“The Beaver said: ‘It’s in your right hand.  I saw you put it there.’

 

03-beaver-Final-painting-800

“Old-Man opened that hand right before the Beaver’s eyes, but the bone wasn’t there, and again everybody laughed–especially the Bear.

“‘Now, you see,’ said Old-Man, ‘that this is not so easy as it looks, but I am going to teach you all to play the game; and when you have all learned it, you must play it until you find out who is the cleverest at the playing.  Whoever that is, he shall be Chief under me, forever.’

“Some were awkward and said they didn’t care much who was Chief, but most all of them learned to play pretty well. 

First the Bear and the Beaver tried it, but the Beaver beat the Bear easily and held the bone for ever so long.  

 

04-Buffalo_Final-Painting800

Finally the Buffalo beat the Beaver and started to play with the Mouse.  Of course the Mouse had small hands and was quicker than the Buffalo–quicker to see the bone.  The Buffalo tried hard for he didn’t want the Mouse to be Chief but it didn’t do him any good; for the Mouse won in the end.

“It was a fair game and the Mouse was Chief under the agreement.  He looked quite small among the rest but he walked right out to the centre of the council and said:

“‘Listen, brothers–what is mine to keep is mine to give away.  I am too small to be your Chief and I know it.  I am not warlike.  I want to live in peace with my wife and family.  I know nothing of war.  I get my living easily.  I don’t like to have enemies.  I am going to give my right to be Chief to the man that Old-Man has made like himself.’

“That settled it.  That made the man Chief forever, and that is why he is greater than the animals and the birds.  That is why we never kill the Mice-people.

 

05-Field-Mouse--Final-Painting-800

“You saw the Mice run into the buffalo skull, of course.  There is where they have lived and brought up their families ever since the night the Mouse beat the Buffalo playing the bone game.  Yes—the Mice-people always make their nests in the heads of the dead Buffalo-people, ever since that night.

“Our people play the same game, even today.  See,” and War Eagle took from his paint sack a small, polished bone.  Then he sang just as Old-Man did so long ago.  He let the children try to guess the hand that held the bone, as the animal-people did that fateful night; but, like the animals, they always guessed wrong.  Laughingly War Eagle said:

“Now go to your beds and come to see me to-morrow night.  Ho!”

 

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The End

Order in Disorder

Order in Disorder

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Chaos is the score upon which reality is written.

HENRY MILLER

Click to see the music video: Order in Disorder

 

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“Peace and the survival of life on earth as we know it are threatened by human activities which lack a commitment to humanitarian values.

Destruction of nature and nature resources results from ignorance, greed and lack of respect for the earth’s living things. This lack of respect extends even to earth’s human descendants, the future generations who will inherit a vastly degraded planet if world peace does not become a reality, and destruction of the natural environment continues at the present rate.

Our ancestors viewed the’ earth as rich and bountiful, which it is. Many people in the past also saw nature as inexhaustibly sustainable, which we now know is the case only if we care for it.

It is not difficult to forgive destruction in the past, which resulted from ignorance. Today, however, we have access to more information, and it is essential that we re-examine ethically what we have inherited, what we are responsible for, and what we will pass on to coming generations.

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Clearly this is a pivotal generation. Global communication is possible.”

 ~Dalai Lama, An Ethical Approach to Environmental Protection

Fin

Happiness via discarding of negative energy

Happiness via discarding of negative energy

 

01-A Beach Promenade - 1896- Michael Peter Ancher-Danish, 1849-1927

 

The whole concept of negative energy may be an alien thought to the steadfast realist.  Nevertheless, it does exist and it manifests in various forms that sometimes foster unhappy, unfulfilled or unsettled lives. 

This is not to say that one can shirk off all responsibility concerning one’s state of affairs.  One still needs to be held accountable for their actions, relationships, beliefs, thoughts and overall well being.

