---"The Ring of a Decade", Shanghai, 2019.12 | 《圈里圈外》摄于上海

Only a Decade

---"The Ring of a Decade", Shanghai, 2019.12 | 《圈里圈外》摄于上海

—“The Ring of a Decade”, Shanghai, 2019.12 | 《圈里圈外》摄于上海

 

“You are too short to teach.”

 

---"The View in a Classroom", Shanghai, 2019.10 | 《教室一隅》摄于上海

—“The View in a Classroom”, Shanghai, 2019.10 | 《教室一隅》摄于上海

 

A tall interviewer called me off the stage when I had just given my name. He gestured at me as if he was giving the death penalty. Teaching was the only iron rice bowl that would fit my circumstances. Now what was I supposed to do?

 

---"Teaching Kids Chess", Shanghai, 2019.11 | 《教小朋友国际象棋》樊老师摄于上海

—“Teaching Kids Chess”, Shanghai, 2019.11 | 《教小朋友国际象棋》樊老师摄于上海

 

Days before the 2009 Spring Festival, I desperately paid an agent who guaranteed me a teaching job. On Chinese New Year’s Eve, I took a smelly night train from Hainan to Guangzhou. It was a nightmare. I slept standing against a strange shoulder in the crowd without any awareness. Everyone was leaning against each other, except those who could afford a seat.

 

---"Teaching Kids Chess", Shanghai, 2019.11 | 《教小朋友国际象棋》樊老师摄于上海

—“Teaching Kids Chess”, Shanghai, 2019.11 | 《教小朋友国际象棋》樊老师摄于上海

 

The nightmare worsened when I arrived at a suburban dormitory provided by the agency. There were twelve bunk beds in a room and twelve people shared the same shower with a single toilet. Two days later, the toilet blocked. The shitty water ran all over the place. It smelled really good. No plumber would come till after the Spring Festival. Thus the daily instant noodles had no smell.

 

---"Teaching Kids Chess", Shanghai, 2019.11 | 《教小朋友国际象棋》朱老师摄于上海

—“Teaching Kids Chess”, Shanghai, 2019.11 | 《教小朋友国际象棋》朱老师摄于上海

 

This pushed me to get a job sooner. But they all rejected me for the same reason – my small size and my weak appearance. Not until one month later did I find a school that was calling for half-pay volunteers. I took it immediately.

 

---"Watching Sunset", Shantou, 2009.12 | 《看日落》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

—“Watching Sunset”, Shantou, 2009.12 | 《看日落》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

 

The school was the Migrant Workers’ Children School in Shantou City. It looked like a small factory, but it had a nice cozy feel. There were seven classrooms for seven grades of students. All desks and chairs were blue plastic. All teachers were either retired or fresh graduates. At 5pm every day, we would each carry a bucket of hot water to the toilet and together stand on the squat for a quick shower. Of course, the sexes were separate.

 

---"Observing Series I", Shantou, 2009.12 | 《观察系列一》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

—“Observing Series I”, Shantou, 2009.12 | 《观察系列一》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

 

During the first week, two school buses took us to the three main areas where most of the workers lived. We gave them handouts like a communist would hold a farmer’s hands in the Mao era. There was a fascination in that, on the bus, I was reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and, off the bus, I was experiencing a meditative moment of walking into the irregularly shabby tents that were home to them. Especially the moment when a woman bent over the waste digging gold with her face covered by flies.

 

---"Observing Series II", Shantou, 2009.12 | 《观察系列二》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

—“Observing Series II”, Shantou, 2009.12 | 《观察系列二》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

 

This sight motivated me to teach more responsibly and to seek more diversities in life. I noticed that the parents smiled often and the children were happy. I found my students’ neat resonant reading voices tranquilly peaceful. I was totally drawn by these books in Chinese: The Interpretation of Dreams and The Second Sex. Meantime I focused my weekends on writing my Chinese novel – An Oasis in Wasteland.

 

---"Observing Series III", Shantou, 2009.12 | 《观察系列三》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

—“Observing Series III”, Shantou, 2009.12 | 《观察系列三》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

 

Life then was fulfilled with originality and simplicity. I had such complete satisfaction that I felt no ending was needed by my Chinese novel. It was a perfect year of teaching. The perfection nurtured me as an oasis of spirituality. I was inspired to experience more.

 

---"Observing Series IV", Shantou, 2009.12 | 《观察系列四》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

—“Observing Series IV”, Shantou, 2009.12 | 《观察系列四》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

 

Therefore I moved to Shenzhen, working in sales till I quit to write two English novels within four years. I then came to Shanghai out of curiosity and tried to sell insurance. I stumbled into the art world.

 

---"To Be Remembered", Shantou, 2009.12 | 《学生留念》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

—“To Be Remembered”, Shantou, 2009.12 | 《学生留念》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

 

However, my family claimed that I was absolutely wrong. They repeated it during my August family trip morning, noon and night. Their biting criticisms almost crushed me. I had to compromise with the idea of returning to education. Actually it felt more like the sand in my hourglass was running out and it was time to start over.

 

---"To Be Remembered", Shantou, 2009.12 | 《学生留念》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

—“To Be Remembered”, Shantou, 2009.12 | 《学生留念》摄于汕头民工子弟学校

 

Now I’m officially working for New Stage English and teaching international chess at different international schools. Because of this job, I have seen remote parts of Shanghai that I would never have visited.

