2.5 Horas Art Challenge, Assignment Exchange

At approx 20:32 on Sunday, November 9, 2008, Señor Oliveras delivered upon me the task of Creation for some kind of dubious "zine" he's in charge of. Nevertheless, the prompts given titillated in my memory a reference to the Erya, and I embarked at once upon the race to the 11pm deadline. I also caused him to make something for my own purposes, by way of reciprocation. I would perhaps be proud of the result posted here, but due to constraints of time and Photoshop not having any free Chinese fonts for Mac...I didn't have time to do real handiwork to give it balance. Let the critique begin!

Oh, and some haunting Albanian poliphony. I love the track Qerpiku.


Treats for Tricks!

[On a UFO]
In the Chia-yü period [1056-1063], a "pearl" appeared in Yang-chou. It was very large and frequently appeared at night. At first it emerged from the swamps of T'ien-ch'ang county; later it moved to Pi-she Lake; and finally it was at Hsin-k'ai Lake. For more than ten years, residents and travelers would constantly see it.
My friend had a study by the lakeside and one night saw that the "pearl" was very near. At first it opened its door very slightly, and a light shot out from the crack like a golden ray. After a moment, it opened wider to the space of half a mat; within there was white light like silver. The "pearl" was as big as a fist and so bright you couldn't look at it directly. For over ten tricents, the trees cast shadows, exactly as when the sun has just come up. In the distance you saw only a sky reddened as if by a forest fire. All of a sudden it went far off, moving as if in flight, floating over the waves, shining like the sun.
In the past there was a "moongem," but its color was unlike th e moon' shimmering with sharp flames, it rather resembled the sun. Ts'ui Po-yi once wrote a "Rhapsody on the Bright Gem." Ts'ui was from Kao-yin and so must have seen it often.
In recent years, it hasn't appeared again; no one knows where it has gone. Fan-liang-chen is where the "pearl" used to appear, and when travelers reach there, they usually tie up their boats for a few nights to watch for its appearance. The pavilion there is called "The Playful Pearl."
Translated by Richard W. Bodman

Footnote: In Chinese folklore, pearls are endowed with the magic power to give off their own light, to protect their owner from sickness, and to repel water (when their owner is swimming).

Taken from The Columbia Anthology of Traditional Chinese Literature.


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