Alive in the Bitter Sea

Powered by Drupal

Al Tabor asked about a painting he remembered me having made that had the Chinese characters "alone in the bitter sea."

Al's only-slightly scrambled memory of the Chinese Communist slogan is even bleaker than the bleakness that so resonated with me 30 years ago: 'Alone in the bitter sea' is more than just a couple of steps closer to a gaping existential abyss than is my 'alive in the bitter sea.'

I picked up the phrase from Grace Fong, a young SD seamstress who had recently immigrated from Hong Kong after fleeing the mainland alone in a long midnight swim (Paul Kramer might remember her; she used to beat him at ping pong even wearing high heels). I had Ming (a cutter on the third floor in Oakland) paint it for me on a small square of stretched artist canvas. (Did I have it hanging on the wall above the desk on the Alice Street receiving dock? Can't remember. Maybe.) I still have it, it's hanging in our garage, though I might have to take it down now that 'alive in the bitter sea' sounds so blazingly optimistic compared to 'alone in the bitter sea.'

That group photo from 1985, it's hanging in my home office beside a black-and-white photo (out of focus, unfortunately) of me amidst many sacks of down in the warehouse, blowing a cloud of down and feathers from my open palm.

[[Could use some context plus date.]]

[[Might be good to have the black and white photo here]]

[[Need to add Ming as person]]

This Story is part of a Series...


Hello owner,
Hello owner, Your posts are always well-structured and logical.
Hi owner,
Hi owner, Thanks for the well-structured and well-presented post!
Dear administrator, Your posts are always well-cited and reliable.
Hello administrator, Your posts are always well organized and easy to understand.
Hello administrator, Great post!
Hello admin,
Hello admin, Thanks for the informative and well-written post!
Hello admin,
Hello admin, Good job!
To the
To the webmaster, Nice post!
Dear webmaster
Dear webmaster, Your posts are always on topic and relevant.
Hi administrator, Well done!


Your comments are loved and appreciated.

Start a Story of Your OwnStart a Story Icon


Do us a favor - 
Please take 2 minutes and give us feedback. Thanks!

Story Copyright