Wednesday, February 5, 2020


I’ve been hit by a volley of disappointment and never has that word been so literal. I had appointments in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Macau to teach workshops, appointments I worked hours to negotiate and prepare, plane flights that had to be calibrated just so to meet all obligations, financial contracts I was counting on, friends I looked forward to seeing. And yesterday, all three of them cancelled. My appointments were “dissed” and I was indeed, “dis-appointed.” 

Of course, it’s all understandable and yet another reminder of the uncertainty that is part and parcel of every human life. You prepare, you plan, you dream, but you also come to grips with preparing to see your plan abandoned and your dream shattered. It’s remarkable how smooth my decades of travel and workshops have been in the light of everything that could go wrong. But though it was edgy sometimes (as recently as last October going to Ohio), planes mostly arrived on time and more importantly, they all arrived. Participants who signed up mostly showed up, money promised was paid, things proceeded as planned, always with some unplanned moments on the delightfully surprising side of things.

The scariest near abandonment came last summer in New Orleans with the threatening storm that almost had me cancelling the course and fleeing on the first day! It thankfully all worked out and remarkably so. And I did have some hope that such a miracle would again happen here in virus-scared Asia. But alas, it was not to be. 

Do I care? Yes, I do and I’m not going to pretend otherwise. And yet, simply the fact of stepping out yet from another satisfying workshop into warm air and the call of a distant bird, simply the privilege of being alive, helped soften the blows, which after all, are more like friendly playful punches from Fate given the range of possible more catastrophic blows. 6 more scheduled days of teaching here in Singapore and hope that they will survive the closures. If not, time to re-arrange my appointment book yet again.

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