 

---"I Love China", Shanghai, 2019.12.25 | 《我爱中国》摄于上海青浦世外国际幼儿园

—“I Love China”, Shanghai, 2019.12.25 | 《我爱中国》摄于上海青浦世外国际幼儿园

 

All this happened from 2009 to 2019. It is only a decade. Only a circle. How would you like to begin a new life, if you happen to be at the starting line?

 

WeChat Image_20191229104559

 

Last article 上一篇: Our Pressures | 我们的压力

About Heather Cai:

Heather Cover

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently teaching kids chess in Shanghai.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者蔡太莲所有!


Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

关注阿太的密室,订阅更多原创诗歌、散文、随笔、画画和图片

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---"Inclusion or Exclusion", Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《排斥或包容》摄于斯里兰卡

Our Pressures | 我们的压力

00

— All PPT images from Bing, | 所有PPT图片来自网络

 

What is Pecha Kucha?

Pecha Kucha, “the sound of conversation” or “chit-chat” in Japanese, is a visual presentation style with automatically changing slides for 20 seconds each. It started in Tokyo in 2003, designed by architects, Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham. In a similar way to a Haiku poem, Pecha Kucha forces the creator to creatively arrange their message within a strict form. And such creativity often produces amazing results. —(Bing)

 

什么是Pecha Kucha

Pecha Kucha 即“喋喋不休”或“闲聊”。2003年始创于日本东京,由建筑师Astrid Klein 和 Mark Dytham联合设计。它是一种快节奏的视觉呈现方式,演讲者给观众展示自动播放的幻灯片,每幅图仅有20秒的解说时间。类似俳句,Pecha Kucha迫使演讲者在严格把控的形式上创造性地去组织传递信息。这种创造力通常会产生惊人的结果。

 

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Why are we talking about something that has nothing to do with our pressures? Because pressure is something tense, but presenting it in Pecha Kucha style was fun. I did it in Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club on August 28th, 2019.
为什么我们要谈论这个Pecha Kucha与压力无关的东西?因为压力让人精神紧绷,但用Pecha Kucha的方式来解说压力就感觉有趣多了。2019年8月28日,我在上海头马演讲舞台上体验过。
1
This month (August) my family told me that chasing my writing dream is a shame and a sin. My mother cried when my father said working for art is washing the toilet. Their voices still echo in my ears, and I began to sink into the black sea of life pressure, work pressure and peer pressure.

这个月(八月份),我家人告诉我追逐写作梦想是一种耻辱和罪孽。当我父亲说创作艺术就是洗厕所时,我母亲哭了。他们的声音还在我耳边回荡,我开始沉入生活压力、工作压力和同辈压力的一片黑暗海洋。

 

2

 

Living alone in the magic city of Shanghai, with a fast-paced lifestyle, daily crowds and monthly bills, it is unavoidable to face some difficult problems. Don’t you agree? For me, I often feel time is a knife pointing at my back, and I have to struggle to survive.

独自生活在上海大魔都,每天面对超快节奏的生活方式、拥挤的人潮和每月的账单,是不是让人喘不过气来?时间就像一把刀,老顶着我的背,我必须挣扎才能生存。

 

3

 

Almost every day during my last family trip, my parents, uncles and aunts would repeat the same thing. “You will end up begging on the street if you keep writing.” Can you imagine the horror in their eyes? 

上次与家人度假期间,几乎每天,我的家人亲戚都会重复同样的事情。”如果你继续写下去,你就会落败街头乞讨。” 能想象他们眼中的恐惧吗?

 

4

 

“Everyone is getting married. Why not you?” my family asked a million times. I kept silent. They have social pressure from the folks around them. They invited several each day for lunch or dinner, and they talked about me. The more they talked, the more face my family lost, and the more peer pressure they had.

“所有人都结婚了,为什么你还没有?” 我家人问了千万遍。我沉默不语。他们要面对周围的人给他们带来的社会压力。他们每天都邀请不同的人来家里做客吃饭,而我成了他们餐桌上必聊的那道菜。他们聊的越多,我家人感觉越丢脸,所面临的同辈压力也越大。

 

5

 

A Peer Group is a social group whose members have interests, social positions, and age in common. Peer Pressure is the influence exerted by a peer group, encouraging individuals to change their attitudes, values, or behavior in order to conform to group norms. —(Bing)

同龄群体是一个有着共同年龄、兴趣和身份的社会群体。同辈压力是指同龄群体给个体施加的影响,鼓励个人改变自己的行为、态度或价值观,以符合团体规范。

 

6

 

Well, peer pressure might influence you in a number of ways, including fashion choices, alcohol and drug use, decisions to have a boyfriend or girlfriend, choice of who your friends can be, and your daily life. Which one has affected you?

其实,同辈压力可能会影响你的方方面面,包括时尚选择、酗酒、吸毒、找对象、交朋友,以及你的日常生活。哪一个影响你最深?

 

7

 

Now we know people who give in to peer pressure often become psychologically weak. How to resist then? Two ways: build a positive self-image and learn to say “NO”. Don’t follow your friends blindly. Be inspired and inspire others.
 

