On this last day of the Maya Long Count cycle 126.96.36.199.0., our calendar of December 21, 2012, I am indeed loosing a precious friend and family member, Paul Foreman.
Paul is a poet, writer, idealist, intelligent and knowledgeable intellect, optimistic and nice person, and a good friend of my family.
We came to know him through his wife Foster who first became my close friend with common love of art. I remember when we first visited their home for our first Thanksgiving in Texas, Paul recited several poems by Li Bo and Du Fu, and also talked about Mao Zedong’s poems “Snow” (沁园春•雪) and “Kunlun” (念奴娇•昆仑), which he did not remember the whole but some good lines. We were very impressed by his memory and understanding.
Paul and Foster both went to UC-Berkeley in the 1960s studying literature and art history. While Foster focused on Asian art, Paul wrote beautiful poems about China, and they were introduced to each other by a common Chinese friend. Paul loves mountains a lot and knows a great deal of prospecting. He liked to show us his collected rocks containing rare metals, and dreamed someday he could sell to a mining company so he could travel to China.
Before we left Texas, after spending many Thanksgivings with the couple, we asked Paul and Foster to introduce our daughter Shasha to Christianity through their church. So they arranged an Introduction to God with their minister for us in their church. The church does not believe baptizing a baby into a religion, but will introduce a baby to God, or to make a connection, so when the child grows up, she or he will make her/his own decision. At the event, Paul held Shasha, we all listened to the minister’s beautiful wishes for Shasha. Ever since the introduction, we became family.
Paul once wrote a poem to a friend of his, but I think it is just perfect for himself.
Poem for a Mountain Man
(for Frank Waters)
It is not I
But the mountain
in me that lifts
me to these heights.
I, I must go down;
mountain will stay.
I wish he is not suffering from pain now. May his optimistic spirit stay as strong as his beloved mountains.
Paul passed away in the evening of Dec. 21, 2012. May his spirit and goodness stay with us.