Liu Ming, Sends the Carriage Back Empty

I was very close to Liu Ming from 1994 to 2004.  My account of his life up to that point and my experiences with him was published by the Journal of Daoist Studies (volume 1) in 2008.  That article is also available on  

The title I wanted to use for that article was, To Live as Long as Heaven and Earth, or Not.  My editor wisely over-ruled that because the reference is obscure.  To Live as Long as Heaven and Earth, is a reference to Ge Hong the third century Daoist Official and author of the Baopuzi (Embracing Simplicity). The last thing we know about Ge Hong is that he road a carriage out into the mountains and sent his carriage back empty.  Since then it has become a way of describing completion at the moment of death.  Liu Ming was no doubt complete long before his passing.

As I look out my window, swirling clouds and gentle updrafts,

Traffic noises chirping above a sea of unending quiet,

Perhaps I could try to name this mix of smells, peoples and kitchens, early spring?

Yet the singular taste of clear water reaches out to infinity.