既然我们已经知道,屈服于同辈压力的人往往在心理上变得软弱。那怎么抵抗呢?有两种方法:树立积极的自我形象,学会说“不”。不要盲目地跟随你的朋友。激发自己,激励他人。

 

8

 

I live for writing. I enjoy traveling. I like socializing and fashion. I like being independent and curious. I like pleasing myself. I might even like the pain of giving birth to a baby. But I never like following others or copying their lives. I wonder if the more you fight, the more peer pressure you would face?

我喜欢写作、旅行、社交、时尚和独立。我喜欢新鲜事物。我喜欢取悦自己。我甚至可能喜欢生孩子的痛。但我从来不喜欢跟随别人或照搬他们的生活。我纳闷是不是人越抵抗挣扎,面临的同辈压力就越大?

 

9

 

With peer pressure or social pressure, how to balance life and work? Do you plan ahead? Do you keep a journal to reduce your stress? Do you have the courage to chase your dream job and your dream life? Or are you sacrificing your time for something you don’t really want?

面对同辈压力和社会压力,如何平衡工作与生活?你有提前计划吗?你有写日记来减压吗?你有勇气追求你的理想工作和你的理想生活吗?还是在为那些你完全不想要的牺牲你宝贵的时间?

 

10

 

If you are stressed, what would you normally do? Would you first take care of yourself? Would you be adaptable and flexible, like bamboo – bending but not breaking? Now circumstances tell me to become a teacher again, but this only makes me work harder on my dreams.

如果有压力,你通常会做什么?你会先照顾好自己吗?你会像竹子一样灵活适应吗?现在处境告诉我不得不回归教育,但这只会让我更加努力地去追求梦想。

 

11

 

Pressure is a force. If we can handle our pressures properly, we can turn them into a good force. As Yuda said, “May the force be with you!” And be yourself! Don’t change but embrace all the pressures. So the right people will like the real you.

压力是一种外在驱使的力量。如果我们能妥善面对我们的压力,我们就能把压力变成一股好的力量。就像Yuda说的,“愿你的力量与你同在!” 做你自己!不要改变!拥抱所有的压力,对的人会喜欢那个真正的你。

 

---"Inclusion or Exclusion", Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《排斥或包容》摄于斯里兰卡

—“Inclusion or Exclusion”, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《排斥或包容》摄于斯里兰卡

 

Note: To build a mutual Literature & Art community, Heather has now opened her personal channel (WeChat ID: Heather69) to her friends, who are following HeathersChamber. No cheaters!

备注由于时间和精力有限,为了建立一个互敬互惠的文学艺术圈子,阿太特向已关注此公众号的朋友们分享她的个人微信号:Heather69 。骗子勿扰!

Last article 上一篇:  How Can Art Be Healing | 艺术如何疗愈

About Heather Cai:

Heather Cover

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently teaching kids chess in Shanghai.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者蔡太莲所有!


Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

关注阿太的密室,订阅更多原创诗歌、散文、随笔、画画和图片

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Bumps | 颠簸

---Frightened, 2015.5.12 | 《害怕》

—Frightened, 2015.5.12 | 《害怕》

 

“Little shit, useless! Little shit, useless!”

My father would shout this when he beat me with a dustpan – my earliest memory. He hated me being born as a dwarf, particularly a female one. He didn’t stop beating me until one day he almost beat my mother to death.

 

---Patriarchy, 2015.5.20 | 《父权社会》

—Patriarchy, 2015.5.20 | 《父权社会》

 

Influenced by such violence in a patriarchal family, where all parents favored a boy over a girl, my brother also liked bullying me. He learned to beat me till one day he was scared when he cut my forearm deep with a scar.

 

---Scar, 2015.7.9 | 《伤痕》

—Scar, 2015.7.9 | 《伤痕》

---The Scar, 2019.10.19 | 《那道疤痕》

—The Scar, 2019.10.19 | 《那道疤痕》

 

Years of my mother staying unwell in bed gave me more chance to do farm work, housework and take care of two young sisters. And that somehow made me useful in my father’s eye.

 

---Family, 2015.5.13 | 《家庭》

—Family, 2015.5.13 | 《家庭》

 

When mother got better, I started school at ten. Things were fine till Grade Five when my Chinese teacher doubted my writing, “Have you copied this from an Essay Book?” I said no. He then left a striking red mark: Whether or not you have cribbed your article off a book, you know the best! 

 

---Vulnerability, 2015.5.12 | 《脆弱》

—Vulnerability, 2015.5.12 | 《脆弱》

---My private Shenzhen library built from a dormitory window that liked receiving wind and rain uninvited, 2013.9 | 《我的深圳私人藏书屋》

—My private Shenzhen library built from a dormitory window that liked receiving wind and rain uninvited, 2013.9 | 《我的深圳私人藏书屋》

 

The irony was that I didn’t even have a book. To prove myself, I insisted on joining a writing competition, which no one believed I should. In the end I won First Prize in the whole district. I thought that would make people look at me differently, but it didn’t. Their silence was confusing.

 

---Confusion, 2015.4.17 | 《困惑》

—Confusion, 2015.4.17 | 《困惑》

 

Nonetheless, I kept studying hard and being a good student. This didn’t change until a kidney stone that almost needed surgery in high school made me start wondering: What was the point of being good? What had good writing done for me? Why should I meet an expectation that was not mine? Why not just listen to myself?

