Story 24 - Queen of the New Law.
Our remarks didn't rip up oligarchism that night, with some exceptions perhaps, but
what we said did rip up some of the barriers that existed between us on the panel and the students. On this foundation a productive meeting unfolded that lasted almost till midnight. By the time we sailed back several days later, after subsequent interviews
on radio and television stations in Wuhan and the surrounding areas, the gulf had fully disappeared that had existed between our Chinese ladies and us Americans who had come to their country. It appears that our two Chinese ladies understood a great deal more about the importance of what they had become engaged
in. They may have also realized that their own breakthrough resulted directly from
those healing confrontations in Wuhan that they had become involved in, themselves.
Mai-seong explained to me privately on the way back to our base on Poyang Hu, that her awakening
as a human being had began practically at the first day of her contracted duties with us on the
ship, even though she didn't know why, at first.
When she spoke to me we were on a somewhat narrower part of the river, half way between Huangshi and Jiujiang where the river runs straight for long stretches, passing through
the great gap between two mountain ranges. We were relaxing on the top deck at the time, in the late afternoon sunshine, taking account of what has been accomplished.
We spoke of what has been accomplished for both the students and the people in Wuhan, and for us. Mai-seong confided to me, that while I first addressed the students in response to the hecklers, and she saw how some of them were moved by me, an awareness suddenly dawned that something really big and beautiful was unfolding. She said that she became immensely proud to have been chosen to be a part of this movement, and has remained proud of it ever since.
"I see us being involved in an effort that takes a person beyond nationalities, religion, politics, personality, that makes one proud to be alive. It is an effort of universal love for humanity." She added that she was also happy to have been able to make a small difference in the flow of this effort by sharing the little that she knew. Her happiness, at this point, became expressed in the form of a kiss as we stood at the upper deck's railing watching the
surrounding country by the river on our journey downstream.
Wai-yi acknowledged the same kind of an "awakening" when she spoke the next morning during breakfast, about her experiences at the confrontational meeting. Perhaps it was in response to those experiences that she spoke to us about the significance of the nearby Lu Mountain
to our right, that I had remarked on as we entered the great lake where we were based. Wai-yi explained to us that during the Zhou dynasty in the eleventh Century B.C., according to legend, seven
brothers had built a lodge at the mountain, hence its name, Lu Mountain, which simply means lodge. She also explained that another legend speaks of a great healer, Dong Fen, one of the shamans of early Chinese history, who was said to have lodged at the foot of this mountain. According to legend he refused to be paid for his services. Wai-yi said that he had merely asked
as reward, that every patient who was healed would plant five apricot trees when the healing was complete. She added that much later in time, during the Han dynasty in the first three centuries A.D., the mountain slopes became home to more than three-hundred-eighty monasteries, some of which still exist. She said that she found in one of them a very ancient story that reflects to some degree our own story. With, having said this, she invited us all to the top of the mountain. She told us about a ledge high above the Yangtze, with a spectacular view of the surrounding country.
So it was that we were all assembled three days later on this high mountain ledge to hear Wai-yi read to us the ancient story that had been preserved in one of the
almost forgotten holy places of the mountain itself. She told us that the ancient story was a tale of two kingdoms. She said that the story could have been written today, but evidently, it was written a long time ago. It appeared to be a saga that was passed on from the early days by word of mouth, before, sometime later it became written down.