Meanwhile, through applications of the suggestions listed below, you can discard any unpleasantness and, ultimately improve your life’s sparkle:

 

Visual Stimulation:

 

An inspirational movie with a great narrative, paintings, photographs are one way to, through visual and vicarious experience, eliminate that pesky negativity.  And the common joy that is shared by many is the experience of a seaside excursion and summertime fun activities. To get you started on this, here’s a gallery of artworks set in a slideshow.

 

 

Click here to see: Summer Breeze and Puffed up Sleeves Slideshow

 

Music:

Who would dispute that Music is a required food for the soul. Depending on the melody, the mood is transformed into joy, excitement, somber reflections, peace or despair. As one has the choice however, chose carefully to attain happiness and to re-align good energies in yourself and your space.

Furthermore, if you can, play an instrument, sing a song or simply listen to an upbeat melody, you’ll be well on your way to fostering that upbeat energy. It’s a well documented fact that singing or listening to buoyant music promotes good health. It certainly can improve cognition, strengthen your lungs, lower blood pressure and improve posture. And the best part is, you can take it along with you wherever you go and whatever you do.

Foliage and Flora:

A leisurely walk in a forested region does wonders to ease those weighty concerns. The cacophony of Nature’s concert soothes all ears while bountiful oxygen fills the lungs and you are energized. 

Regarding indoor space plants are an essential garnish for establishing a positive space.  The soul is lightened by the confirmatory accoutrement of green hues of leaves and stems sometimes supporting colorful flowers. And that’s not all; plants also act as energy filters by cleaning and improving air quality. Moreover, it propels us to open curtains or blinds to invite the sunshine, the bright beneficial light, to energize and filter the room of unwanted negative energy.

 

Fragrance to delight the senses:

 

Here, a caution is warranted as we live in an age where some people have serious sensitivity to certain artificially made scents, sprays, mists, colognes or perfumes. One thing is for certain, bad odors and smells do beget negative moods; whereas memorable ones (like mom’s cooking or clean laundry) and pleasant, heavenly scents, uplift the spirits and make one function more effectively.

Bear in mind however, depending on the individual’s preference and life experience, certain aromas and ointments can either be pleasant or repulsive and detestable. Use common sense before striving to conceal those pesky, persistent odors while concurrently clearing away negative energies through the use of readily available store bought oils, sprays or catchy gismos. 

For the superstitious, there are also these options available:

Smudging:

 

Regardless of race and creed, a typical process for cleansing space of negative energy uses:  incense sticks, containers with lit incense within, lit candles, or bundled up dry herb leaves that are smoldering and releasing smoke.   The smoke is the key factor here, believed to be responsible for cleansing the adverse negative energies.  Carry the smoldering smoke throughout a home, business, special abode, holy building or sacred grounds. In cleansing your home, once you’ve reached the stopping point, then you can open a window to allow all the negativity to flow out.  

Use of Crystals:

 

Obsidian and black tourmaline are two of many crystals that are used in absorbing negativity. Place these in spaces requiring cleansing; in particular, around electronics that are known to foster disruptive, chaotic energy.

 

Below are some of my favorite paintings, enjoy! :

 

1-Alexander Gunin

Alexander Gunin

2-Boys Playing at the Beach - circa 1885 - Albert Edelfelt -Finnish, 1854-1905

Boys Playing at the Beach – circa 1885 – Albert Edelfelt -Finnish, 1854-1905

3-brown beach 800

-brown beach

4-Caillebotte, Gustave - French, 1848-1894 - The Diver - 1877

Caillebotte, Gustave – French, 1848-1894 – The Diver – 1877

5-Michael & Inessa Garmash2

Michael & Inessa Garmash

6-Duffy Sheridan

Duffy Sheridan

7-Evening at Padstow, Cornwall - 1890-Sir William Llewellyn -English, 1858-1941

Evening at Padstow, Cornwall – 1890-Sir William Llewellyn -English, 1858-1941

8-Fernando Saenz Pedrosa

Fernando Saenz Pedrosa

9-Summertime-garden

Summer-garden

10-Francesca Strino

Francesca Strino

11-Path to beach

Path to beach

12-Gleb Goloubetski

Gleb Goloubetski

13- bThe Cliff

The Cliff

14-Irving Willes

-Irving Willes

15-Jim Daly

-Jim Daly

16-Joaquin Sorolla (1863-1923) Sotto il baldacchino (1910). La pennellata come un soffio di vento.