 

---Be Wild, 2015.3.18 | 《自然野》

—Be Wild, 2015.3.18 | 《自然野》

 

Therefore I half listened to my father about becoming a teacher. But behind his back I chose Hainan Island for my college life. This was strongly against his wishes because it was too far away. For days, he didn’t sleep or eat much. At last, he gave me a thick roll of thirty-eight hundred cash and told me with red wet eyes, “This is all I have. Don’t come home until you can afford it.” 

 

---Father, 2015.4.25 | 《父亲》

—Father, 2015.4.25 | 《父亲》

 

I assured him, “Don’t worry. The school offers a five-thousand loan every year.” 

But I could never tell him that the loan was a lie. How could I?

 

---My grandfather's Medal Awarded From the Korea War, 1954 | 《爷爷的抗美援朝纪念章》

—My grandfather’s Medal Awarded From the Korea War, 1954 | 《爷爷的抗美援朝纪念章》

 

Owing half my tuition fees, I had to constantly take different part-time jobs. Yet my salary was never enough to pay off my debt. When the time came to register for the second year, the administrator refused me unless I paid off everything. Accordingly I showed him these two things: “Look, this is my grandfather’s medal awarded from the Korea War and his Military Certificate authorized by the renowned General Chen Yi. It clearly says, ‘His family get preferential treatment.’”

 

---My grandfather's Military Certificate, 1951 | 《爷爷的革命军人证明书:司令员 陈毅》

—My grandfather’s Military Certificate, 1951 | 《爷爷的革命军人证明书:司令员 陈毅》

 

“Is he still alive?” He sneered.

“No… please!” I suddenly knelt down. “My grandfather had fought many wars and sacrificed a lot. He had become crippled and deaf, and almost been killed on the battlefield. His greatest wish was to see me graduate from college.”

“Your grandpa is dead. What’s the use of all this?”

 

---Sob, 2015.7.7 | 《哭诉》

—Sob, 2015.7.7 | 《哭诉》

 

I got up slowly, pulling myself together. I began to make phone calls and borrow money. This made me sick. When I asked for a raise after three years of working for my first company, the boss killed me as a chicken to scare the monkey. And later in the second company, I found my basic salary had been underpaid for six months. What the hell made people do that to me?

 

---Mankind, 2015.5.6 | 《人》

—Mankind, 2015.5.6 | 《人》

 

Unhesitatingly I quit my full-time job to chase my writing dream. Had I not been framed by a world where the colors are drawn by child abuse, sexist bullies, social suspicions and human unkindness, would I struggle even now to tell the bumps of my life stories?

 

---A Framed Life, 2015.7.11 | 《一个被设限的生命》

—A Framed Life, 2015.7.11 | 《一个被设限的生命》

 

I’m not going to ask ‘Why me?’. Because it is not just me. It is a bunch of mes. But what bumps do you have and what impacts do they have on you?

 

---Hope, 2015.7.5 | 《希望》

—Hope, 2015.7.5 | 《希望》

 

Note: This is something that I can never feel comfortable to talk to anyone, but Toastmasters gave me courage and strength to make it a speech. You can read the original post here.

 

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---Shanghai Leadership TMC Still Drives Me Crazy, 2019.10.19 | 《上海头马依旧让我痴狂》

—Shanghai Leadership TMC Still Drives Me Crazy, 2019.10.19 | 《上海头马依旧让我痴狂》

 

Related article:Transformations

Last article 上一篇: LEADERSHIP’S GOT TALENT | LGT

 

About Heather Cai:

Heather Cover

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently living in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!


 

Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

关注阿太的密室,订阅更多原创诗歌、散文、随笔、画画和图片

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Leadership’s Got Talent | LGT

3

 

America’s Got Talent | AGT. Britain’s Got Talent| BGT. China’s got Talent | CGT. And LGT? Leadership’s Got Talent!

 

-- The Talented Singer Alvin, 2019.9.11

— The Talented Singer Alvin, 2019.9.11

 

We have talented heroes on or off the stage, sung and unsung. We have talented singers like Alvin, who no matter what wouldn’t be bribed to sing for other clubs but only Leadership, and who deserves a proper credit for my speech title LGT.

 

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— The Talented Sharing Masters, 2019.9.11

We have talented Sharing Masters who are not only talented in mastering a speech but also talented in managing a successful life. And when the masters stand in the same line receiving awards, look, what happens? They are as happy as children on Children’s Day.

 

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-- The Talented Speakers & Gossipers, 2019.8.24

— The Talented Speakers & Gossipers, 2019.8.24

 

We have talented speakers and gossipers. During the meeting, we have rules and are hatefully tied to the Four Taboos. After the meeting, we run wild free and gossip whatever we like. We even gossiped about a naked pizza. Of course, the one who mentioned it in the first place, would be forever respectfully remembered as the most talented gossiper and leader.

 

-- The Talented Gang Family, 2019.8.24

— The Talented Gang Family, 2019.8.24

We have talented leaders, members and guests, who are like a big family in this room and a gang of youths outdoors. Special warning! The talented gang members don’t attack the weak. But they do attack the media with a flag, especially their gang leader. When he played an ancient prostitute, he attacked the audiences with his talented seduction and killed them all with their own laughter.

 

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-- The Talented Players & Makers, 2019.8.25

— The Talented Players & Makers, 2019.8.25

We have talented players and makers, who are serious about making a pottery teacup and play hard in kayaking as well as getting wet. Oh, no, not just physically wet, but mentally they drown themselves in the laughing tears.

