Yu Hsiang

i had some sort of artistic epiphany just now.  i don’t know how to explain it.   

it is something that i have been on the verge of for i think many years, maybe, and i just broke through. 

i think that create is somehow a misnomer.  an artist is a polished individual capable of reflecting this thing called “art” which exists on a different plane, one never visited by non-artists…  

there are shortcuts to this plane through drugs, through sex, whatever, but to see it through your own eyes, to be there on that landscape, to ponder it when absorbed by it completely, to see yourself reflected in it and to be able to reflect it back to others… it’s like seeing pictures in a travel brochure suddenly in front of you in six dimensions, with 5 primary colors.

New Favorite Apocalyptic Dream

was driven up to the top of a mountain, we were really high up.  the guide drove us and told us that we had all day to climb down.  we could go straight down this one road, which would take us back to the lodge, or we could take the hiking route and he would drive out and pick us up.  i was looking down. it looked like we were 10,000 – 15,000 feet up, and i saw a lot of water coming out of a valley.  i asked about it and he said it was probably some sort of flooding, that they had a had a lot of rain.  it was beautiful, green scenery.  i said it didn’t look like that, it was a plume of water shooting up a few hundred feet. 

a ridiculously powerful looking stream of water. the whole world below us was flooding, and quickly catching up to us on top of the mountain.  i saw people drowning, and we were climbing on boulders to try and stay above the water, it was rushing up, and pushing us up.  some sort of huge structure was above us and we managed to climb in, at least three of us.  many didn’t make it and they all died.  

inside, it looked like a large dance studio.  wood floors, very sparse.  we were looking around and there were frosted glass windows.  i suggested that we break out the bottom panes of windows, which were set in an ornately lacing metal (lead, i think), a viny sort of pattern.  we had to do it in case the water came in, i didn’t want the whole place to flood with water, instead, it would flow out of the windows and would only be up to our waists.  i suddenly realized that there was a door as we were breaking these windows, and went through it.  there was a kitchen of some sort, and some levers that seemed to attach it to the house.  when i attempted to disengage the kitchen, it didn’t seem to float stably, so i tried to reattach it. 

there were some other rooms, all o them very nice, with a satiny finish on the wood floor, but totally bare.  the kitchen was outdoors, as if on a porch, and of course there was nothing but water around us.  

“it doesn’t look like earth”  someone said. 

“it isn’t,” an old man said, “there’s no place on earth that ever looked like this.”   

there were fantastical creatures with brilliant colors making odd noises and those bits of land that we could see were eroded in impossible ways.  a bit of red rock was eroded into spines- and teeth-looking structures, there was a bit of a garden isle… 

we made contact with one of the beasts and there was some sort of conflict, which ended in a dying or threatened beast pushing something that activated some sort of emergency alert system.  crop-circle like designs glowed under underbrush miles and miles away where there was still land, and they slid open revealing red and orange light sources that beamed laserlike towards each other. 

somehow, this alert worked retroactively, because we are back in the 20th century on earth.  the crop circle alert system is some sort of norad-like first alert.  me and a girl that i am evidently close to are walking into a very important government office with a black marble table in the center.  it is huge.  an important government official that i feel somehow close to, almost like a family member is there.  he has to give the order to destroy the world by deploying hundreds of nuclear bombs.  it has something to do with the fate that we are facing being so much worse than nuclear death.  just before he manipulates the buttons on a pulpit before him, i remember thinking “shouldn’t we just wait and see?  what if it isn’t so bad? ” i suspected that the beast’s triggering of the response was not actually the threat that the system was built to detect. 

after the order is given, inside jet planes that perpetually fly on autopilot at high altitude all over the globe, human operators who have been placed in suspended animation slide out of chutes on black metallic slabs.  they come to consciousness quickly, and know that they need to destroy the world.  they are uniformed in black and have masks and helmets. 

me, the man, the woman, some other government types, and a pilot are now on a specially designed aircraft, which i assume is a plane of some sort, but we can move at amazing speeds though the air.  there are comfortable seats, and the chassis around us is full of windows.  the plane is designed to allow viewing.  in the armrests or coffee table-like things that are around us in the carpeted cabin are displays that read 70-something, and are counting down.  this aircraft is designed so that the people who had the terrible job of deciding the death of the planet will have the opportunity to see those places that they loved and wanted to see most, or perhaps have never seen.  such fascinating landscapes i have never seen.  breathtaking beauty.  awesome.  perpetually sunset, it seemed.  the light and shadows.  the character of the landscape. 

70 seconds isn’t enough i thought.  then i realized that it must have meant minutes. 

we flew the plane into a cave at the suggestion of a young lady.  i thought she was cute.  the pilot agreed, but a little hesitantly.  things were getting really close, i was sure we were going to crash into the thin canyon walls as we were trying to maneuver around in the cramped space. 

i thought it was silly to die like this just minutes before the whole world was going to die in a nuclear holocaust anyway.  suddenly, it was a dead end, and the craft was able to stop there in space. 

“that’s the last time i take an order from a (something something something)” mutters the pilot.   

we all laugh, including the woman who suggested the cave.   

we backtrack out of the cave and continue our whirlwind tour of the beauty in the world.  the computer must have been preprogrammed to find places because i knew that not everyone on the ship knew where these places were, and i knew, also, that some of these places had somehow escaped human sight since the beginning of time.  the clock was counting down, and just as it reached zero and i saw a flash of light and felt the nuclear heat on my skin and eyeballs, my alarm clock goes off. 

time elapsed in dream time: 4 hours.  new best dream ever. 

previous winners:  

  • alone on a platform in the middle of the biggest terrifying stainless-steel enclosed indoor swimming pool in the world
  • finding the archaeopteryx
  • dog barking at the end of the world as organic material crumbles to dust around him until he keels over and dies
  • flying through arisugawa park/flying in a huge mall to impress friends (tie)
  • getting my full splits (now crossed over into reality) 

runners-up (because unable to remember them in entirety): 

  • getting beaten up by a japanese kid until he cried (fever dream)
  • hidden cove on the east side of kawaii
  • dealing with dead things in a sewer

Yu Hsiang Chicken

4 T Oil

1 lb diced chicken (boneless + skinless)

1/2 diced red pepper

1/2 diced green pepper

6 sliced water chestnuts (fresh is best!)

2 T cloud ears (tree fungus)*

2 scallions, minced

1 t minced ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

1 t cornstarch made into paste with cold water

Chinese spicy yu shiang sauce ingredients:

3 T soy sauce

generous dash pepper

1 t sugar

2 T sherry

1/2 t salt

1 t vinegar

1 t Chinese chili sauce

1 t hoisin sauce

1 t sesame oil

Soak cloud ears in boiling water for 1/2 hour and then cut into large pieces.

Combine sauce ingredients together.

Heat oil in wok. When hot, add chicken

and all the vegetables except the scallions.

Stir fry until almost done-chicken should be white. Remove these items from your wok and set them aside in a bowl.  Meanwhile, add more oil to wok; then add scallions, ginger and garlic. When aroma is evident, add the sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil.

Return reserved chicken and vegetables to wok and bring to a boil again. Quickly restir cornstarch paste and add some of hot liquid to cornstarch paste, then add to wok. Stir until thickened.