Of all things most yielding
BY JOHN CHANG McCURDY
SELECTIONS FROM ORIENTAL LITERATURE BY MARC
Edited, with a foreword by
David R. Brower- - from the foreword:
nation shattered, hills and streams remain.
A city in spring, grass and trees deep:
feeling the times, flowers draw tears
. . .
FU 713-770 A.D.
HILLS AND STREAMS indeed remained in
1950, but it was rubble that was deep in a city in North Korean
spring when American bombs buried a ten- year -old boy they had
just made an orphan. Expecting never to be found and dreading
a lingering death, Chang tried to kill himself the only way he
could think of that the rubble would let him -- by reaching his
fingers into his brain through his eyes -- and he tried hard
enough to make bruises that still show faintly. Then he heard
his grandfather calling him, responded, and was rescued. For
a while he supported himself by shining G.I. shoes, and earned
enough extra after some ten thousand boots to buy "a box
camera that worked sometimes." In 1958 he found himself
in Berkeley, with his first name translated to John and a new
last name, that of Mr. and Mrs. Richard McCurdy, who had adopted
He worked for his Bachelor of Arts
degree in Design and Arts, with emphasis in photographs, film,
and creative writing at San Francisco State College. Early in
the 'sixties, he brought a selection of his photographs to the
Sierra Club office in San Francisco,, where Robert Golden was
deeply impressed and persuaded him to leave them for a while.
It became quickly clear that the eyes that had been miraculously
spared had a most extraordinary way of seeing . . .
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