 

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-- The Talented Problem Solvers, 2019.8.24

— The Talented Problem Solvers, 2019.8.24

 

 

We have talented problem solvers. When we are lost, we take photos. When we are bored, we take selfies. When we behave like the anti-social club devils, we pose like one. And when we are grounded in a sailing boat by a tree trunk, we entertain ourselves by taking photos of us in turns. We never have a problem to smile. We are so talented in throwing ourselves in the camera frame that our two excellent outing guides Susan & Eric couldn’t but give us all the best shot.

 

-- The Talented Life Enthusiasts I, 2019.8.24

— The Talented Life Enthusiasts I, 2019.8.24

We have talented life enthusiasts, such as the colorfully and tastefully fantastic beer provider Sky, who is a selfless man keeping showing up in our club yet working and living in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province. 

 

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-- The Talented Life Enthusiasts II, 2019.8.24

— The Talented Life Enthusiasts II, 2019.8.24

 

We have talented learners, doers and foodies. We have talented jumpers. We have talented KTV singers. We have talented practitioners who love doing the splits. We have talented improvisers like Dongmei expressing her love to Eric during the Dare Game hosted by Susan. We have talented coaches including Sky, who taught me how to kayak. We have talented hoppers who were lucky enough to carry the wettest lady of the day.

 

We have talented fish catchers, arrow shooters, pole climbers, pole dancers, hidden laughers and cheeky babes.

 

-- The Talented Dancer Eva, 2019.8.24

— The Talented Dancer Eva, 2019.8.24

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-- The Talented Chef Fanghua, 2019.8.24

— The Talented Chef Fanghua, 2019.8.24

 

We have talented professional dancers and talented international chefs. Particularly Eva taught us some sexy moves and Fanghua roasted the whole lamb.

 

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-- The Talented Photographers, 2019.8.25

— The Talented Photographers, 2019.8.25

 

We have many talented photographers, who like being anonymous. They open a window for more talented people to explore a world around us and a world within us.

 

dav

 

We are the world. We are the leaders. We know Leadership’s Got Talent. LGT!

 

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— The 2019 Leadership Outing Poster by Hally Yu

-- Leadership's Acknowledgement of Susan & Eric to Youxiake Travel Agency

— Leadership’s Acknowledgement of Susan & Eric to Youxiake Travel Agency

Note: This article is mainly initiated for the 2019 Shanghai Leadership Outing event.

Last article 上一篇: Writer’s Block 创作灵感障碍

About Heather Cai:

Heather Cover

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently living in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!


 

Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

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Writer’s Block

---Dancing in the Dark, 2015.7.10 | 《在黑暗中跳舞》

—Dancing in the Dark, 2015.7.10 | 《在黑暗中跳舞》

 

Imagine your head is empty and you are facing a blank wall. What conversations can you possibly have?

 

---Fashion, 2015.5.17 |《时尚》

—Fashion, 2015.5.17 |《时尚》

 

In the first half year of 2015, my brain was erased. I couldn’t read or write. Nor could I communicate with anyone, including myself. The only word that kept scratching my skull was “curse”. You might ask, what curse? What happened?

 

---Torture, 2015.5.16 |《痛楚》

—Torture, 2015.5.16 |《痛楚》

 

It was about my younger and only brother. When we were little, we already believed that the only hope to escape from poverty was to climb out of the mountains, go to a college and work in a city. And we did. He has everything that many Chinese people long to have – a stable career as an official Shenzhen teacher, a house, a car and a lovely child. But he has a drama-queen wife, or should I say, an ex-wife? Honestly I don’t know. They got divorced a year ago and now they seem to be together again. For what? I really don’t understand their love if there is love and their marriage if there is still one. Just like I never understood how she could storm into his class, slap his face in front of his students and argue with his headmaster, just for a Taobao password? Even when they just started a relationship? And how she could call the police one morning when he couldn’t drive her to work because he himself was running late? Don’t you think that is too ridiculous?

 

---Pray, 2015.5.1 |《祈祷》

—Pray, 2015.5.1 |《祈祷》

 

Almost every goddamn time, when I heard or witnessed something, it was all like a chicken fighting against a dog with no peace. How could my brother tolerate such a ridiculous woman over and over? What exactly has he seen that is so good in her? Does he actually love her? Is love really a bitch?

 

---The Dream Police, 2015.5.3 |《理想的警察》

—The Dream Police, 2015.5.3 |《理想的警察》

 

I asked him these questions during Spring Festival of 2015 after she had smashed glasses all over the place. But he kept silent. His silence made me feel that his marriage was a curse. And the curse almost crushed me. I became depressed.

 

---Man & Science, 2015.5.4 |《人与科学》

—Man & Science, 2015.5.4 |《人与科学》

 

Worse, the following month of not being able to write a single word scared me. The fear urged me to make a move. On Feb 28th, the same year, I traveled to Sri Lanka. Like magic, when I was using the toilet in the first hotel, a strange face popped out between my feet. I took a long look. The face became more and more vivid. I couldn’t help sketching it, and made it the very first drawing of my life: The Left Eye.

 

---The Left Eye - my very first drawing, 2015.2.28 | 平生第一幅速写:《左眼》

—The Left Eye – my very first drawing, 2015.2.28 | 平生第一幅速写:《左眼》

 

 

From then on, I started seeing faces everywhere and kept sketching them for months. Here are some of them.

