Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Rain of Flowers/A Day in the World

Today is the 20th anniversary of the Chinese independence uprising in Tiananmen Square; I remember that event vividly because I was dreaming about it when Forrest woke me up saying, "It's started." All these years later, I still carry a vivid image of the Goddess of Democracy in my heart and in my mind.

Today U.S. President Barack Obama gave what was, by all accounts that I have seen, a brave, intelligent, honest, and (hopefully) world-changing speech to Muslims from Cairo, Egypt. I also watched footage of him as he gazed upon a lookalike, carved probably thousands of years ago, at the pyramids. The image even had big ears!

Today is a sad milestone of sorts for those of us who came of age in the 1960s and '70s. David Carradine, the actor who so skillfully portrayed the Shaolin priest Kwai-Chang Caine in the television series "Kung Fu" (and I'm talking about the original series, not the sequel), has died in Bangkok. I am probably not the only person who became more curious about Buddhism after spending many happy hours watching that show, while I was studying for my B.A. in anthropology at the University of South Florida.

As if to highlight the day, we had a rain of flowers—rain falling while the sun was shining—just before sunset. Click on the picture above, and maybe you can see the drops coming down.

May the Chinese longing for freedom grow ever stronger; may those who died in Tiananmen Square never be forgotten. May the character of Kwai-Chang Caine continue to educate and inspire. May Obama's words usher in a new era of peace and understanding.

Today, these are my hopes for the world—marked by this rain of flowers.

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