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Podcast 2019
Middle Kingdom Podcasts (2005-2017)

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The Language Company
Timothy M. Leonard's books on Goodreads
A Century Is Nothing A Century Is Nothing
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The Language Company The Language Company
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Khmer woman 70 in wheelchair

Dances her smile
Extends worn plastic basket

Grateful for .50

Her smile a fragrance

Beauty remembers graciousness
Facial treatment waxes poetic
Edges of bi-lingual tongues express calligraphy

Older now a Khmer woman
Still carries a bathroom weight scale

Around Siem Reap
Step on it
Small money enough for rice

Strangers destined to wait
Confront their deepest fears
At the intersection of Courage & Creativity

The menu is not the meal

Grow Your Soul


The Garden #7

Ah, how sweet it is to explore, laugh, share and love.

Chapter 1 in "The Language Company" is longer than a river.

Here is part of a part of the amazing tale.

Listening for thanks.

The Garden #7

Published in:

The Language Company


Mekong Blue

I visited Mekong Blue, the Stung Treng Women’s Development Center in NE Cambodia.

Fifty women are trained in a six-month silk weaving course. They plant mulberry, harvest, dye and create silk textiles. It is a UNESCO award winner known for superior quality, creativity and originality.

Mulberry leaves everything behind. Worms eat the leaves. Their saliva makes yellow cocoons. Saliva becomes a protein and stronger than steel. They boil silkworm cocoons to extract raw yellow silk. One thread is 300 meters long.

It is separated into soft and fine threads.

Women dye the threads using natural materials:

banana (yellow)

bougainvillea (yellow)

almond leaves (black)

lac insect nests (red and purple)

prohut wood (yellow and green)

lychee wood (black and gray)

indigo (blue) and coconut (brown and pink).

Women also weave Ikat, a technique creating patterns on silk threads prior to dyeing and weaving. It is called HOL with 200 motifs.

The center improves the women’s quality of life. It breaks the cycle of poverty through vocational training and educational programs.

They have a primary school with thirty-five kids and two teachers. Everyone receives lunch. It is the single biggest employer in town after the government.

That’s so cool, said Rita. Need some ice?

Mekong Blue

Published in:

Grow Your Soul


The Garden #6

Before & After, from The Language Company.

John, a Chinese teacher is removed from his class at a middle school in Sichuan.

If his students fail to pass a test it is his fault.

The Garden #6.

Thanks for listening.


Cadiz Construction

Satisfying a sublime unexplainable scientific artistic impulse, a curious human exploring Earth loved existing in a perpetual twilight zone of repairs, renovations, chisels, hammers, stone facades and dire classical solemn faced people stirring languages into new creations. 

“It has something to do with his dream,” said Omar. “Process now, product later. Hunting and gathering instincts.”

Cadiz hammer music and gypsy serenades welcomed dawn. One-eyed men roared around industrial revolutionary spirals without a building permit.

“Sound check!” yelled a construction worker waving his tools staring at stoned glazed edges. His partner hammered down morning light easier than breathing. Young boys started 50cc engines. Echoing through cold canyons machines sang like obnoxious chain saws in a forest of buildings.

A sad blond Spanish woman off to make a living juggled guilt, purple books, black purse and a white cigarette. She looked down at her stoned path, a reminder of Roman civilization.

After tearing it up to implant pipes in front of the Cathedral San Francisco, men used a thin string plumb line tied to granite stones to create an intricate stone design. One man dug dirt, another ran a portable cement mixer and another hammered stone edges to achieve the perfect geometric floral pattern.

People at a nearby cafe sat surrounded by fragmented noise. Pigeons filled the air. Pedestrians negotiated rubble. A beggar rested on church steps waiting for charitable parishioners. He had just enough energy left in his thin frame to hold out his hand. The only thing he owned was an empty stomach.

A nervous brown robed Franciscan monk in a Moorish doorway fingering his rosary watched the men slave. Sunlight glistened off a balcony along Rue Cepeda.

The streets were named for saints, explorers and shy women in their destitute languishing remedy of hope. Hope died last.

Sunday light blessings reflected off religious icons in Catholic pews. Trinity angels emerged from shadows melting into flower markets where fishmongers mixed langoustine snails, sliced escargot tourism and Super Tour buses dropped utensils on their heads.

Bowing to market forces on Sunday everyone went to church. They fed bread wafers to their immaculately dressed children. They prepared heirs to meet and greet strangers and relatives in narrow cobblestone streets with sweets for my pretty.

Soiled spoiled children escaped small cramped Spanish flats on narrow slick tiled stairs. Descended from Berber bloodlines they groaned out their childbirth, childhood, a-dolt futures where 10-12% would finish higher degrees.

A minimum return on investment (ROI) strategies in Andalucía, the poorest Spanish province raised interest rates. They were targeted for an infusion of future cash from the European Union along with austerity measures and general strikes.

To greet the mean old street citizens passed through patios filled with copious plants and entrances tiled with Moorish quasi-crystalline tiled designs. They came and went with precise regularity, discipline, stability, structure, and unwavering self control.

They escaped microscopic interior spaces strolling on esplanades and through parks lined with statues of heroes on horseback challenging blue skies with glistening sabers, marble busts, effigies and fountains of boys holding iron fish spouting water.

Off shore, oil tanker ships, military destroyers, container ships full of imported and exported goods, small sailboats, and luxury liners with gleaming white lights bow to aft sailing for Lisbon plied waves.

Waves washed the shore every day. Every morning sun-blocked retired well greased women set up camp on the Cadiz beach, playing bingo, knitting red yarn with quick fingers. Their husbands in bathing suits, clasped hands behind backs walked through surf discussing weighty matters of church and state.

A handicapped swimmer left her crutch in the sand and waded into blue water like a crab.

Old fishermen with long poles threaded small shrimp on hooks before casting from high stonewalls. Lovers in shaded bliss played with cell phones while petting each other out of passionate boredom.

In the countryside a laborer earned 5,000 pesetas a day thrashing trees. Olives fell toward mechanized presses. Virgin oil was the best. Spanish courtship took years if you desired the really good stuff, requiring the fine art of romantic seduction.

Citizens finished their tiled stair-master workout and faced the door. It was a heavy dark brown in two sections. The ground floor was originally for storage, an old warehouse. Depending on the century it was easier to throw hot oil down on Arabic or Christian invaders from a balcony.

A woman pulled her weight open and faced the crooked 3,000 year-old street hearing stones sing historical reference.

Little Wing, a word weaver stood in the shade of the Cadiz Conservatory of Music captivated by a violin, a cello, a piano and a young girl’s melancholy voice.

She was surrounded by musical, flying notes inside the roaring silence.

Silence is the loudest noise.

Invisible musicians played keys and strings. A voice punctuating air wrapped itself around solid gray stones edging liquid. It was all tonal vibration frequencies.

Wing was transformed.

Her neighbor mopped small stone paths, raised her red tool and dumped long universal string theories into dirty water as life’s stew simmered on her eternal stove. She squeezed it out.

Her white apron covered a black dress. Her black hair was pulled back in a skintight bun. She was eighty. She mopped the stone path every day of her life.

Omar the blind, watching from his temporary home was in transit, hanging out in space. He paid meticulous attention to people’s values, attitudes, beliefs, faces and intimate behavior.

He studied their honest soled solid souled shoes.

Worn heel edges indicated external and internal posture.

Weaving A Life (V1)

A Century is Nothing