A Soldiers Barracks on the Great Wall, 60 k from the outer limits of Beijing and hundreds of years old
Deena, our guide to the Great Wall and the Summer Palace, a thin Manchurian Chinese hard working and caring woman, said as she led us down the processional path to the tombs of the Ming Emperors, past the camels, horses, elephants, sitting and standing, all prepared to carry the sacred leader to the next world, larger then life, "tourists often ask me, where are all the birds?" and here she smiled, "I tell them," she said rubbing her nonexistent belly, "that they are in here. We have to eat every thing we can." Half a joke.
I will stop here for now, with the candied sweets of Beijing, because I have received the news that Adrienne Rich has died and my heart is heavy, my own memories of the shared times, the streets we walked together and sometimes passed each other, of Michelle and Blanche, now push at me as so many begin coming to turns with Adrienne's death and once again turn to her words, her art.