 

---Queue In China, 2015.5.8 |《在中国排队》

—Queue In China, 2015.5.8 |《在中国排队》

 

At this point, I still couldn’t read or write. But luckily I could speak to nature when traveling and talk to some strangers on the road. They mostly encouraged me by sharing their stories or listening to mine. And, one of them actually pointed out that I was experiencing so-called Writer’s Block.

 

---Writer's Block, 2015.4.29 |《创作灵感障碍》

—Writer’s Block, 2015.4.29 |《创作灵感障碍》

 

I started searching it online. The more information I gathered, the less fear I had. Gradually, the wall of my mind cracked. I came to understand the reason why I had this writer’s block was not only because I had depression, but also because I was ignorant of the fear. As soon as I knew what was happening to me, in July, I could read and write again. This assured me: depression is temporary, writer’s block is temporary.

 

---Half Man Half Beast, 2015.5.9 |《半人半兽》

—Half Man Half Beast, 2015.5.9 |《半人半兽》

 

But do you find it easier to talk to someone you don’t know at all than to someone you know very well? Why? Why does it feel easier to chat in a shared taxi when you are traveling together but not looking each other? Why is it more difficult to have a conversation with yourself than with strangers? Are you afraid of a new place in a distant land or more afraid of the unknown possibilities in your imagination?

 

Heather Cover

About Heather Cai:

 

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently living in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!


 

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Secret Love

--- A quartz stone I picked on the way walking from Xiadang Middle School to my home village 19 years ago. Photo taken in Shanghai, 2019.7.22

— A quartz stone I picked on the way walking from Xiadang Middle School to my home village 19 years ago. Photo taken in Shanghai, 2019.7.22

 

You and I have been younger. We were almost as unpolished as this quartz stone. Our heart was little and vulnerable. When we saw a dragonfly, it wasn’t just a dragonfly. It was the whole fascinating world around the dragonfly. And when we saw a face that fascinated us, we might dream about it every night. The charming eyes. The fluffy voice. The sweet smile. All these would melt the ice in the dark. We wouldn’t feel pain when that person punished us. We would feel the joy of some strange connection. We would admire that person’s jokes or even bullshit. When we looked into the eyes, we would blush like a mystery.

 

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--- Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

— Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

 

At thirteen, I had this tender feeling for my Grade Three primary school teacher Mr Hu. He came as a volunteer from a neighboring town to teach us in 1999. Actually, each school year, there would be one or two volunteers like Mr Hu. The school was dirt-built, black-tiled and really old. There were no blackboards or white chalk, but wooden boards and charcoal. There were no windows in the classroom, but only a square hole. And there was no place to eat, but the families in turn would provide fresh food and firewood for the teachers.

 

--- Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

— Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

 

However, the playground was paradise. We would often skip and play the Chicks and Eagle game. Sometimes Mr Hu would play the Eagle. It was then I discovered that he was not as bookish as I had thought. His usually slow movements could be sharp, his usually toneless voice could be wild, his usually shy smile could be bold, and his usually calm eyes could be sparkling. Such a contrast just ignited my curiosity and attracted me like a magnet. When he caught me as the Chick and grabbed my arms with excitement, I couldn’t move or talk. My heart was racing, my face burning, and my eyes were afraid to meet his. When he let go of my arms, I wished he could hold me for longer. His existence had possessed my whole attention, and class time was not long enough to appreciate him.

 

--- Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

— Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

 

One noon, after school, I couldn’t help but stay longer to watch him cooking through the square hole that gave a view of the kitchen. He was clumsily peeling a potato. I laughed. Those smooth fingers were probably more suitable for holding books. By the time I had to leave, it felt the more I saw him the more impossible for me not to see him.  

 

--- Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

— Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

 

Until one afternoon in the middle of the second term, something new happened. A pig squealed like hell during our break. It was dragged along the playground by a mother and a daughter. The daughter Miao had the most beautiful smile in our class. When she smiled, her eyes smiled too. And that afternoon, her laughter resounded through the Fungshui forest beside our school with the screams of the pig. Everyone was laughing, except me. I was staring at Mr Hu. He was smiling and sometimes laughing too. His hand was holding his chin, his face was blushing, and his eyes were gazing at Miao with the same admiration as when I secretly watched him peeling potatoes. That moment, my world turned blue. I didn’t know there was such a word “jealousy”, but I envied Miao. From then on, although I frequently raised my hand in class, Mr Hu would still call Miao. Gradually I lost courage, and cried at night.

 

--- Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

— Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 斯里兰卡·锡吉里耶

 

The pain accumulated till the end of the school year. On the morning when he said goodbye, he slowly crossed a stone bridge. When all the classmates had left, he turned his head with a smile that broke my heart, waving his hand for me to go home. I smiled back, one hand covering my mouth and the other waving goodbye. He moved on and never looked back. I watched him disappear into the distance. Tears flooded my face. I knew I might never see him again.

 

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Was it secret love? What was the most nostalgic story from your school life? Have you ever had hopeless love for someone even if you knew that person would never love you back? What if you could meet your secret love again?

 

--- Spring Picnic in Grade Three primary school (1999). Total sixteen students, six from a nearby village. My young brother and I were in the same class till Grade Two in middle school. And I did meet Mr Hu again when I graduated from high school in 2006. That was anoher story.

— Spring Picnic in Grade Three primary school (1999). Total sixteen students, six from a nearby village. My young brother and I were in the same class till Grade Two in middle school. And I did meet Mr Hu again when I graduated from high school in 2006. That was anoher story.

