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  • The Butterfly's Dream: Chinese Stories for Children;
  • The Butterfly Dream.
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    Patch Parables ~ The Parable of the Butterfly Dream

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    Chi ama i libri sceglie Kobo e inMondadori. Choose Store. Or, get it for Kobo Super Points! The stories of the Taoist teacher and storyteller Chuang-Tzu have long been revered for their whimsical simplicity and childlike sense of wonder. Admired by poets, artists, and philosophers, his stories ask us to see the world from new and unique perspectives. This imaginative book is based on one of Chuang-Tzu's most famous stories, in which the storyteller wakes up and wonders who is the dreamer-and who the dreamed.

    The book begins with the butterfly of Chuang-Tzu's famous dream taking off on a flight of discovery-through fabulous Chinese landscapes captured in beautiful watercolor illustrations. The butterfly's adventures, its encounters with traditional Chinese characters, and the age-old but still relevant lessons of the importance of imagination and having an open mind, make this an inspiring and thought-provoking reading experience for children.

    Skip this list. Ratings and Book Reviews 0 0 star ratings 0 reviews. Overall rating No ratings yet 0. How to write a great review Do Say what you liked best and least Describe the author's style Explain the rating you gave Don't Use rude and profane language Include any personal information Mention spoilers or the book's price Recap the plot.

    Close Report a review At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer's personal information. Would you like us to take another look at this review? No, cancel Yes, report it Thanks! My status as a foreigner kept some people away and drew others to me. My high school students who sat at the front of the class would fall into stride with me as I crossed campus, eager to practice their English. I empathized with these students.

    We were all trying on another language, trying to make it fit. But I also felt less like myself speaking English in these situations than I did speaking Chinese. I had to choose carefully the words I would use, to speak slowly and repeat myself and use simple grammar. Adopting the persona of the patient, smiling foreigner, I felt devoid of personality. I realize now that I must have often placed a similar constraint on many of the people I talked to those first several months when I was still floundering in the local dialect, forcing them to tailor their speech to my ability to understand.

    In Chinese, I found, I was a more eager and animated version of myself. I had always been reserved but now was more outgoing. There is not a shield in the world that will withstand your attack! Nothing can pierce it! He had no answer. Chengyu are already abbreviations, but this one has been truncated even further. What made living in China difficult was also what made it easy; I was always conscious of my status as an outsider.

    Beyond the friendships I made, I could never feel fully a part of the greater community. This outsider status could be frustrating—even exhausting at times—yet it was oddly comforting, too. As a foreigner in China, I never expected to fully belong. But I was able to make a place for myself in spite of it, to feel at home. In the United States, I have no easy explanation for the feeling I so frequently have of being out of sync. At night, as I wash my face at the bathroom sink, I contemplate the deep vertical line between my eyebrows, a line the width of a matchstick.

    It is the result of the expression my face seems to fall into naturally: a tightening of the nose and a slight squint of the eyes—the look of an observer, or a skeptic. Stop looking mean , I tell myself sometimes when I catch my reflection in the window of a passing car, and I widen my eyes and feel the skin stretch across my forehead. But a few minutes later, the look has returned. The roots of most chengyu are a tangle of Chinese history. In the Daodejing , the ancient philosopher Laozi, also known as Lao Tse or Lao-Tzu, uses the image of a leaf floating down to the roots of the tree to describe a state of harmony with the Dao; each of us, so the philosopher contends, is part of a never-ending cycle to which all things in the universe belong.

    Later, in the Northern Song dynasty, the writer Shi Daoyuan writes of a Zen Buddhist master bidding farewell to his disciples before returning to his hometown. The disciples, afraid that they will never see their beloved master again, exhort him to stay, but he explains that the universal laws of movement governing all things govern him, too. It is not his decision when to stay and when to go, just as it is not his choice when he will die.

    The idiom reappears in other literature, too. Thus, in when Li Zongren the former Guomindang general who became a Communist sympathizer wrote a letter from abroad about his desire to return to the mainland, he used the idiom, too. The implication, of course, is that home is a fixed idea, easy to point to: the place where you began. Perhaps sometimes it is this simple, but what if the analogy is upside down? What if home is less like the roots of a tree than it is like the branches, each new bough splintering off in a distinct direction?

    We make a new home—pieces of it, anyway—wherever we go, but first we have to find the people to help us make it. Luo Xinping was thin and petite, with small, gray teeth and skin so white it was almost translucent. Jiang Hong was a heavy-drinking, chain-smoking jokester, stocky and dark-skinned, the life of every party.

    They were both from the same hometown as my boss at the high school. Her husband is a very funny man, okay. Everybody loves him very much. Xinping and I would sit on the couch with a copy of the popular Chinese magazine Duzhe , and together read a sentimental article about friendship or homesickness or a strict but loving parent who was dying of cancer. Jiang Yiling, her six-year-old daughter, often joined in with her own explanations. Wednesdays, I gave English lessons to Jiang Yiling and some of her friends. We played Word Bingo and robots and drew pictures.

    The number of children grew from week to week as friends of friends joined, until after a few months, Xinping decided that it had gotten too big. Xinping sighed. We were simply friends. We went out to dinner and late-night barbecue with other people from their hometown, sitting at low outdoor tables in our fall and then our winter coats, drinking glasses of hot beer with goji berries. At the teahouses along the Qingyi River, I played Beat the Landlord, the favorite card game, but stayed away from the nightly mahjong games Jiang Hong played. Mahjong was too fast for me—the constant flip and shuffle of tiles, conversation spinning around, smoke filling the teahouse rooms, crumpled-up paper money being tossed back and forth after each round without discussion, everyone but me clear on the rules and bets.

    The punch line of the joke is that this will never happen. So having returned to one home, I have left another. And so it is, also, that nothing quite fits. The famous Daoist philosopher Zhuangzi, also known as Zhuang Zhou, wrote of a dream he once had. He dreamed he was a butterfly flitting through a field of flowers.

    Grass tips brushed his wings as he floated a lilting path on the breeze. There was wind, sun, field, sky— everything equally large, all of equal importance. When he awoke, he found that he was a man lying flat on his back on a hard bed.

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    Which one was reality and which one was a dream, he wondered? Was he a man dreaming he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was a man? What time is it there? She is horrified at her mistake when I tell her. In an hour, I want to get up. I keep forgetting words. » Blog Archive » The Butterfly Dream

    It has even better chou doufu —stinky tofu—than the one at the end of the bridge. And Zhu Yin—do I remember her? Her high school classmate? The one whose father does calligraphy? When I hang up the phone, I look around my apartment in Columbus, Ohio. Photographs on the mantle and the walls, a wood carving, a mint-green jacket hanging in the open closet. And on the bookshelf: dictionaries in both English and Chinese. Look up a word in any language and you will drown in its history. Choose either one. Draw a map of its meaning—a dot near the middle for every current definition, and spreading out in all directions a complex web of lines connecting them, one to the other, and each one to all of its past incarnations.

    If it is accurate, such a map will have no exact center. Nearly every word inhabits multiple meanings at a single moment in time, and the full definition claims even the gaps between them. Skip to main content Skip to quick search Skip to global navigation. Quick search:.

    Download The Butterfly's Dream: Children's Stories from China [Kindle Edition] Review

    Home About Search Browse. Volume L , Issue 2 , Spring The old woman looked up. Top of page.