Alice Walker, my literary mentor and special friend often speaks of her writing as Medicine for people. No longer just the title of my first book, The Eighth Promise is my medicine. It's heart is now the back-story of all my writing...and of me. This Eighth Promise is the underlying force - or Qi - and philosophy - suffusing my life. It's my Path, both humanistic and spiritual, of why I write what I write, of why I live as I live.
In my sixth decade now, and a third generation American, I realize that I am but a modern blossoming of an ancient mother root. My clan are refugees of the Tang Dynasty, the apex of ancient Chinese civilization. In the 900s, we fled for our lives across the vastness of China into the Pearl River Delta. We adapted our Path of spiritual-humanism as we became a farming clan. A millennium of living in the wet farm country of Toisan strengthen this civilizational core. Now this path of the eighth promise has transplanted to America..
In the era of milk carton kids and amber alerts of the 1990s, I found inspiration from stories of my sacred childhood when our entire working class neighborhood watched over me and my pals, a motley crew of 10 year old kids.
Get ready to be of "child mind" once again.
Introducing the Tibetan millennial moderns, born in the PRC. Their hybrid sensilibty merges three worlds - Tibetan, Chinese, and the English west (via the internet).
Through the eyes of of 5 characters spanning 3 generations, their Tibetan families are wrenched kicking and screaming into modernity from the early 1900s to the present time as part of China.
"Powerful. Soulful. Real. Liberating." AliceWalker
"One of the few books that completely conveys a life lived from the inside. It is a reader's joy." Gloria Steinem
THE EIGHTH PROMISE
" ...was my mother's final promise to her mother when she fled China - to live with compassion towards all. I think of this as the ever-living promise, for all of one’s days. And it is this promise, this way of living – perhaps rising to the imperative of a spiritual path even -- which strikes me as the distillation of all the wisdom of my kin; from a millennium of life in the peasant Toisanese way: in one small locale, self-reliant, equally at the mercy of nature and the personally intense drama of humanity."
Alice Walker my special friend and mentor recently reread it cover-to-cover. Alice loves it still, now marvelling at its style - the "sly writing" - and the deeper insights into the Toisan teachings of motherhood and reciprocity within family relations.
In 2017, Professor Emeritus Roger T. Ames, world reknowned scholar of Confucianism and Comparative Philosophy, marvelled at this living testament of Confucianism's humanistic-spiritual power and social philosophy thriving and enduring in America.