Monkey. Still. But, Making Progress.

Beltane                                                                     Waning Last Frost Moon

Whoa.  84.  Sometimes I think of the seasons as if we were on a moveable patch of earth.  On a day like today our patch got shifted on the seasonal moving belt to about Georgia.  Last week we were parked above the Canadian border for a while.  Who knows where we’ll go next.

I have passed the 50% mark in reading Monkey:  Journey to the West.   That means I’m somewhere around 1,000+ pages in.  Hard to tell on the Kindle, though I know precisely how far I am in percentages.  This book is funny, wise, rollicking, supernatural and just a bit cynical.  Well, maybe a lot.  Yesterday I bought a book that features English works on the Chinese classics.  It has a lot to say about these favorites, but I’ve still found no commentary that helps me get, say, the wood, water, earth, fire, metal sequence or the names of some characters or the works referenced as if everyone knew them.  Next up, probably next year, is The Dream of the Red Chamber, the best of the six, in the opinion of several writers.

While hunting for a picture to go with this post, I discovered that Neil Gaiman, author of the Sandman graphic novels and several fantasy novels started, back in March, on a screenplay for a trilogy based on Monkey.  Should be interesting.

If you feel like you have the time, both Monkey and the Romance of the Three Kingdoms will more than repay the effort.  There’s a different culture at work here, sometimes a radically different one, but, at other times, radically similar.  That’s the power of reading works from other cultures, insights you can’t get any other way.

A slow day.  Business meeting in the morning.  We scheduled a couple of days in July, post Kate’s second hip surgery, to go over our expenditures in the first six months of retirement, check them against our budget, see where we need to adjust.  Big fun.

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