Joaquin Sorolla (1863-1923) Sotto il baldacchino (1910)

17-Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (February 27, 1863 - August 10, 1923

Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (February 27, 1863 – August 10, 1923

18-Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, (Spagna, 1863-1923) Dopo il bagno - After the Bath (1902)

Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, (Spagna, 1863-1923) Dopo il bagno – After the Bath (1902)

19-John Lavery 1856-1941)

John Lavery 1856-1941)

20-Lady by a Window 1918- Louis Ritman -American (1889–1963)

Lady by a Window 1918- Louis Ritman -American (1889–1963)

21-Little Boat - 1884-Albert Edelfelt -Finnish, 1854-1905

-Little Boat – 1884-Albert Edelfelt -Finnish, 1854-1905

22-milk-lake2

milk-lake

23-My garden in summertime

-My garden in summertime

24-Paul Hedley

-Paul Hedley

25-quaiside-cafe-3DC-web-1

quaiside-cafe-

26-Time with Dad by Steve Hanks

Time with Dad by Steve Hanks

27-Vladimir Volegov - lovely morning

Vladimir Volegov – lovely morning

28-Vladimir Volegov cooling her feet

-Vladimir Volegov cooling her feet

29-Vladimir Volegov

Vladimir Volegov

30-Monika Luniak

Monika Luniak

 

Fin

 

Fishing

Fishing

 

001-Fishing-Rod---Final-Painting--800

A popular idiom, the trick of “passing off fish eyes as pearls,” in a military context refers to, respectively, false and actual manoeuvres. First, the commander offers the enemy some bait, which can be a body of weak troops, poorly guarded provision carts, or a herd of oxen or horses that seem to be unprotected.  At the prospect of sure gain the enemy will advance to swallow the bait.  In this way the able commander has gained initiative by maneuvering the enemy of his own accord and so the victory is assured even before the battle is fought.

Give profit to the enemy to lure it. In warfare, the so-called baiting does not refer to poisoning the enemy’s food.  Instead, any force used to tempt the enemy with the prospect of gain is called a bait army.

 If, during an engagement, the enemy troops scatter oxen and horses, abandon property or jettison supplies, we must not seize them, for that would lead inevitably to our defeat.  The principal goes, “do not swallow the bait army.”

When the enemy comes from far to mount a challenge it aims to entice you to advance. Abandon goods to throw the enemy into disorder, abandon troops to entice it, and abandon fortresses and land to encourage its arrogance.  When it is expedient to apply abandonment, success can hardly be won with too much attachment.

One who is good at manoeuvring the enemy makes the move so that the enemy must make a corresponding move, offers bait so that the enemy must swallow it, or lures the enemy with the prospect of gain and waits for it with one’s main force.

Cao Cao’ s note: entice the enemy with profit , lead it away from its fortress, assume a vantage point, and attack when the enemy is weak and lacking in support.

(Strategy Seventeen in Art of War)

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This excerpt from the Three Kingdoms will demonstrate this principle:

Zhuge Liang vs Sima Yi

 

1-Zhuge Liang observes enemy camp.

Zhuge Liang:  The camps remain the same, and the soldiers are unchanged. But with one glance, I can tell there is a new Grand Commander.

2- Wei Yan asks

Wei Yan: We already have Chenchang in our hands. With the supply lines open, what can Sima Yi do?

Zhuge Liang: You mustn’t think like that. Sima Yi knows the art of war well and is a master of strategy. He is my arch-nemesis.

Wei Yan: Your Excellency, pardon me for my poor understanding, but I really can’t tell how Sima Yi is a master of strategy. In the last northern campaign, your “empty city ruse” scared the wits out of him!

