Dear Xie Yu,
Thank you very much for your poem, “Gratitude to Her Mentors.” I have never had a poem written for me and I am honored.
I am a father, too, I can understand the appreciation you feel in knowing that your daughter, Xie Bangxiu, receives guidance from her mentors. Recently I felt a similar sense of gratitude when I learned about a kind teacher who encourages my son. You and I live on different sides of the ocean, but we know what it is like to be grateful to those who help our children. Spiritually speaking, they become part of our family.
I would like to add that, in my view, some of the true mentors of our world are people like you who, in the mature season of their lives, take on new challenges and show us all that creative transformation does not (and will not) end with retirement. Already, in your writing of the poem you have added to the lives of others. Our website is now read by people in many countries - in China and the United States but also in other nations. One of these readers is my own mother, Mrs. John B. McDaniel, who is ninety three years old. I have shown her your article on the internet. She is not as confident in her internet abilities as you are; but I help her. As she reads your beautiful poem; as she sees you sitting at your desk in the photo; as she realizes that you are a student of song-poems and a student of life itself, she gains inspiration, too. My mother has never been to China, but, like you, she is curious about the world and about life’s meanings. Like you, she thinks deeply. With help from your generous offering, she gains further inspiration to realize that, every day is a new day.
Thank you for mentoring me, my mother, and many others with your gift to the world. And thank you for introducing all of us to the lovely tradition of song-poems. Your poems have a musical quality to them in English as well as Chinese. We can hear it in the words and in the feelings behind the words. We can hear this music in your life, too. Please keep playing.
Let this response be my song to you, too.