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Expert Textpert

Browsing through the new Fung Shui shop in Marshfield several years ago, I’m stopped by the owner, Alex Bai, who queries, “Do you ski?” His words are quite Chinglishy and I am more in the looking at the beautiful Chinese furnishings and art mode than deciphering English as a second language mode. Hence, I can only answer with an inquisitive silent stare. Undaunted, he asks again. After my affirmative reply to the shushing, I get to inquire as to whether he trains in the Chinese Martial Arts. Alex smiles, nods and we agree upon a ski at Sunapee. At home, my critical mind steps in and produces doubt as to whether this duo will work out. After all, he’s small, a bit pudgy and I do not even know if there is skiing in China, the homeland of this new American. However, we bond well with words on the long drive to the mountain. Then, woosh, he darts by me on the first run of the day, and inwardly I say, hey, this ski has got glee and a whole lot of Qi (energy).
We love skiing fast together, being mountain men for a day and sharing our Chinese-American connection. My son Cory’s addition to our boarding escapades formed as Alex loved Cory’s teenage guy gig and giggles. Alex also has a son of Cory’s age, Kevin, his only child. Alex and Kevin have a wonderful relationship. However, vigorous guy bonding is not part of that relationship, as Kevin has moderate autism. Sharing my son with others has been a great honor for this proud papa, and Alex truly appreciates it. So when Cory passed a few years ago, Alex was feeling horrible with the loss, as were so many others. I doubted whether I could get back to the mountains. Alex gently coaxed me back.
A few days ago, Alex and I did our usual old ugly men version of young handsome guys on a cold and windy day at Loon Mountain. Alex had come up the previous day with his brother, Bi, who is very new to this country as well as skiing. I arrived with my friend Dennis, who is a renowned scholar in Traditional Chinese Medicine. We greeted each other with bows, hugs, hand-shakes, smiles and a mix of Chinese and English verbal greetings. Boundaries can reform as bridges with such genuine mutual respect and love for our fellow humans. Bi has spent much of his life in meditative, healing and martial arts practice. I was curious as to how those abilities would translate to picking up skiing at 55. To my surprise, he can ski at highway speed, but is not quite yet ready for his bro’s race track speed. We feel that he is about a year away from catching his older sib on the slopes.
As pleasantly pleased as I was with Bi’s skiing skills, I was far more impressed with his gadget abilities. He seemed to be totally up to speed in cyberspace, yet there was a distinct difference in how this newly modernized American behaved while gadget googling. He actually looked up, smiled often, took breaks, and even had a relaxed, dare I say, meditation-like posture! Dennis and I talked about Bi’s gizmo meditation on the ride home. An old Beatles song came on the radio. I’m generally not into listening to the words to songs. However, loud and clear comes the words “expert textpert”. Whoa, those pop sages were truly way ahead of their time, like they had lived lives in meditation many times prior. So, here’s to the seemingly impossible dream of humans somehow inwardly evolving along with the race track pace of technology. Maybe we can cultivate the clarity and alertness that comes through meditative practice and all become “expert textperts” who can guide use our minds for well being.