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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
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.50)

The Language Company The Language Company
ratings: 2 (avg rating 5.00)

Subject to Change Subject to Change
ratings: 2 (avg rating 4.50)

Ice girl in Banlung Ice girl in Banlung
ratings: 2 (avg rating 4.50)

Finch's Cage Finch's Cage
ratings: 2 (avg rating 3.50)

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Omar's Book Club

Omar turned a page and read to his book club.

They were among the lost and looking tribe.

They were figments of someone’s imagination, caricatures of wild inventions in abstract designs spinning webs from the center. They laughed at everything with cosmic perspective.

Through laughter they regained their sense of delight inside the mystery.

Someone somewhere rang a bell. Noon’s mechanical hands said hello. Calibrated craftsmen hands read luminous dials. The facade of a Catholic church on a Spanish hill in a pueblo contained fissures and cracks in its foundation.

Long spider tentacles streamed from the base into dusty shadows where birds rested from flights of fancy along Roman walls covered in soft green moss. The church bells were old hollow iron shells with a broken clapper. Rusting heavy metal shreds in weeds weighed down wet script reading ‘O come all ye faithful’ in Sanskrit next to a book of poems written on Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.

Blood flowed down white walls soaking green stems in brown soil feeding roots beneath the surface. Roots had no shadows, below the surface of human awareness.

Their expectations were Southwest desert creation myths.

A young Anasazi girl shared her wind note vision.

My name is Kokopelli the humpbacked flute player. I am 1,000 years old. My image is found on petroglyphs or rock carvings and also on rock paintings or pictographs in kivas, on ceramics and woven baskets. The ancient ones, the Anasazi, regard me as a symbol of fertility, a roving minstrel or trader. People also call me the rainmaker, a hunting magician, trickster and seducer of maidens.

In the Pueblo myths my hump carries seeds, babies and blankets to maidens. I wander along the upper Rio Grande between villages carrying seeds and bags of songs on my back. Because I represent fertility I am welcomed during the corn- planting season and sought by barren women and avoided by maidens. If you listen well, you will hear my flute music echoing through canyons playing traditional songs.

She disappeared along fault lines in long undulating dry washes full of sagebrush playing her flute near rainbow mesas strewn with geological strata.   

Listen, said Little Nino, do you hear the music, clarity, gentle sweetness echoing through space? It’s sublime.

A flute joined the tribal tolling bell. Form whom the bell toiled and told?

Someone had passed on.

Sublime, said a person named Art, an unemployed American realtor. Survivors gathered around him admiring torn muddy glossy brochures of multilevel and split-level green and white pastel clapboard low mortgaged homes financed with borrowed capital surrounded by security walls decorated with barb wire and shards of glittering green glass.

Venomous Diamondback rattlesnakes, cobras, and African pit vipers attacked soft city folks on their trail of tears inside shadows coalescing like shape shifters, said Artsyfartsy. 

Domestic violence erupted inside hearts, homes, cities, villages, towns, and countries between resentful, bitter out-sourced wives, their alcoholic husbands, frustrated lovers, and their catatonic, aggressive video game programed kids. Someone called the feds.

The feds arrived, said everyone in the compound was Waco and leveled the place with heavy tank fire.

Prime time news, baby.

And then O Art?

Down on Mean Street near the Tigris River someone detonated a land mine under a diplomatic silver Suburban, shredding level-5 armor designed to protect it from RPG's, killing three American intelligence agents on the West Bank of heaven. Their cover was blown. Blood rivers flooded streets. An old woman of a displaced tribal nationality with a mop began her clean up operations. Shit happens.

Everyone in the region denied responsibility for the attack. Analysts said it was very sophisticated and similar to attacks against an evil empire in Iraq fueled by sectarian strife, poverty, greed, hatred, animosity, and stupidity fighting for power and control dating back to the Assyrian empire in 689 BC.

Thanks Art. Speaking of empires, how about this tasty morsel of history? Omar said, thumbing a page.

A Century is Nothing



Creative People

I'm one of those people who’s learned through living that there is nothing and nobody in this life to cling to. An open hand holds everything.

Grasping is suffering.

I am a metaphor looking for a meaning. There are no metaphors, only observations.

I acknowledged kairos - the shuttle passes through openings in warp and weft threads, making things happen, creating new forms, new fabrics inside my word loom. The shuttle voice allowed me to recover, preserve and interpret tales.

I feel free to move away from safe familiar places and keep moving forward to new unexplored areas of life. Drifting some said. If I had one red cent for every time someone asked me when I’d settle down I could afford a world hypothesis. Settling down was not an option.

