Yuan Changming

           Interpreting Another East Idiom盲人摸象
                  (The Blind Feels the Elephant)

Here’s the elephant,
                                          Said Rajah’s servant to one blind
Man, showing him its head. To another, its ears; &
To the third, its trunk, & the tusk, the foot, back, tail &
Tuft in turn. Then, Rajah asked each to describe what
An elephant is. It’s like a pot, answers the one presented
With the head. No. It’s like a winnow, the one who has
Studied its ears. In fact, it’s a ploughshare, the tusk-man
Claims. You are all wrong. It’s a plough per se, insisted
The trunk-man.
                                  Add all your descriptions together, says
Rajah finally, & you can perhaps get the whole picture!
                                                                                    Or can we?

 Yin/Yang vs Water/Fire: A Lesson in Chinese Characters


灶 /zao/: an oven is built by setting a fire beside a pile of earth
灿 /can/: splendid is the view of a fire sweeping over a mountain
烟 /yan/: smoke originates as a cause flickering like a spark
烦 /fan/: frustration occurs when a fire burns a page
烧 /shao/: to burn something is to set a fire high on it
炒 /chao/: to fry is to use little fire
烙 /lao/: to iron is to burn each and every spot
>炉 /lu/: a stove is the fire burning in a household
炮 /pao/: a cannon is a fire wrapped tight


沙 /sha/: sand is something holding little water
河 /he/: a river has water allowing everything possible
洗 /xi/: to wash is to put something into water first
波 /bo/: waves surge when water flows like skin
注 /zhu/: to focus is to be the master of water
源 /yuan/: a wellspring is the original water
泪 /lei/: tears are water seeping from the eyes
洒 /sa/: to spread is to throw water into the west
演 /yan/: a performance is a show in respect for water
酒 /jiu/: wine is water fully matured