Zhuge Liang: Let me tell you about Sima Yi’s mastery of strategy. Sima Yi does not excel in attacking, but in defending. He is the best defense strategist in the realm.  As for us, we detest their deep ditches, tall ramparts and their other defensive tactics, because time is not on our side, but on their side. Sima Yi hopes that we will attack each and every city by force. At this rate, we won’t arrive at Louyang for another 50 years. Now you should understand that defense is Sima Yi’s strategy. Though it may seem like a foolish move, it’s actually quite wise.

Wei Yan: I understand now. Your Excellency, what is your plan?

Zhuge Liang: If we can’t get rid of Sima Yi, we will never take the Central Plains. We need to lure Sima Yi out and engage him in a decisive battle.  Jiang Wei, how is the enemy’s defense in the cities of of Longxi?

3- Zhuge Liang questions Jiang Wei

Jiang Wei: I have investigated that among the 15 cities of Longxi,  Wudu and Yingping’s defenses are the weakest.

Zhuge Liang: Wei Yan, can you take down Wudu and Yingping?

Wei Yan: Your Excellency, there is no difficulty in capturing two small cities.

Zhuge Liang: Good. However it’s not as simple as just attacking the cities. You know what to do right?

Wei Yan: I do. First besiege without attacking, and then attack without occupying the city. Wait until Wei’s reinforcement’s come.

……………………………

4- Sima-Yi

Sima Yi:  Have you investigated the camp thoroughly? Does Shu really only have 3,000 men?

Reporting Scout: I’ve seen them very clearly.  Shu troops are very few indeed. They might not even amount to 3, 000.

Sima Yi:  Have you investigated the area surrounding the city?

Reporting scout: The Mountains surrounding the city have been investigated, and there are no hidden enemy troops.

Sima Yi: You may leave.

Sima Yi (addressing Generals next):  Since I’ve just assumed command, I am eager to report victory to the Court. Generals, who among you is willing to bring me honor by destroying the Shu army at Wudu?

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General Sun Li: I will go.

Sima Yi: Good Sun Li, you are truly courageous general. I will give you 3,000 men. Here are the conditions- If you seize Wudu, you will be granted riches and noble rank. If you do not, don’t return.

General Sun Li: Yes sir!

6-Sima-Yi gives orders to Guo Huai

Sima Yi: All of you may leave, except Guo Huai.  

Guo Huai; do this task for me, but do not let the other generals know.  Prepare 3, 000 coffins. Sun Li will not be returning. I don’t want their corpses exposed in the wild. Wudu is at the flank of our camp. How would Shu dare to attack the city with only 3, 000 troops? Zhuge Liang is trying to lure me out for an ambush.

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Zhang He: If you already knew that Sun Li wouldn’t succeed, why did you let him go?

Sima Yi: I have no choice. If I don’t send reinforcements and Wudu falls, the troops in the other cities will think I won’t save them when they are besieged. They will falter before the battle even begins, and thus all the neighboring cities will fall. If that comes to be, how will the main camp survive? Sun Li is loyal and brave. Just as mentioned sending reinforcements to Wudu, he eagerly volunteered.

8- Sima Yi's pain

Sima Yi:   Though I could not have explained things openly, the thought that such a courageous general should not return, I…my heart is racked with pain!

9 -Guo-Huai--Final-_Painting-800

Guo Huai:  Grand Commander, please give me another 3,000 men. I’ll go and support Sun Li’s troops.  I’m sure I can save him.

Sima Yi:  Guo Huai , do you really dare to brave this danger?

Guo Huai:  At worst, it’ll just be another 3, 000 coffins. As a general, I don’t fear death.

10 - Sima Yi's gratitude to Guo

Sima Yi:  Allow me to thank you. Go with peace of mind. I won’t let you die.

Guo Huai: Thank you, Grand Commander.

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………………………………….

