Sunday, September 7, 2008

Qi Gone

Qi - The Chinese word for vital life force

Some silly new age self-appointed guru once explained jet lag has the period of time it takes your soul to catch up to your body after a long airplane journey -- apparently the soul travels much slower than a Boeing 777. Unable to hide my intolerance for such metaphysical mumbo-jumbo, I laughed, really hard, at that preposterous idea. Until, that is, this past weekend when I woke my first day back home after six weeks in China. Now I am left wondering if somewhere in California a smarmy new age hippie is perhaps having the last laugh, at my expense.

The Chinese might explain the same concept with the word Qi, (pronounced chee). In traditional Chinese culture Qi represents the life force or energy of the universe that flows within each of us. Qi is what makes you feel alive and connected to the world. And when you've got really good vibrant Qi going on its kinda like Stella felt when she got her groove back. Its fantastic.

Qi Gong is the disciplinary practice of cultivating, enhancing and circulating Qi energy so that its abundant and working for your best good. And Qi Gone is what happens when your Qi goes with you to China and decides its not coming back when you finally board the flight home six weeks later. I am Qi-less - and as they say in the land of Oz - flat out like a lizard on a rock.

Apparently, my much needed Qi is still back in Beijing - last seen at the Temple of Heaven doing the rag dance. Being Qi-less is an excellent opportunity for perfecting the art of doing absolutely nothing -- but not so good for blogging.

Case in point - when I woke up that first morning - here is what my world looked like:

the Oklahoma sky on jet lag.

and my garden as seen with jet lag

my bird bath reflection as seen with jet lag

and the trees in the park as seen with jet lag

And that empty space between August 28 and September 6 - that's my blog on jet lag.

I took one look at all this blurry, moving beauty and decided to go to bed - for a week. But I'll be back soon - satellite intelligence has picked up a radio signal from my soul flying somewhere over the Nevada desert - so it should be arriving back to me in Oklahoma in no time. And about time too - I've got a little more China I want to show you and an upcoming "Blogger meets Blogger" Oklahoma road trip which should prove to be very birdy and very bloggy. And since we'll be driving - perhaps little risk of leaving the soul behind.

Stay tuned until this blogger gets his groove back.


Lana Gramlich said...

Welcome home, at any rate. I can sympathize. I once returned home to Toronto before I left New Zealand, 18 hours prior...or some such. I was a mess for quite a while!

coolwaterworks said...

Welcome back T.R.

You made me smile about Qigong and Qi gone... :)

Lucky for me, the farthest I've been to is Penang, Malaysia and the difference in time is not significant.

Take your well-deserved rest... Be well...

K8 said...

haha! You are too cute...welcome home! Can't wait for more pictures and stories of your journey. Glad you are home safe and sound. xoxo K8

kjpweb said...

Well - lets hope that you'll be reunited with the rest of you pretty soon! Time can mess you up royally - I once had to go to Paris and return the next day - it did mess up my synch for a couple of weeks.
Glad you're back - safe and in one piece!
Cheers, Klaus

Anonymous said...

Reunited and it feels so good!

Lovely post and some stunning photography from the last post as well! Loved the silk robes in the market - a visual testament of how Asia often overwhelms the senses!

Found your blog only recently and love it to pieces. Keep on writing and shooting!

Laura K
(Silk Road Gourmet)

Mary said...

Oh, Tim. We were Qi-less together.

"Being Qi-less is an excellent opportunity for perfecting the art of doing absolutely nothing -- but not so good for blogging." Yep, Chee-gone. Chee-gong is what I needed...

Your blurry view of home is remarkably beautiful, you know. I would like to have a class in photography given by you.

Breathe deeply and show more of China. No pressure :o)

Missed you,

entoto said...

Oh, going east and compressing one's day is so very hard. Welcome home.

2sweetnsaxy said...

LOL! Qi Gone. You are too funny! Funny post and pics.
At least your humor is still in tact. :-D

Doug Taron said...

Welcome home. Qi is very important. More than once, it has allowed me to unload the high value Q tile when I didn't have a U tile to go with it. I've never given much thought to its significance beyond Scrabble.

Anonymous said...

The trees in the park with the jet lag lens look FAB. Glad to have you back. Hope you get de-lagged soon.

Kathie Brown said...

T. R.,this was an amusing post to read. If I see your soul in my skies I'll let you know, but I don't think it is passing this way. Glad to have you back. Looks like, you, Mary's View, and I have all experienced the same need for a break. I'm getting back in the swing of things slowly and not pushing myself. There's a sign posted in my brain-NO Guilt Trips Allowed! I'm letting my Qi flow as it will. Some days it's stronger than others.

BTW, even on jet lag your photography is really good!

Kathie Brown said...

I just realized that I never added you to my blogroll! Well, you are there now! Welcome!

Lynn said...

Ahahahah ~ I miss you so much laowantong~Do you still remember the chinese name of butterflies? Do you have enough rest those days?

Anonymous said...

How are you now with the jet lag? feel better?
well,I can not understand the "Qi" from the title actually,but,Tim,you are an artist! And I appreciate your pictures all the time.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Ah seen yer soul flyin' over Whipple!
And Mether wants a pair of those shoes with the flars on them.--Chet Baker

Sleep, sleep, sleep, laze around. My Qi is gone, too, with no trip as an excuse. You don't owe the blog reading world anything with all you give in these amazing words and pictures. This is the time of year we all should take a siesta and enjoy the wine-rich evenings while they last.

Unknown said...

Oh Timmy, I am sure your Qi and my Qi are together wandering at the Temple of Heaven... Mine is not back yet, and I stay awake every night hoping it will skype me from Beijing...

Greg said...

Welcome home, Tim...hope you are enjoying the chance to rest up and let your Qi catch up with you. For the record, even your Qi-less photos are quite beautiful.

Surely, you've earned the down-time--enjoy the heck out of it! Any sunflowers in that garden? And what are those tiny purple pretties?

Owlfarmer said...

I ended up on your blog via an elliptical route (Ellen Meloy) and am enormously pleased at having done so.

I live in a perpetual state of nostalgia regarding China (or at least Taiwan, where I more or less grew up), so this post was both amusing and welcome. I look forward to meandering through you observations.


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