Farewell Grasshopper.

4 06 2009

I blogged a long time ago a little of why this blog site is so called. The sad news today is that the actor David Carradine who played Grasshopper is dead. Of course I didn’t know him personally and I appreciate that people die every day but this man’s death has left me with a little sadness.

And so I wondered what to write today prompted by the death of this man. Perhaps the simplest thing is to pose the question that Master Po might ask, “So Grasshopper, you are older now. What have you learnt?”


Looking but not seeing

23 01 2009

blind-leading-the-blind1News travels slowly sometimes. My uncle, (Thanks Walker) sent me an email about an event that happened in Washington DC in Jan 2007.

A charismatic and world famous violinist, Joshua Bell “busked” in L’Enfant Plaza, at the central of federal Washington for a period of roughly 45 minutes, playing virtuoso pieces on an original and almost priceless Stradivarius violin.

Essentially, no-one took much notice.

Apart from the Pulitzer Prize committee who gave the journalist that set up and reported the event the 2007 Prize for Feature Writing.

The point of the article was

“an experiment in context, perception and priorities — as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste: In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?”

Whether it worked or not you can read for yourself.

It struck me that , although obviously not on the same scale, we must frequently simply pass on by inspiring and beautiful things. We are too occupied with the busyness (sic) of the day to be aware of all that is going on.

Now I’m not aiming to go all touchyfeely or inner Zen on anyone but I do wonder if sometimes the inner arguements, the strife with management, the conflict with juniors, the pressure of the timetable or whatever slavemaster virtual or otherwise that is driving you, makes us passers by in the journey of life. We are unaware, because of “confusion of context, perception and priorities” and thus missing out on some amazing “stuff” (whatever that might be) going on right beside us.

What do you think Grasshopper?

You are young grasshopper, but you will learn.

9 12 2008

Various people have asked me about the name of the site and my username.

The idea for the site title came from the TV show “Kung Fu” where David Carradine is the Kung Fu student Kwai Chang Caine  travelling through the Wild West as he seeks his half-brother, Danny. Kwai is armed only with his martial arts skill learnt as a Shaolin monk at the feet of Master Po.

Master Po calls his young student “Grasshopper” in reference to their first meeting. On discovering that the Master was blind Caine comments how bad this must be. Master Po however pointed out that despite having sight the young Caine was unaware of the grasshopper at his feet. He says, “you are young Grasshopper, but you will learn.”

I know it is perhaps obvious but whilst many have power and may use it foolishly there are times when we should return to the basics and be aware of the grasshopper beside us we are no longer aware of.

My nickname, given to me by one of my “Masters” is ffolliet. I use it in so many places. Looking for a new nickname to designate my new status I have taken inseiffolliet. “Insei” is Japanese for postgraduate student or even more specifically for the students of the game of strategy “Go” considered by some  to be of the most important skills a civilized person could learn in the Eastern World.

There is much I have to learn about the “game of surrounding”.

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