Michael Farman, Xuan Lin, Interview #20

Real People, Real Lives, Real Spirituality…

Name: Michael Farman, literary name Xuan Lin.
Where you live: Palestine, Texas, USA

What you do as a vocation or avocation? Electronics Engineer/Translator of Classical Chinese

Your two favorite books: Complete Ghost Stories of M. R. James
A Guide to the Symphony by Robert Layton

Your two favorite cd’s: Symphony No 5 in D by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Das Lied Von Der Erde by Gustav Mahler

Why you are interested in spirituality? Having no concept of a deity, I am aware of a connection at the deepest level between us all and between everything in the universe. Insights provided by modern science and cosmology underline this….see Bell’s Theorem, for example.

Your favorite quote:
“It is the poems you have lost, the ills
From missing dates at which the heart expires.”
–from William Empson’s villanelle “Missing Dates”

Your favorite web sites:
The Ghazal Page http://www.ghazalpage.net/
China the Beautiful http://www.chinapage.com/main2.html

Your hero? The Dalai Lama

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn?
What lies beyond the ego?

A place in the world where you feel spiritually “connected?” Stonehenge




(Editors note: I asked Michael if we could post one of his poetry translations, here it is…)
Drinking Wine Poem No. 5 by Tao Qian (365-427 CE) , translation Michael Farman
I built my home near people’s houses
without the noise of carts and horses.
You ask me sir, how can this be?
a focused mind will stay secluded.
Picking chrysanthemums at the east hedge
I become aware of the South Mountain;
in the clear mountain air at sunset
groups of birds are returning home.
There’s a deep truth revealed in this:
try to tell it and the words are gone.

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