Loss and Gain

This was a post on my first blog.

As I can no longer read my posts on that site because the screen is blocked by pop-ups, I will move some posts from there that may be of interest to my readers here.


We have a saying in Chinese, 塞翁失馬,焉知非福 – ‘like the man who lost his horse, who’s to know if it’s not good fortune’?  Rather a mouthful when translated into English, but like most Chinese sayings, there’s a story to go with it.

I thought of this when I was told that my Chinese calligraphy workshop and the course for the next two terms have been cancelled due to the lack of interest.

The story goes:  A man lost a mare that strayed over the border but needed no sympathy.  He said, who knows? it may be a good thing.  His mare came back with a stallion in tow but he wanted no congratulations.  He said, it may not be a good thing.  His son rode the stallion, fell off and broke a leg.  Again he said it may turn out OK and sure enough, when the army came through his town and conscripted the young men to war, his son was left behind due to his injury.  Few of the others returned.  So the loss of the mare resulted in his son surviving the war.

I am a volunteer tutor so it’s not as if I’ll be losing income.  In fact, I’ve gained many hours of leisure due to the cancellation.  For years I’ve been wanting to go back to playing with clay.  Now I have time.


Update:  As it happened ten students turned up to enrol in the course and there was no rest for me after all.

Since then I have retired from teaching and concentrated on my urban orchard and posting on my first blog.  Recent events have suggested a new direction: no more blogging as I am not able to post or read posts without countless interruptions.

I will not be renewing my premium account but the old site will be sitting there and those who find it worthwhile may still visit the remaining posts in the archive.

I have removed most of my translations of classical Chinese poems from that blog and have found a publisher who will publish them in print.  I will also post them online elsewhere.

This new blog will allow me to read my own posts and keep in touch with followers, although only a handful from the five hundred have moved with me.

I am philosophical.  If not for this, I may never have bothered to work on the book.

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