12

Scout meeting the first contingent: General, Wudu is just 10 miles ahead. Shu troops are attacking the city.

Sun Li:   Scout again. Then addressing the army, Brothers! The time has come for us to demonstrate our loyalty and our might! Follow me!

The way is blocked.

13

Wei Yan:  Listen up, I’m Wei Yan. The Prime Minister has instructed me to wait here for you. You petty scoundrels are not my match. Dismount and surrender now.

14

Sun Li:   Wei Yan, I Sun Li specialize in beheading generals! Your life is mine!

Wei Yan:  Shoot them.

(The second reinforcements arrive just in time.)

 

Guo Huai:  General Sun Li! Grand Commander has sent me to save you! Hurry, follow me!

15-Wei-Yan blocks the way

Wei Yan:  The enemy has sent reinforcements! Do not let the enemy generals flee! Charge!

Guo Huai:  General Sun, I’ll bring up the rear!

16- Charge

Sun Li:  General Guo, you came just in time! Fight your way out with me! Charge !

……………………….

17-Zhuge Liang

(Sometime later, Wei Yan reporting back to Zhuge Liang)

 

Wei Yan: Your Excellency, the Wei troops have been routed.

Zhuge Liang:  How many enemy troops did you kill?

Wei Yan:  The Wei general, Sun Li , led 3,000 to rescue Wudu. I killed more than 2,000 of them. I was about to kill Sun Li, but unexpectedly, Vice Commander Guo Huai broke through and rescued him. I didn’t expect there to be another regiment behind the reinforcements.

Zhuge Liang:   Sima Yi guessed my intentions.

Wei Yan:  Your Excellency, why do you say that?

Zhuge Liang:  I had you besiege Wudu and Yinping in order to attack the reinforcements.  A rookie general would have seen right through such a simple ruse.   How would Sima Yi be unable to guess my intentions? If he had chosen to abandon the cities, the Wei troops in the neighbouring cities would lose all hope when we attack them. They might even surrender the cities to us.

Jiang Wei:  However, Sima Yi didn’t abandon them. He sent men to their rescue.

Zhuge Liang:  He sent that boor, Sun Li , to rescue Wudu, and then sent the Vice Commander to rescue Sun Li. The first rescue was clearly a ruse, a show for the Wei troops defending the cities. The second one was the real rescue. But Sima Yi would never lead the reinforcements personally.  We need to lure Sima Yi out and engage him in a decisive battle.

Jiang Wei: That cunning fox, Sima Yi …

Zhuge Liang:   We can’t lure him out without attractive bait.

Wei Yan:   Your Excellency, who should we send as bait?

18-

Zhuge Liang:   Me.   Sima Yi dreams of taking my head.

Wei Yan, return to camp and prepare the troops for battle. Jiang Wei, tomorrow morning send 5,000 men with me to go reassure people of Wudu.

Jiang Wei:  Your Excellency, it’s too dangerous.

Wei Yan:  Your Excellency, if Sima Yi sends all his troops against us, I will not be able to rescue you in time.

Zhuge Liang:  I Understand. Life and death are matters of fate. Return to camp and get ready.

………………………………

19-Spy reporting

(Back at Sima Yi’s command centre)

 

Spy: Grand Commander, Zhuge Liang is leading his troops towards Wudu.

Sima Yi:  Drag this man away and execute him.

Spy:  Grand commander, why do you want to kill me?

Sima Yi:  Because you have reported false information. I truly despise liars.

Spy:  Grand Commander, I am not lying! I saw Zhuge Liang with my own eyes!

Sima YI:  How tall is Zhuge Liang? What was he wearing? Was he riding a horse or in a cart? Who were his guards? How many troops were with him? No hesitating. Reply at once.

20- The spy gives account

Spy:   Zhuge Liang had a feathered fan and silk cap. He sat in a four-wheeled cart, so I could not tell his height.   He was guarded by Jiang Wei, who is just over six spans tall.   They had around 5, 000 men with them. I followed them for more than 20 miles and saw Zhuge Liang enter the city.