 

About Heather Cai:

 

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently living in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!


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Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club Drives Me Crazy

--- My home village, Fujian, 2015.12 | 家乡福建

— My home village, Fujian, 2015.12 | 家乡福建

 

When I was little, the only time the parents could talk to their children was when they returned home from the rice fields. But at the table, we were not allowed to talk. And away from the table, the parents would be busy farming. They slept early and got up very early. All the year round, there was always something to occupy their hands and their minds. Therefore, we hardly had a conversation. Our home dialect was mostly built around a very basic daily life. And our emotional dialogue was through eyes or in silence, not words. Still I can only speak half the language, and cannot communicate well with my family. So you know I was never much of a talker.

 

--- My auntie's dishes in my home village, 2015.12 | 老家婶婶的拿手菜

— My auntie’s dishes in my home village, 2015.12 | 老家婶婶的拿手菜

 

Luckily I could play with words in my diaries and talk to my imaginary friends. But this didn’t help me build communication skills with real people in real situations. There would always be a barrier or a gap. Even four or five years ago, an English friend told me on the street, “Hey! I can’t hear you if you talk with your back to me.”

 

--- My home village, Fujian, 2015.12 | 家乡福建

— My home village, Fujian, 2015.12 | 家乡福建

 

I know it was a sign of my inferiority. My weakness. Until tonight, I’m going to share with you how SH Leadership TMC has made me confident and drives me crazy. It’s the people, the people and the people.

 

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— My very first time in Shanghai Leadership TMC, 2018.8 | 首次接触上海头马

 

Most of my life I was discouraged from speaking – like one interviewer who interrupted my self-introduction, saying that I was too short to be a teacher. But when I first stood on this stage, it wasn’t that scary. In fact, I felt welcomed to be recognized with nice people, including that night’s Sharing Master Steve.

 

--- My very first time on the stage, 2018.8 | 首次站上海头马演讲台上

— My very first time on the stage, 2018.8 | 首次站上海头马演讲台上

 

After joining several times, I observed that there are many great people in this club. Not only speakers and leaders but also guests. I decided to become a member so that I would have more chances to learn. My positive-change intention then was just to make one proper speech, as simple as that. And I did my icebreaker speech Transformations. It was poetic as the most handsome president Brian evaluated, but it was disconnected from the audiences as I made no eye contact at all. This was assured by Michelle Wu, who evaluated my second speech Aftertaste and told me, “Novel language is all about liberating the soul of the author, while public speaking is about making an instant connection with different souls.”

 

--- The evaluator, Brian Pippard, Shanghai, 2019.1 | 点评人Brian Pippard

— The evaluator, Brian Pippard, Shanghai, 2019.1 | 点评人Brian Pippard

--- The evaluator, Michelle Wu, Shanghai, 2019.2 | 点评人Michelle Wu

— The evaluator, Michelle Wu, Shanghai, 2019.2 | 点评人Michelle Wu

 

That was really useful to me, and I took all the feedback seriously. As Suhail once suggested, “Your speech is too much like a speech. Your mind is framed by the concept of speech. You should jump out of the box, and talk to the audience instead of yourself.”

 

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--- My home village, Fujian, 2015.12 | 家乡福建

— My home village, Fujian, 2015.12 | 家乡福建

 

Believe me, it was hard. But I tried hard too. And what Alvin emphasized about the purpose of a speech opened a window for me. I had only grasped half the meaning of a speech. What is speech? Speech is the communication or expression of thoughts and ideas in spoken words. I knew expressing my feelings on the stage is just like talking to my imaginary friends in a diary. But how about communicating ideas or interacting with you?

 

--- My home village, Fujian, 2015.12 | 家乡福建

— My home village, Fujian, 2015.12 | 家乡福建

 

This is something I wanted to learn. And later, I understood that it’s not just about a speech, not just about me. It’s about me becoming one of you, one of us. We are not only guests in this room or members of this community, but also real people who would influence or empower the others. I never thought I would connect with you in this way. But you know what? This enthusiasm or motivation of mine is not originally mine. It is yours. You make me crazy. Thank you to all the leaders of this club, and to all of you lovely people. Thank you all for driving me crazy.

 

About Heather Cai:

 

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently living in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!


Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

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When You Are Hit by a Car, and You Are Fine

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

If you are hit by a car, then normally you would not be fine, but would know what to do, right? However, if you are hit by a car, and you are fine, what would you do?

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

This question might confuse everybody. Let me tell you a fresh story, my story.

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

One ordinary morning in April this year, I was hit by a car. It happened at a pedestrian crossing with no traffic lights in Jiangsu Road. I’ve crossed this two-way road for nearly five-hundred days since I moved to Shanghai. It was during the week but after the peak. And the traffic was not busy. As usual, I was enjoying some music with earphones plugged in and following a guy in the front. It was just another morning on my way to work.

