To my great joy, a few days ago, the English language edition of my book, The Adventure of Life, has been published at America Star Books.
The book offers a journey through all sorts of places, events, and meetings. How do we get there, who do we deal with, and above all, what do we do with it? We may live life just as a series of events that pass us. But if we try to interpret every incident, we do something and we go on with the feeling of having learned something. In practice, it will be paramount for everyone to interpret everything that goes by in his or her own way.
These are stories from all over the world: China, Ireland, Wallonia, Norway, and Egypt, but also from distant planets, lived by a priestess, a beautiful Irish woman, a Viking, or just an ordinary person. They provide insight into that journey and offer at least pleasant reading matter, but always with a cheerful undertone and a serious background. No finger is raised, but it gives just a gentle hint to the story behind the story.
More information about the book can be found here.
Review by the renowned author Lulu Wang
One of the stories in this book, that of “Wang-Li,” is set in China. After completion I presented it to the renowned Chinese/Dutch author Lulu Wang. Here are a few of her comments:
“With love, admiration and a sense of wonder, I read your story, ‘Wang-Li.’ What made a deep impression on me is the following:
“1. The story has a nice introduction so that the portion that follows, which takes place in China, is placed in a broad context. Not only literarily but also spiritually very impressive.
“2. In my view, the Chinese part of the story is very beautiful. Have you ever been to China? The descriptions of the landscape and the historical details are so vivid to me that I wonder how a Westerner who was not born in China or has been, and neither has lived in this historical period, is able to tell this story.
“I have no answer ready. The only assumption is that it has been a spiritual experience for you, that you have seen it in your mind and in that it is a gift from God.
“What impressed me most was the tone in which the Chinese story is written. It has a quiet, understated narrative style but is also intriguing and gives food for thought. I’ve read a lot of interesting and fascinating stories. From this story I really cannot say anything else than that it is a miracle. I am only human and want to understand this God-like wonder. I know it is not always possible, but I did try. I want to congratulate you with this wonderful story.”
Sneak preview from one of the chapters, “Wang-Li”
My sister and I were raised in a kind of orphanage for bastards and outcasts of the local Mandarin. We would be illegitimate children of this important man, and for that reason, invisible to the outside world, tucked away in a large bare square building. The building has high walls, few windows, a pagoda-like roof, and a bare courtyard. Along with the other children, orphans, maimed, and other common people that should be kept away, we are not allowed to leave the building and we spend our days in seclusion. The food is appalling and all children are regularly beaten and humiliated by Chinese caretakers — all men. The only exception is a certain Wang-Li, so named by the other guards, a barbarian, who with his grotesque looks, apparently is clearly concerned about the fate of my sister and myself. Wang-Li tries to protect us and to help wherever possible.
Because it is clear that the situation for him and for us, two little girls, is unbearable, he devises a plan to escape. That it is an extremely dangerous undertaking is obvious from the beginning.
Still, he manages to smuggle us out of the building in the middle of a dark night. After a lot of fear, danger, hardship, and wanderings, we end up with a peasant family, known to him, somewhere in the province. The farmer and his wife, who see cheap labor power in the offing, take us in “lovingly” and regard us (they cannot have children themselves) as their own kin.
In order to avoid detection, Wang-Li himself has, in connection with his disproportionate appearance, to be kept indoors during the day. It would be too dangerous if his presence would become known in the small town. Although the farm is quite remote, the man has too much risk of being detected, and if that would happen, his fate is certain. He would anyway, after prolonged torture, die a certain death.
During the day, Wang-Li does his best to teach us. He has never been to school himself, but by his extraordinary intelligence, he has been able to indulge proficiently in many topics. He knows what he teaches, including the interpretation of the main characters the Chinese language is so rich of.
It cannot be avoided. As we get bigger, it is expected of us that we help out on the farm, but in addition we are, as much as we want, taught by Wang-Li. This can mean in Chinese “packhorse.” (It’s his nickname. He never told us his real — Mongolian — name.) This dear and gentle soul, despite his almost grotesque appearance that many are disgusted of, has been able to develop himself in a miraculous way and for us kids he is a sensitive, caring, and passionate friend who is always very happy to transfer his knowledge.
In the meantime, it is clear that the Mandarin does not sit still. Angered by the enormous brutality of Wang-Li, who used to be his serf after all, who broke away with two children, considered to be part of his household — his offspring — he sends out great numbers of soldiers into the city and countryside to locate and imprison Wang-Li and us and to teach us a painful lesson.
It is inevitable that our village is not forgotten and aided by local whistleblowers, the men rumble with bared swords into the farm where we now live. The farmer and his wife are immediately executed without trial. As for the case of Wang-Li, it is quite a different story. Due to his stocky build and huge muscles in the neck and arms, the slender soldiers are no match at all. Soon, they are defeated, but again we have to flee, because this for him bad news would reach the Mandarin in Wei-Tschou very soon.
Copyright © 2015 by Hans Brockhuis
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About Hans Brockhuis
Hans Brockhuis is a Dutch lightworker, writer and translator. His bilingual website, Running Fox Pages, features spiritual work of himself and others. Working as a translator and editor, he has been and is active in processing various publications, either in English, Dutch or German. See his portfolio here. If you are interested to follow what Running Fox is offering, you may subscribe to his newsflashes. Simply send an email to this address mentioning “subscribe Running Fox” in the subject line.