Sima Yi:   Indeed, you’re not a liar. On the contrary, you are bold and meticulous. I promote you to colonel and reward you with 3, 000 cash.

Spy: Thank you, Grand Commander! Thank you, sir!

21--1200_Final-Painting

Guo Huai:  Grand Commander, can this be true? Zhuge Liang left his main camp for Wudu?

Sima Yi:  I’ve studied Zhuge Liang for several years. This man has a habit. He has personally inspected every city, parapet and post that has capitulated to Shu, in order to comfort the officials and the people. I also have heard that Zhuge Liang prefers to handle these matters personally.

Zhang He:  Grand Commander, this is an excellent opportunity to kill Zhuge Liang. Wudu is a small city that’s easy to attack but difficult to defend.   I’ll lead 20,000 elite troops there at once. By dawn, I should arrive at Wudu. Before the end of the day, I will have either killed or captured Zhuge Liang.

Sima Yi:  Though Wudu is a small city, it is surrounded by mountains, even if tens of thousands of soldiers were to hide there, they would be undetectable. Don’t forget, Wei Yan set an ambush there in the past.

Zhang He: Grand Commander, you are absolutely correct. Last time, Zhuge Liang used Wudu as bait. This time, he himself is the bait.

Sima Yi:   Zhuge Liang is so bold.  How impressive. How impressive… If I don’t take his bait, then Zhuge Liang will be like the man who picks up a rock to crush his own foot- Overly brilliant men are often victims of their own cleverness.

Zhang He:   Instead of going after Zhuge Liang, we will attack them from behind- Attack the Shu camps directly!

Sima Yi:   General, your experience in the battlefield shows. You see what truly matters right away. Their supplies and provisions are in the main camp. That is their lifeline. If we use this opportunity to attack and burn the main camp, Zhuge Liang’s army will crumble before us.

22-Zhang He

Zhang He:  Grand Commander, it’s my turn to lead this attack. I volunteer to lead 20,000 elite troops to attack the Shu camp.

Sima Yi:  General, you have served Wei for three generations. Your fame is well-known already. Let someone younger lead this battle.

Zhang He:  I haven’t gone to battle for a long time. My sword is rattling with battlelust in its case, and my entire body is itching for a fight. I must be part of this battle!

Sima Yi:  Please supervise this battle then. You don’t need to kill the enemies personally.

Zhang He:   Attack the camp!

23- Attack on the enemy camp

We’ve been tricked! Retreat quickly!

Zhang Bao:  Charge ! Exterminate the enemy! Do not let their commanding general escape!

Zhang He:  Brothers, we’ll fight our way out!

Zhang Bao:  I’m General Zhang Bao! You are surrounded! Dismount and surrender!

24- Fighing way out

Zhang He:  Coward! Don’t you know that I am Zhang He?

Not even your father, Zhang Fei, was a match for me!

Guo Huai:  General, there are too many enemies! We can’t breatk through!

Zhang He:  Charge that way! Hurry!

………………

25-_Zhuge Liang observes fierce fighting

(Zhuge Liang observing  the situation from far, asks)

 

Zhuge Liang:  Who is fighting against Zhang Bao?

Jiang Wei:  Zhang He.

Zhuge Liang:  That explains it. Even 20 years ago, he was already one of Cao Cao’s top commanders. His bravery today is no less that it was then.

26--Jiang Wei observes the enemy

Jiang Wei:  If that man is not killed, he’ll be a thorn in our flesh. Let me capture him.

27-Zhuge Liang

Zhuge Liang:  The road towards Jiange is just ahead, and is flanked by steep cliffs.

28

 Zhuge Liang:  Take 2,000 archers and set up an ambush.  I’ll have Wei Yan leave an opening and lure Zhang He towards Jiange. Remember, do not let him get out alive

……………………

29_Gloomy place

Zhang He:  What place is this? It’s so gloomy.

