Taiwan / Week 4: Celebrating the First Month

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Monkey King, Taiwan, Travels | 7 comments

Let me start with Effie. Before I do, I did as badly as I thought I had on last week’s quiz: 34 out of 100. This Friday I was determined not necessarily to do better on the quiz but to be relaxed with the process of taking a quiz. Also, Jasper at the front desk helped me put the week’s lesson on my computer so I could listen to it repeatedly. That helped in placing it in my mind as well as recognizing the characters. Over and over I listened, sometimes reading the text, sometimes...

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Taiwan / Week 3: Learning in Kaohsiung

Posted by on Dec 23, 2011 in Taiwan, Travels | 11 comments

Attack! Fire! Fire! Hit! Dead. Almost… Yep, that’s what the quiz in Chinese characters felt like this morning. I’d studied for nearly three hours the night before with Jasper. I’d learned 26 Chinese characters. 26!! Meaning I could write and recognize them. 26!! So I felt happy and prepared. The quiz began and we were asked which beh, peh, meh, feh sounds were which characters — easy. Then I turn the page and we’re supposed to match sentences. I can never...

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Taiwan / Week 2: One to Another

Posted by on Dec 16, 2011 in Monkey King, Taiwan, Travels |

The wave, shall I call it the onslaught, of material in Chinese to master is relentless. Our daily classes are galloping. Our march is forward, no stopping. I feel as if I’m in the army. If I slow down, I’ll be left behind. My friends in Taiwan keep advising me, “Don’t worry.” But how does a marching soldier relax? He has to move, to think, to remember what he has learned and to be ready for who knows which questions he will be asked that he has no information...

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Taiwan / Week 1: An Unlikely Story

Posted by on Dec 9, 2011 in Inanna, Monkey King, Taiwan, Travels | 9 comments

“Chingwen ni, jiao shenme mingzi?” During the next six months, Diane will be in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where she is studying Mandarin Chinese as part of the research for her adaptation of Journey to the West (also known as the Monkey King Epic). From time to time, she will share stories of her adventures in learning and living in Taiwan, starting today. I am the slowest in my Chinese class at National Sun Yat–Sen University. The other nine students, all men, are twice as quick...

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Highly recommended: My Reincarnation

Posted by on Nov 11, 2011 in Diane Recommends, Film and Video Recommendations, News |

©2011 Zohe Films. Courtesy Long Shot Factory.   My Reincarnation, directed by Jennifer Fox, is an epic father–son drama, spanning two decades and three generations, about spirituality, cultural survival, identity, inheritance, family, growing old, growing up, faith, meditation, religion, magic, dreaming, Buddhism, Dzogchen — and past and future lives. The film follows the renowned reincarnate Tibetan spiritual master, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, as he struggles to save...

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Monkey King at Provincetown Playhouse

Posted by on Nov 8, 2011 in Monkey King, News, Special performances, Storytelling |

  Blessings and thanks to all who came to see Diane and musician Jeff Greene’s Monkey King: Journey to the West performance at Provincetown Playhouse on Sunday, November 6th.     Photography: Mark Roberts.   Be sure to visit the Monkey King Epic website for more about the famous Chinese epic and to be in the know about future performances. Share with friends and...

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Storytelling at the Terence Cooke Hospital

Posted by on Nov 8, 2011 in News, Photos, Special performances, Storytelling |

Just found this photo from 2004 of me telling bible stories to patients at the Terence Cooke Hospital. It was a wonderful storytelling series, organized by Hasna El Badaoui. Share with friends and family:Tweet

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A Visit with Josie Wowolla Boyle of the Wongi People

Posted by on Oct 24, 2011 in Australia, Conversations, News, Parabola, Storytelling, Travels |

During her trip to Australia earlier this year, Diane had a chance to sit with and interview Josie Wowolla Boyle, an Aboriginal storyteller, singer and painter who has shared the stories and traditions of the Wongi people for five decades. That conversation is now in the Winter 2011–2012 issue (“Many Paths, One Truth”) of Parabola Magazine. “Everyone is teaching the child, especially the storytellers. The stories give the child wisdom. A storyteller tells a story while...

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Mindful space, mindful moments

Posted by on Oct 17, 2011 in News |

Above: Thich Nhat Hanh at Blue Cliff Monastery in Pine Bush, New York (a moment together during Walking Meditation). Sitting close to Thay. Who is he? Aware, connected, caring, removed, playful, spontaneous. He does fingerplay with the children, asks to sing “Present Moment, Wonderful Moment,” gazes at the miracle in which we dwell. Within him there is space, a blooming of skin and spirit. Share with friends and...

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“Never say I should have.”

Posted by on Sep 21, 2011 in 9/11, Diane Recommends, Film and Video Recommendations, News |

When I travel, people often ask me about what it was like in New York during 9/11. There was an amazing feeling of wanting to help one another and tenderness in the midst of horror. This amazing story speaks of the goodness, the deep goodness we experienced all around us. As one of the ship owners says, “Never say I should have.” Five hundred thousand people were spontaneously shepherded out of New York City in nine hours!! Not since Dunkirk were so many people rescued — and...

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The Elsie Piddock Skipping Contest Winners for 2011…

Posted by on Sep 19, 2011 in Central Park, Contests, News, Special performances, Storytelling, Summertime |

  …are Vicky Belin (age 38, pictured right with her two children), a software developer; and Alexis LaCross (age 8, pictured left) an Essex Elementary School student from Ivoryton, CT., who loves to swim and dance — and is also a co–author (with her mom, Pamela Cordell Avis) of the recently published book A Celebration of Breakfast (!).   As the 1st Place winner, Vicky took home a copy of Diane’s Romping CD for her family. Alexis, who took 2nd Place, chose...

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Postcard from Nebraska

Posted by on Sep 12, 2011 in Schools and libraries, Special performances, Storytelling, Travels |

Photo courtesy Nebraska StoryArts.   Diane and musician Jeff Greene (below) send their heartfelt thanks to all the people they met last week in Nebraska — including the many who attended the Moonshell Storytelling Festival in Ashland on September 10th.   Photo courtesy Nebraska StoryArts.   Among the many who enjoyed the Moonshell Festival were photographer José Francisco Garcia, who took the two photos above (and more to enjoy in this Google Picasa...

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