Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Just my story

Happy Chinese New Year!

I bought this beautiful paper cut art from Beijing 2 years ago from a 80+ year old chinese lady who speaks russian. I stood there for the longest time admiring her patience and passion while cutting through the thin red paper with a very small foldable metal scissors. I chat her up with my almost there mandarin, and she shared so many wonderful stories with me about her past and that she picked this up from her mother when she was only 3 years old. She said there were tears and tantrum upon picking up this art and her hands would be sore and swollen from the constant cutting and folding.

"Pain fades over time and patience grows with time, that's how my mother advised and comforted me when i was picking up this art", she says.

The way she speaks and the words she uses is often followed with beautiful chinese quotes and sayings. I swore silently for not being as chinese literate as i should be. At one point she looks into my eyes and stood there silent as if to analyse me.

"You must be from a artistic background. Only artistic people would admire the smaller details in things. Am i right?"

I smiled and nodded. She then held my hand and says, "It's a gift. Not everyone can and have the patience to take details into consideration. Many people don't know it, but loving art is loving life. It makes everything more beautiful and meaningful. It makes you look at things differently and it teaches you the way to life. So remember, be patient and persevere through whatever hardship or difficult moments in life because the results will always be fruitful."

My brief moment with this old lady made a mark in my life forever. And i found myself thinking of her this coming Chinese New Year when i took out all the beautiful paper cut art i bought from her. Before we bid one another farewell, she swiftly whipped up a pair of twin monkeys as a 'destined gift' and wished me the best in life.

My Gemini Monkeys


christopher said...

wow, and thank YOU for sharing such an inspiring story.

truly truly made my day..

Aschafava said...

I love this story. Thanks for sharing it. Now you've given me more motivation to learn Mandarin!