I am a compass without a needle.

Yes. I could bid on blessings. I’d sacrifice pre-linguistic symbols and create silent metaphorical abstractions. My linguistic skills would evolve into love into discursive logic.

26,000 year-old Paleolithic iron and copper paintings create a secret symphony of ancient stories in a Spanish cave.

No lengthy drawn out off-the-wall abstract explains my small empty self to anybody anything by virtue off who I was, am, and will be.

Life is a palimpsest. A game of experiences we get to play. 


The World is a village

Your village in Northeast Laos thrives near rivers and pine-mountains.

You plant it. You nurture it. You harvest it. You eat it. You carry it.

Every day starts at 4:00 a.m.

You put food into a wicker basket, heave it onto your back and either walk to town or ride with other villagers in the back of a small tractor or truck, belching diesel. Perhaps a tuk-tuk overflowing with soil smells, green life talkers. Maybe on a motorcycle as chilly winds blast your face.

It feels good to be alive.

Get there early. Spread your treasures out on a rice sack near the curb. Cold winds refresh the street. Say hello to friends. Broken dawn breaks over eastern mountains shrouded in fast clouds.

Mothers and daughters arrange labors of love.

Women arrive and unload bags of corn, dead civet cats, onions, greens, bamboo shoots, apples, and language. They grow rice, ginger, beans, peanuts, peppers, bananas, squash, sugar cane, corn, papaya, cucumber, and sweet potato. They only leave villages to sell to townies.

A smiling old man crouched on the corner wearing a green army pith helmet from a forgotten war sells bells and musical iron instruments for oxen and water buffalo.

An ancient shaman woman’s deep lined face bundled against morning displays roots, herbs and small bundles of natural remedies. People trust her innate knowledge.

Her dialect and wisdom is older than memory.


TLC - Facilitator of courage

A secret compartment in a unique one-of-a-kind jeweled knife illuminated the Tibetan plateau with antelope, snow leopards and gazelles among wild mountain pashmina underbelly goats knitting high-end sweaters and shawls for couture.

Shaggy yaks tinkled bells as eagles, Golak ravens and Winter Hawk winged free over remote white monasteries, rainbow Lung-Tao prayer flags and meditation halls filled with burgundy clad chanting monks playing gongs and cymbals, blowing silver jallee horns, lighting incense, laughing and reciting sutras in Himalayas near melting glaciers feeding wild torrential rivers flowing through slag scrabble rocky terrain, lush wildflower meadows, past isolated stone homes with yak dung drying on flat roofs, pilgrims studying a traditional herbal chart in the Amdo hospital and walking the Barkhor circuit in Lhasa filled with prostrating joyful people fingering prayer beads, whispering mantras and offering sage and pinion into a burning chorten under the ever-present watchful blind suspicious eye of naked plainclothes Chinese secret police disguised as international human rights observers employed by an NGO scam organization.

“You have some cool tools,” Foot said. “I am a tool of nature.”

“Yes you are and yes I do. Health care is expensive because patients and families incur 90% of the medical cost during the final years of their life. Hospice, home care, nursing homes, drugs, medicine, in & out patient care increases cost, long term debt, poverty and so on.”

“The dead paid sooner and the living paid later. Another unpleasant global fact is uncontrolled population growth, lack of job opportunities, substandard education and no medicine.”

“Life is filled with inconveniences. We have millions of idle unemployed here in Turkey. Bankers and politicians stole all the money. Greed is good is their mantra. Government is organized crime. Soma mine disasters with catastrophic loss of life is a fact of life for diggers making $500 a month. My job is to sell stuff. Treasures to be dusted on archaic mantelpieces. People buy things to make themselves happy - in the short term. They want to impress family and friends. They get bored, forget about it, lose it, throw it away or donate it to charity and buy more stuff. It’s a never-ending insatiable desire of supply and demand consumption dramatics. Advertising never dies. Fools are ruled by their emotions. Fear. Enough psycho-social-babble. What brought you here?”

“My feet. I work at The Language Company. I’m a facilitator of character and courage.”

“I know intestinal fortitude. It’s the most expensive virtuous school here.”

“Education is a business. You pays your money and takes your chances.”

“An open hand holds everything.”

They stirred sugar cubes, drank tea, and made small talk. 


improve happiness

be grateful.

be optimistic. visualize your ideal future.

count your blessings. write down three good things that happened to you this week.

use your strengths.

practice acts of kindness.