Dear M & A
The Red Room is getting popular among a specific group of people, the creative type. I am also pleased to see more locals attending the event.
Creative expression is a human need. It is everyone’s right to be heard. Unfortunately we tend to repress ourselves due to our Chinese upbringing: be low key, don’t attract attention, don’t show off.? Showing off is seen as a weakness, not a strength. Conformity is what is expected of us.
The future belongs to people who can live authentically and aspire to become a better person every day.
1. Prish made a phone call to Sarah who couldn’t make it as she was hospitalized with a broken leg. We all said in unison “we love you” to Sarah over the phone. I was touched by Prish’s ingenious way to let Sarah feel the love from the Red Room.
2. Lars’ sharing of his favorite Mantra whenever he encounters negative energy or feels negative. It was a great feeling when we made a tight circle ( shoulder to shoulder ) chanting Om with one single breathe. We made this harmonious sound almost as if it can reach out to the god. Taiwanese indigenous people have this practice too. I’d never tried it with a tight circle like this, only holding hands to form the circle. I will do this kind of tight circle next time. You also should learn to do this when you are in charge of an event.
3. Husbands are joining the Red Room. I encouraged people to bring their spouse. So happy to see Angelica and Grace bringing their husband to the Red Room so they can share this wonderful experience together. Taiwan needs a place like the Red Room so we all can grow together with our loved ones, instead of growing apart. We always want to share the jewel of our life with our loved ones. By the way, it was the first time I saw someone playing a flute with an iPhone. Grace and her husband, what a great team together, flute and harmonica!
4. Prish’s unbelievable monologue accompanied by drumbeats from a young guy. It was like a live radio show. I invited this drummer to come to every Red Room event. I like the effect that he made with his drum to highlight the poem’s emotional high and low. Prish’s story about her first date and what went through her mind was amazing. Her voice and sensual body movement were both sexy and divine. Her affection for her boyfriend was so touching. At the end, they embraced and kissed. What a classic and elegant way to share their love to each other in public.
5. Mark, the poet with his dog, was so funny and sincere at the same time. I think he is a lucky man to have such a gentle and lovely dog. I told him as long as his dog behaves he can bring it to the Red Room. The presence of a dog is remarkable. Everyone relaxes when they see the dog. I just hope the dog likes his companion’s poem about the dog. Lars rushed to clean up the vomit when the dog threw up unexpectedly. It is this kind of behavior that touches me deeply. They are true dog lovers. They will clean up the dog mess even when it is not their dog. In the Red Room, I noticed so many little things that our foreign friends did as a matter of fact. They know how to act civilized but also know how to let their inner child out. This is what I want you to learn from western culture. The Red Room is a culture club so we all can appreciate the differences and become a better person through the same passion for words and sounds.
6. Master Sun’s meditative chanting based on her memories of her father’s favorite Chinese Opera song is mesmerizing. She is forever calm and serene. I just love her style of expressing herself in a most Zen-like performance. It is a real treat to see her performing and reciting.
7. I was surprised to hear the cello performance from one of my favorite movies: The Tango Lesson. Annie is a professional Cellist. She brought her big man-size Cello and we originally did not have time for her to perform. I am glad she played for us at the last moment. I insisted that everyone be quiet and sit down to listen to Annie’s cello performance attentively. Boy, is she powerful to master this gigantic instrument. She is such an elegant lady too. Naya, her sister, also did a Chinese song. She told me that she’s pleased to know that the Red Room guests are receptive to more serious pieces so she will perform something more serious next time.
8. Mauro’s Italian song is very touching because he sang it like no one is listening. I like Red Room because people can really become themselves. You don’t have to be a professional singer. All you need is to sing from your heart and share your most vulnerable moment with us.
9. Lucy is a giant lady with her giant project to let the world know how badly the women are treated in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is a world class inspirational speaker. She has presence on stage. Roma said she should be on TED. I totally agree.
10. A gentleman ( I will make an effort to get to know his name next time ) recited a few super short poems he made on his iPhone. I was so surprised by his profound short phrases. Sometimes we don’t need that many words.
11. Tim, the poet painter, did a very creative presentation. He integrated words (his short poem on Dulan), visual (his painting of Dulan beach), and sound (a recorded indigenous chanting) to share Dulan with us. Imagine the amount of effort to bring such a big canvas all the way from Taitung just for this performance! This is how I know if they are for real. Will you do something extra to be the best you can be in a presentation? I hate to see people do presentation without any planning. These people make the effort to bring bulky guitar and cello to the Red Room.
12. People really read lots of poems. Whenever I see people pull out their favorite poetry book and read the marked pages, I know they find respite and peace in poetry.
13. People still use notebook to doodle or write their poems on the go. It is this daily ritual that made these people think deep and see things that we don’t usually see. Are you going to have a notebook and do some drawing and writing when you travel?
14. I am so glad to introduce Zoya and Andrew to the Red Room guests. Andrew invited Zoya. I want everyone in the Red Room to appreciate the cookies and desserts that Zoya made for us. We need to give Zoya, her team and Nonzero restaurant proper credit.
15. Holly did a great new song she wrote to praise the bathroom of the Red Room. She told me that it has the best smell in the world.
16. Sarah from Taipei Players sang a wonderful song. I know it took courage to sing in public. Again, The Red Room is a space encouraging people to step out of their comfort zone. It is a safe and? nurturing place.
17. George read a few of his favorite poems.? I could not help to notice that George is more into his passion with words and sounds than the audience.? It was a joy to see people enjoying themselves and be true to themselves.
18. I read a grotesque but ingenious poem written by Candice. I did not read it well with correct intonation and dramatic body language. As you can see I am a proud father on that stage. I hope one day Candice can recite her poem here in the Red Room. She is really talented in poetry.
The Red Room is a very special place in Taipei. When you are in the Red Room, you will sense that humanity is alive and creativity is what made us human. Too often we don’t allow ourselves to explore this creativity. To be able to enjoy other people’s creativity is a form of creativity. We are all creative in many ways.
We have stopped listening. The Red Room is a space for us to practice deep listening and give our undivided attention to those who are on stage.
Joseph from Canmeng team was there the whole evening. I hope he was there not out of duty but also had fun, and more importantly I hope he learned how to build a community and to engage people through our common passion. I am happy to see that everyone stayed late and pitched in to clean up. This is the spirit of the Red Room. We are a community and a tribe so we share our joy and work together.
I hope you will be able to join us next time.
May 22, 2010