by Jon Phillips
I’m so used to talking now it is hard to type once more :) A year ago I began a journey. The journey took me through many ups and downs, but the resolve was nonetheless consistent. The results are my love, Li Li. The results are my firm mind. The results are the path forward. The results are structure and self-control.
Whereas before age 40 I wildly spewed my energy around, the gift of Li Li has given me focus and my life purpose. While 2020 might have been the year I earned my place on Earth, I also only a short time back began to work with the level of focus required by my newfound sense of purpose. Yes, 40.5 years of me on Earth, the story was me absolutely winging it.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Parties. Lots of Parties. Cash in some bags. Famous friends making messes. You think it. It happened.
I’ve already written much on the subject of once Redelle Lee and I found out we were expecting a baby in March 2019, she and then we decided we should stay in Hong Kong. We have an art gallery in Hong Kong. Unbeknownst to me, Trump would start a Trade War with China and then Hong Kong people would take the opportunity to protest for their freedom and human rights. Unbeknownst to me, my friends would show up, film crew and all at Oui.Gallery ready to join the activities in Hong Kong by documenting what was happening until December 2019.
My baby, even though still growing inside of Redelle Lee, has been a part of History. Have you seen 2 Million people marching for what they believe in? Li Li might not have seen it, but she felt it. She absorbed the energy. This was the Hong Kong’text, the context of the moment. Then there was teargas. Seeing your baby’s mama get teargas into her face converted me to aggressive protector of Redelle and my unborn baby. While I might have supported my friends too much upon the start of the HK Protests, once my baby mama and baby were in danger, I focused 100% on their safety. And we lived for 9 months in a hotel near the gallery and away, as far as possible from the teargas. Yes, it was intense. It was real.
BOOM: December 7, 2019, the joy of our lives is born. Redelle and I both cry. The person I was, ended. I broke with the past. WELCOME LI LI PHILLIPS, even though you did not have a name for 2 months ;) And people still want to hear the story of your names, English and Chinese names.
And then we moved hotels to be closer to family and further away from teargas. Chinese New Year came, and along with it some strange virus. At first called coronavirus and then COVID-19, we surfed it out.
Once on the way to the gallery, I came upon the scene of Hong Kong doctors and nurses protesting against HK and Chinese governments for not acting how they would like against COVID-19. RED ALERT: TIME to #GTFO. Within 24 hours I had a new American passport for my baby. Mysel, Redelle and baby were on the baby’s first flight, the last plane out of Hong Kong for USA.
Once back, we rested. Ai Weiwei asked for my help on his Opera, so he brought my familty to Rome. I made the decision to do this. Why? We could not even consider how bad, at the time, the response was going to be to this Chinese Virus outside of China. Of course China was mishandling it right? Well, WRONG. The worst response was then in Italy. Once the Opera was cancelled, we were on a plane out. Yet again, the last plane out. BOOM: Back in St. Louis.
At that moment, it seems like rest would be priority. I’m no slouch for moments. People found me and asked me to help with the USA response on getting PPE and medical supplies to combat COVID-19. I could not help but to feel a sense of duty after surviving all this, so I went military H.A.M. And made a deal with my family for my parents to take care of Redelle and Li Li during the week on our family farm in Columbia Missouri, and for me to attaccccccck with focus in St. Louis. That was the first week of April 2020, and I have not looked back.
Other important features in the topography of this story, much respect to all my friends, el Fabricatorz for putting up with me for the last year as the grave reality of bringing my baby into the world pulled support and attention to me transforming from a baby into a Dad :) THANKYOU.
Today on my 41st birthday officially at 2:53 PM CST, I clean out the old with fervor. I attack it to leave it in the past. Tonite I will take that which represents the past and will put it onto a fire and watch it burn. Then I will take a beat and spend until Monday June 1 with my family. I will do my thing. I come back on the 1st, round 41. The next 41-80 are really my work years. The boy is gone. The Dad is here. Lets see what happens. “We’ll see” is ignored out as Proof of Work defines your response to my action. And let’s see if I reply to you or you can get me to reply back :) My love is great, but now has priorities and limits. Time with you is time away from my baby. Please do not make me decide.
In 2020 I was 40. That means my baby Li Li when she is 20, I will be 60, in 2040. When she is my age 40, I will be 80 in 2060. Baby Li Li, hopefully when you read this some day I am there with you so we may discuss this. You know Daddy always loves you and supports you.
These dates make me think hard about global flows. How can I raise my baby in USA with so many challenges on the ground and with governance? How can I raise her as a global citizen with plandemics on the rise? Is China the best place for my baby now for peace and prosperity? What about off the grid? Right now I do not have the answer. I salute my flag. I obey the laws wherever my body and family resides. I will save this for later discussions. I am American with some global experiences, 10+ years in China. I am deeply concerned at the ending of the 70 years of peace in the world and see many challenges ahead between China and USA. I am here in St. Louis and I look to my Grandfather, an American Farmer and I think of other Chinese Farmers, and farmers around the world. Farming is trade of calm near meditative work. While politics might rule the information produced for consumption by people, I cannot help but look at the workers and normal people who saved us from some sad fate from this very real covid-19 challenge. While centralized systems let us down, decentralized networks brought solutions rapidly on the ground. The information systems we have built, while allowing for proliferation of FUD and misinformation, allowed for people to come together directly in unprecedented ways.
Trade is Peace.
Thank you again to everyone for your love and support.