The air is heavy: warmish fine but persistent drizzle and layer over layer of loosely woven rags of mountain mist. Occasionally a glimpse of bamboo plumes, gracefully bowing and turning in a trance-dance. And absolute silence.
Drizzle washes rows of tea-bushes leaf-by-leaf, followed by mist gently wiping-wiping.
Around Xia Min Yuan, behind Jiu Hua Shan - Mountain of Nine Glories - one of the four holy Buddhist mountains in China.
Clean air, clean water, clean soil and this mist create tea of most delicate aroma. Drinking the mountain. Prized and pricey - supply is limited.
Not coming from the China of Western ignorance.
We have an old computer, and - while I can't email - I may sometimes coax Yahoo and the Nelson Star out of it. My sometimes fix. Regrettably not The Nelson Daily.
Everything Nelson appears smaller, less than - through the looking-glass.
I became a journalist because I didn't want to rely on newspapers for information.
Since I left at the beginning of May - the only real stir seems to have been the Co-op's tempest in a teabag. (You ever wonder what's in one of those?) And the Star pulling back from reporting this tempest's three parallel realities in-depth and their development over time.
Yesterday the Star - today a Black hole.
For all the agonizing over this issue by the Board and the Star - whether it will upset Co-op membership or be swiftly forgotten remains to be seen.
While the Board agonizes and the Star agonizes - together and separately - the sizeable membership is not invited to agonize with them: patronized as in they're nothing to agonize over.
In the weirdly contortionist EDITORIAL: A conundrum over the co-op, May 15.
Unless more on this conundrum was published in later paper-editions: the EDITORIAL and Will Johnson's Shake up at the Kootenay Co-op, also May 15 - introduce/conclude the Star's agonizing. End of!
Even though the issue - whatever it may be - surely is Nelson's most gossip-spawning in ages. With the Star's reluctance feeding it.
... agreeably scandalized without being upset.
On a level of actual concern: if facing such painful conundrum - one would have expected the Star - a community newspaper - to actually go community for its Co-op-owner-member-readers. But no! Co-op talking heads yes - owner-members no!
The Co-op Board
The more heavily addicted decision-makers have become to condomania - the more owner-members have been taken for granted - ignored, really! Except as possible condo-buyers. Little of relevance has been explained over time. (At the end of the you-and-us-together come-on: it's all marketing, dressed-up sales-pitches.) Owner-members have not been consulted on any condoing-phase, except once - marginally - when more of their money was needed.
And even now President Steinman - in full authoritarian feather - is disinclined to connect with the great unwashed (owner-members).
Those of the remaining to be seen - tired of being played and enough already and if not now - when? - conceivably could band together and boycott the store on a Wed. or Fri. - that way boycott the Star as well!
Something really real to agonize over for Board and Star: together!
For too long has the Co-op been run by an aloof inbred clique of competing egos.
Intense focus on Nelson Commons has relegated the Co-op proper to stand-by status as P.R. tool.
This creating restlessness at the store, manifesting in - last August - the financial manager leaving after just one year in the job. (Financially managing both: store and condo-construction?). To be followed by the grocery- and deli-managers' exit soon after.
And now the bizarre Lang shuffle: did she determine her own salary, and where is that coming from? Seeing this is a for her created salaried position - and someone has already filled her old one.
Clearly - for ages - in-house co-opping hasn't been what it's cracked-up to be to the outside. Infusion of more co-op-cultish blood into the Board may make Steinman feel safer within but possibly deepen alienation without. When he says: the Board is stronger than he's ever seen it - this is a very familiar ringtone.
No matter who and what and why: none of the current - finally almost on the sidewalk! - go for each other's jugular will help clear the already bi-focal vision of this condo-fantasy.
And - while it doth protest too much - neither will the Star, chasing the Co-op's advertising dollar (not that this particular dollar has anywhere else to go!) - wagering: if we don't print it - it may all be swiftly forgotten. As in: yesterday's news is today's fish-wrap.
My last China days - in Beijing again, a place of great cosmopolitan buzz. By choice: no computering. No interest.
But now back in Nelson - Agony Aunt is catching-up over a nice cuppa!