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Fine Art America
Podcast 2019
Middle Kingdom Podcasts (2005-2017)

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The Language Company
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“Are we Asian or European?” said Zeynep the elder playing her cello resembling the human voice in a Bursa cemetery.

“Sadly,” said young Zeynep scribbling with black, red and blue ink on Moleskine parchment, “we'll never know our true identity. We suffer an existential identity crisis. 90% of Turkey is in Asia. We need talking foreign monkeys with clear pro-nun-ci-a-tion at TLC. Wow, it’s another day in a magical paradise.”

Zeynep knew her ABC’s. Always Be Closing.

Her grandparents had a restaurant near a shopping center.

Lucky wandered in one day before going to TLC. Shy and curious she watched him writing and drawing. He smiled, Hello. She stared. He pushed red, green, blue and black pens across the table, turned his notebook toward her showing a page of color gesturing to materials and a chair, come and sit down. You can draw. It’s fun. She was curious with courage.

Trust. They became friends.

Zeynep and Lucky created art daily in a ravishing food zone.

Bored anxious depressed adults devouring their dreams, nightmares and anxieties with plain white yogurt swallowed shock and awe. Lotus-eaters stared from deep vacuums with hard dark brooding eyes.

Want to make a deal?

How’s it feel

to be on your own

with no direction home

like a complete unknown

like a rolling stone?

When Z or L made eye contact adults glanced away with fear uncertainty and incriminating disbelief. Not to mention psychosis, repressed aggression and guilt complexes.

They didn’t see regular professional strangers here, let alone one talking, laughing, playing and creating art with a kid as an equal.

Adults listened at 10% or less saying yeah yeah or I am tired with panache.

They asked Z many questions without speaking.

What’s the melody?

How can you revert to primal childlike innocence?

Is the music in the cello? How do you get it out?

Why do you risk being free and independent?

How did you escape the tyranny of social conditioning?

How do you develop your wings after jumping?

Why are you always scribbling words or drawing or playing the cello?

Do you have mental disorder?

Are you on medication or meditation?

Is it contagious this art and music process of creativity?

Is it the food, air, water?

Am I this or am I dreaming?

"All of the above," said Z. "Good things happen when you take risks. You risk expanding your perception. You risk losing everything in the expansion. Are you prepared to lose everything?"

Adults were afraid to express repressed feelings. Too risky. Ain't nothing but the blues, sweet thing.

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Take Amazing Risks

“To do amazing things you have to take amazing risks and suffer greatly,” said Zeynep, his five-year old genius friend in Bursa.

“Here,” she said gesturing around the restaurant, “many a-dolts stay with their mothers forever and a day because they are afraid of freedom and accepting responsibility for their lives. They eat fear morning noon and night...

"They are afraid to express their honest feelings, their innate desire for independence. They are willing victims of traditional conservative attitudes and values...

"Free will is a foreign language. They are scared of taking risks, letting go and growing. I may grow old but I’ll never grow up. If I grow up I die.”

“I feel the same way,” said Lucky.

One day while sharing lunch and drawing in notebooks, he said, “When I was nine I was going on 50. Now I am 50 going on 9. I exist outside adult time.”

“We are passing through,” Zeynep said lighting a candle in darkness.

The Director in Istanbul offered Lucky a new TLC adventure in Bursa. This shocked everyone in Ankara. They assumed he’d stay with them forever. Students and teachers celebrated his transition with a sparkling cake. Women cried sadness and joy.

“We are not here for a long time, we are here for a good time,” said Sappho the poetess.

One Ankara student articulated her desire to move to Istanbul for an educational engineering job in a quality control factory school producing obedient robotic idiot children and live with her boyfriend.

She cowered behind her futile quest for independence from over-protective parents. “My father won’t let me.”

“Take control of your life," said Lucky.

"Let go. Jump. Discover courage and your wings on the way down.”

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What is life?


Personal growth.



Environmental mastery.

Positive relationships.


Near Jakarta he shared a universal story with Grade 4. “Many tribes love to look back. Passion and grasping creates suffering. It's a genetic molecule of fear, healthy doubt, fantastic uncertainty, surprise and adventure. Monkey mind. No worries, no memories. A child’s innocent curiosity lives in the present.”

“Every little thing is in front of us,” said a genius kid.

“Yes,” Lucky said, “focus on your essential needs not your wants. Imaginary wants manifest desire. Attachment and grasping creates suffering. Suffering is an illusion. We are all passing through. Humans look back in their vivid reptilian imagination hoping to see a ghost memory, a figment of their imagination."

Is it safe?

“Change is scary. They look back to remember where they came from. They look back because they are afraid they will never see the village and people again. They use their disappearing energy to look behind wondering and wandering and milling around in a perpetual state of shock and distraction.

“Humans seek clues at their personal ground zero. They’ve evolved from distant galaxies. Java man evolved here 40,000 years ago. Accepting an evolutionary premise, their DNA star chart continues its genetic dance. We are stardust. Never trust an atom. They make up everything. The world is made of stories not atoms. Oh, and one more thing. Don’t let school interfere with your education.”

He lived in talking monkey zones. They ate rice, drank water and fucked. They washed one set of clothing and hung it on bamboo.

They killed all the animals and burned down all the forests. They bred, worked and got slaughtered. Shamans brought rain. Tropical downpours gave humans free showers.

Food was cheap. Let’s eat mantra. This had nothing to do with simian behavior. It had nothing to do with two women sitting in a dark warung food joint near a private school facing a tall cinder block wall.

Chickens goats and cats prowled pecked and foraged in garbage. One woman sat in a deep meditation as her friend cleaned her scalp. They took turns exploring and inspecting. This genetic ritual was practiced in world zoos, jungles and rain forests.

Chattering storytellers. Musicians played ancient gamelan tunes. Heal people with music. Music is the fuel.

Idle Indonesian males after washing taxis studied accumulated grime under long yellow curling fingernails. Waiting for passengers they played chess in Banyan tree shade. Checkmate, said Death, You lose.

Drivers visited the warung chatting up girls, devouring spicy rice mixed with tofu, chicken, veggies, green chilies and deep-fried snacks.

One lucky explorer created a Brave New World.

Culture is what you are.
Nature is what you can be.

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The heart-mind gift of writing allowed Zeynep to meditate in the present as a stranger to herself:

Mindfulness gives me time and time gives me choices. Choices, skillfully made, lead to freedom. I’m not swept away by my feelings. I can respond with wisdom and kindness rather than habit and reactivity.

I love the crazies, it’s the fools I can’t tolerate.

A Zen writer is an artist, said Z the younger. They love making a big bright, beautiful mess, cleaning it up and making another mess. You are a Lone Wolf blessed with genetic DRD4-7R. Free is your quality of life.

The world is a stage and we are but the players. The play’s the thing.

A risk taking adventure using asemic language sensing joy and mystery winds down.

A poem begins in wisdom and ends in delight.

Visionary mystics blossom radiant beauty.

Water-stone. Yin-Yang.
Wear a star on your forehead.
Small powerful stars sing with their light.

The Language Company