The Story of Creation
Long, long ago
Sky and earth not yet distinct
Water and soil not yet formed
Darkness shrouding all.
No sun, ho! No moon,
Neither flower nor beast, ho!
And no love.
No Tashi Gyatso, Tibetan minstrel,
For his wings of passion had yet to unfurl.
— Tashi Gyatso’s Creation Ballad
“Twang” sounded the string, dexterously plucked by the fellow in the middle of the salon who was fondling his zither and performing the Creation Ballad, like a savvy horseman lightly reining in an errant steed. He affected a mischievous smile that evoked knowing chuckles.
Only one who enjoyed the chieftain’s good graces dared behave so nonchalantly at a gathering of nobility.