Beijing and its great northeastern beyond — the vast and flooded expanses of Northeast China — are looming in my immediate future. T-minus five days. Footsteps in Beijing, amid its blackened towers and crumbled hutongs, then on and up to Dongbei. Glancing at Manchurian maps and graphed-out agendas of the movements of my troop and its deliverables, I feel thus as if it’s September 13, 1931, and my name is Doihara Kenji. But instead of blowing up train tracks and slickening knives, I anticipate arriving as a supplicant, mit Geduld, gliding on intact tracks to vermilion palaces, sheaves of unfinished songs slipping from my hands in the whirlwinds of Han humanity. Beijing in particular has that effect: if not a conquering rebel, one enters as an awed supplicant, adding but a sliver or a transient etching to the vast overlap of something magnificent whose edges can never be seen. (Yes! Even a supplicant to thickening air and dangerous arcs!) There is very little space to grind in between.
In the meantime there is an awful lot to do here, in greater Seattle, mostly involving the preparation of documents of more or less life-changing or life-sustaining importance. To the extent, therefore, that I’ll be able to apply my mind to things on the Internet, they’re likely to be of a fragmentary sort of mixed links with commentary and auto-surveillance which you’re free to browse on my Twitter feed. Once in China, we’ll probe at WordPress and see what comes through, if anything. If it’s nothing, we transfer the action to my Sina.com blog and, as they say, “boom goes the dynamite.”