A dear friend of mine who lived with us in Dar and has since moved to Mexico gave me this from her beautiful collection of Chinese kites that she aquired working as a librarian in China. This long guy hangs over my head every day where I work.

After our summer in Koh Tao, Thailand, and my delight in the Thai custom of home altars, I took home loads of driftwood from the gorgeous wooden water taxi boats and fishing boats, and I built this altar. It evolved over time. The green prayer flag was given to me CONTINUE >

These little dragons are from Foshan, the village in China where there is an enormous mountain that is used as a kiln. You go there and you can find thousands of potters selling handmade stuff on the streets. I absolutely love my little dragons.

Of course the Miao region of China is a poor region, and as we travelled on foot between villages, we saw people begging, but they do not beg for money. They beg for eyeglasses so that they can sew their beautiful garments. I brought lots of glasses with me so CONTINUE >

There is not much food in Miao country, so the local people eat everything they can, including ferns, which they soak for days and then boil and then pickle. I ate a lot of pickled fern whilst there, and it did my whole system in long after I got back CONTINUE >

One of the villages in Miao country where I visited I was warned I’d have to sing to be hosted. So we arrived at the elder’s house and the women were all lined up in chairs on one side of an upper room. The Miao live above their pigs, so CONTINUE >

In Miao country there are lots of camillia farms, and the women farmers are dressed in these gorgeous sequined, beaded dresses. They wear their long black hair in rolls, and a mother and daughter share hair, they use long cuttings of hair to make the roll. I was hosted in CONTINUE >

I was able to do research in a remote part of China where the Miao people live. The trip requires going into the region with a minder organization, and for me and for my assistant that was a French nonprofit. We were hosted in the little village that was reachable CONTINUE >

I love these little dragons so much. I bought them on the sidewalk in Foshan, China, and they symbolize all that is splendid about China. Dragons impart luck, power, and strength. There is nothing simple about the Chinese concept of luck, though I’ve seen it misunderstood in the west. Luck CONTINUE >

We found this on the outskirts of Guangzhou. I repainted it because it was faded. I love the density of Chinese art. Their art matches the density of both their language and their core philosophy. I study the I Ching regularly. The distilled wisdom of the I Ching is incredibly CONTINUE >