Two months after I moved home from a four-year stint in Asia my parents- who are in their early 70’s- almost split up after 38 years of marriage. My dad asserted his independence with an icy eccentricity characteristic of the Holdorf clan and my mom lost it, piping out years of acid rage. She pulled a Becky and turned the tragedy into an opportunity to shine. She lost 20 pounds and damn near moved into a homeless shelter but also re-appropriated a certain sense of self. Maybe that’s what Harry was doing all along, it’s hard to tell what’s behind his opaque writing and one-liners. I watch myself in them as they stomp around the house ruffling their feathers, like birds, mules, lightning bugs.
It was a feat in and of itself for me to make it out of Asia this time. A sudden flight cancellation, an entire airport on lockdown and a cross-country train ride had me flying across the Pearl River in a taxi, packing my bags in a frenzy, giving half of my holey wardrobe to an airport cleaning lady. I knew it would be hard to pry myself from the The Far East but I failed to predict that my family structure would be so fundamentally changed upon my return.
My I Ching today was hexagram 18, Ku, the Chinese character for decay.
The first two lines read:
“Setting right what has been spoiled by the father.”
“Setting right what has been spoiled by the mother.
Work on WHAT HAS BEEN SPOILED
Has supreme success.
It furthers one to cross the great water.
Before the starting point, three days.
After the starting point, three days.