garden/graphic chart

wandering the garden along ancient curved paths---instantly plotting data onto precise grid

I am split but nearly whole.
Many halves have combined together.
It's all about training.

U.S. Level/China Level

U.S. Level/China Level

It's all about training and about making stew.

transform us into . . .

My mother was a humorist. Her greatest feat was to transform us into the Von Trapps. Every Thanksgiving we performed abbreviated versions of a Hollywood musical. We were Oklahomans, cats, shady gamblers, rhythmic latins, mistresses-in-training. A few years ago we realized that family members could be credibly cast in the lead roles. It was a shock to no longer be a clan of civil servants and engineers in glasses.

My sister married a man from Peru. She hasn't tasted won ton in two years. She moves like she has oily skin, and I almost gave her my name. My husband is from Colorado. He forgets that I'm not white. Since our marriage, I've gradually started to think like a man. Wording is more succinct, tasks are completed efficiently. I separate empathy from business at hand. Unexpectedly, I have begun to crave dominance.

crowds are like noodles

I grew up in the suburbs, but being crowded feels natural. Life on the prairie makes no sense. Trekking west across vast expanses makes me want to grab hold of a mountain for dear life. Those cowboys who say, "I want wide open space," could die alone. I want crowds at my funeral.

Crowds are like stir-fry noodles. They're made up of many elements, which give sensual pleasure when mixed up. They are sufficiently amorphous that they can be split in two or into hundreds of parts. There's something for everyone. They are not like steaks.

Kwei-lin Lum copyright 2001