daily kaddish: from beijing

[powerpress]

I flew from Tokyo to Beijing on Tuesday and had a more-interesting-than-one-wants taxi ride from the airport to Red Gate Gallery and Bei Gao Studios near the 4th ring. My friends Rayna and Nick are doing their artist-in-residency program, and I was spending a couple of down-days with them, hanging out in Beijing.

Did I mention that I’d never met Rayna and Nick before?

Did I mention that Rayna is Mira’s daughter?

Well, yikes!

Fortunately, we all got along great, and it was a really fun couple of days. I arrived around 11pm, and we were all hungry, so Rayna and Nick took me to a little family-run restaurant around the corner from their studios. It was so low-key and casual (Nick actually had to go fetch our beers out of their storage area) I had to ask: were they sure it was really a restaurant and not just a family who was too polite to tell them to stop sitting on their patio, who figured they might as well sell their leftovers to the clueless round-eyes?

My question drew a long pause and a pair of sheepish grins. Then one of them remembered having seen a menu a while back.

If it wasn’t a restaurant, it sure should been—the food was great! We gobbled down three dishes and shared a few beers, and then we went back to their studio and hung out talking into the wee hours about art, making art, and all the usual conundrums about being artists.

I think it was 3:30 in the morning when we realized that bedtime had come and gone, and the next thing I realized was that I still needed to make a Kaddish. I was way too tired to attempt reading the text, and I was way too shy to attempt singing it in front of N and R, so I played it on the Virtual Piano app of my iPhone instead. It has a tiny little one-octave keyboard, so I had to keep switching out the octave, which made the melody sound so strange, I had a rather severe memory slip. Stumped, I detoured to the final phrase.

Oy.

About erin

Erin Vang, PMP, BMus, MMus, is Owner and Principal Pragmatist of the consultancy Global Pragmatica LLC®, offering custom JMP scripting, localization program management, and facilitative leadership services. She is also an orchestral horn player who freelances in the San Francisco Bay Area and plays assorted brass for the celebrated dance bands Midnight Smørgåsbord and contraPtion. More about Erin…
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