30--1200_Final Painting_edited-1

Jiang Wei:  Zhang He! Considering your old age, I will ask you this: Will you surrender or not?

31Defient Zhang He

Zhang He growls in defiance.

 

Jiang Wei:  Shoot them.

32-Ambush---Final-Painting

……………………..

33- Sima-Fishing---Final-_Painting--800

Sima Yi:   I’ve spent so many years of my life fishing that I consider myself an angling master. Yet, I’ve taken Zhuge Liang’s bait.

34 Sima Yi's hopeful interpretation

Sima Yi:  But who in the world would set a hook like this?

The bait is at Wudu, but the hook is in their camp!

35-1200_Final Painting_edited-1

Guo Huai:   There were 37 arrows found in the body of General Zhang He!

36--1200--Final, final_Painting_edited-1

Sima Yi:   Why are you crying? Though General Zhang He fell in battle, the morale of our troops has been resurrected. Did you know? Of the 20,000 elite troops by General Zhang He, not one fled from the enemy. This is our victory! With such strong resolve in our rank the Shu army will certainly be defeated!  Sima Zhao; Slaughter my horse and use its hide to wrap General Zhang He’s body! I will personally lead the whole army to send him off one last time!

37- Funeral procession for Gen Zhang He

Fini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Way of Water

The Way of Water

 

01-Niagara Falls

 

Click to see video :   The Way of Water

Highest good is like water.

Because water excels in benefiting the myriad creatures without contending with them and settles where none would like to be, it comes close to the way.

 

02-Sunnyside, Toronto

The weak and the supple overcome the hard and the strong.

To yield is to be preserved whole.

03-Sunnyside, Toronto (11)

To be bent is to become straight.

To be empty is to be full . . .

To have little is to possess.

The stiff and the hard are companions of death,

The supple and the weak are companions of life.

There is nothing softer and weaker than water,

And yet there is nothing better for attacking hard and strong things.

04-Sunnyside, Toronto (13)

The whole world recognizes the beautiful as the beautiful, yet this is only the ugly;

 The whole world recognizes the good as the good, yet this is only the bad.

Thus something and nothing produce each other;

The difficult and the easy complement each other;

The long and the short off-set each other;

The high and the low incline towards each other;

Note and sound harmonize with each other;

Before and after follow each other

05-Sunnyside, Toronto (12)

In a home it is the site that matters;

06-Sunnyside, Toronto (8)

In quality of mind it is depth that matters;

In an ally it is benevolence that matters;

In speech it is good faith that matters;

In government it is order that matters;

 In affairs it is ability that matters;

 In action it is timeliness that matters.

It is because it does not contend that it is never at fault.

Of old he who was well versed in the way

Was minutely subtle,

Mysteriously comprehending,

And too profound to be known.

09-Sunnyside, Toronto (4)

It is because he could not be known

That he can only be given a makeshift description:

Tentative, as if fording a river in winter,

Hesitant, as if in fear of his neighbors;

Formal like a guest;

Falling apart like the thawing ice;

Thick like the uncarved block;

Vacant like a valley;

Murky like muddy water.

10-Sunnyside, Toronto (7)

Who can be muddy and yet, settling, slowly become limpid?

Who can be at rest and yet, stirring, slowly come to life?

 He who holds fast to this way desires not to be full.

 It is because he is not full that he can be worn and yet newly made.

11-Sunnyside, Toronto (2)

If people do not revere the Law of Nature,

It will inexorably and adversely affect them.

If they accept it with knowledge and reverence,

It will accommodate them with balance and harmony

12-Sunnyside, Toronto (6)

Attain complete emptiness,

Maintain steadfast quietude.

All things flourish

But each one returns to its root.

This return to its root means tranquility.

13-Sunnyside, Toronto (3)

To hold and fill to overflowing,

Is not as good as it is to stop in time.

Sharpen a sword-edge to its very sharpest,

And the edge will not last long.

Withdraw as soon as your work is done.

Such is Heaven’s Way.

 

 (Lao Tzu)

Fin