 

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Then, all of a sudden, a car just missed the guy and drove straight at me. Scared, I slightly turned away and raised my right hand sending out a signal: “Stop!” But the driver didn’t stop. It first hit my right hip and made me lose balance. I fell towards the car. My right arm was pressing on the hood and my left hand holding my phone tight in the air. The speed was not enough to make me fly, but fast enough to lift me up. My feet were dragged along till the end of the zebra line. Finally, the car stopped. I fell onto the ground and rolled once. It happened too fast. But my subconscious was in slow motion, almost like a dream. There were no sounds, no colors, no pain, nothing. I couldn’t remember how I got up. The moment I started hearing sounds and seeing colors, I found my phone was missing. It took me several minutes to find it behind one of the front wheels. When I found my white earphones were stained black, I began to feel angry. All the while, the driver wearing glasses, remained in his comfortable seat. Thinking about this and realizing that I was supposed to be in a hurry, I couldn’t help shouting at the nerdy driver.

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

“I was walking right after the guy. How could you just drive straight at me?”

 

“Sorry, I didn’t see you.” He didn’t even look at me. Or was he ashamed to look at me?

 

“Are you blind?”

 

“Sorry…” He said indifferently. I became more angry.

 

“Bullshit! You hit me!”

 

“Sorry…” He repeated it, throwing me a glance with the same indifference.

 

“Aren’t you going to say something?” My anger almost exploded.

 

“Sorry…” He turned into a stone, and the car horns were blowing behind him.

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

I was too shocked to think further and too speechless to stay longer. In the end, I gave him a middle finger and left.

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

By the time I entered the metro station, my mind spun. How could I forget to take a picture of his car number? Idiot! I should report him. But what would I do if I did? Would I like to deal with the police? Would it be worth reporting him?

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

All day long, I was looped by questions. I didn’t feel any pain until the water ran over my body in a shower. There were bruises on my knees, my palms and my hip. And my left little finger couldn’t move. But this didn’t worry me. I actually laughed. Because my family’s newest superstition says that my luck would turn in 2019.   

 

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— Datong Yungang Grotto, Shanxi, 2016.8 | 山西大同云冈石窟

 

Now, two months have passed. The only thing that still bothers me is my little finger. I often play with it, in a way like one long-bearded philosopher would touch his beard. And meantime I would wonder: If you were me, what would you do? Would you report him right there? Or would you walk away feeling shocked and lucky?

 

About the Author:

 

Heather in Sri Lanka, Mar 2015.

Heather in Sri Lanka, Mar 2015.

 

Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently living in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

 


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Reflections on a WeChat Moment

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The Wechat Moment | Crow’s Solo Exhibition in Shanghai M50 Art Zone, 2019.4.22

 

WeChat Image_20190703105238

Me & Crow | Photograph: Shan He, 2019.4.22

 

This speech, inspired by a WeChat Moment I posted recently. Here it is. What do you see? And what do you think of this Moment? Particularly this photo – me & Crow standing on the black feathers in front of his paintings that I like. Doesn’t it look normal to you? Yeah, pretty much. Right?

 

WeChat Image_20190703105254

Exhibition Poster, courtesy ART OF CROW

 

But to my family, it is not normal at all. The instant my mum saw this post in the morning she sent me tons of voice messages. “Don’t take a picture with a guy that ‘big’.” “Don’t share in public any man who is not your boyfriend.” “Don’t let a foreigner take advantage of your body.” “Don’t smile like you are having an affair with him.”

 

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Crow’s Solo Exhibition, 2019.4.22

 

Oh, isn’t my mum lovely? I adored her sense of humour. She is illiterate, she can only read pictures. If you were me hearing that, how would you react? If it was your mum telling you that, what would you say? Would you think it is absurd? Would you feel it is funny? 

I did.

 

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Crow’s Solo Exhibition, 2019.4.22

 

But… but when my old sister called me in the evening and said the same thing, I was shocked. She is half illiterate, as she didn’t have a chance to finish primary school. Undoubtedly she cannot read any English. Imagine her mood when she was asking me these questions – “Why did you take a picture with a guy that old?” “How could you post such a Moment?” “Don’t you think it’s too ugly to be graceful?” “Isn’t it bad for you to find a good husband?” “Do you know the others might take him as your real boyfriend?”

 

What? Wait, wait, wait…

 

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Crow’s Solo Exhibition, 2019.4.22

 

All of a sudden, I realized how much I’ve embarrassed my family and what they were worrying about was true. Probably having lived in a big city for a long time, I almost forgot what happened in a tiny village. Who would have thought the small thing in a remote corner can affect your current life in a busy center? Especially a surprising rumor that I didn’t give a damn about?

 

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Crow’s Solo Exhibition, 2019.4.22

 

In December 2013, I returned to my home village with my English editor Mike. He wanted to see where I grew up and was keen on taking his children to visit some dying villages on the edge of China. Before they came in the summer of 2014, I took Mike to my birthplace – the first man ever. 

 

捕获

The smoking house, my home in Fujian Province, 2014.8

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Mike, Kat, Chris & Craig in my home village, Fujian, 2014.8

 

If later no one had spread the rumor that Mike was my boyfriend, with my ignorance and innocence, I could have never understood the fact that when a girl brings a man back to the village, the man must be her husband-to-be. And if my family didn’t remind me of such a fact behind the rumor, I probably wouldn’t be talking about this shit right now. It feels like a shame that was filmed for someone from an alien planet yet my family have been bearing it for me in silence.

 

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Details, courtesy ART OF CROW

 

Strangely, wherever I go, that part of my world with those who live under the sky as big as the mouth of a well, never stops haunting me at night.

 

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Details, courtesy ART OF CROW

 

And the strangest thing is, now I seem to be consciously aware of not taking a picture with a guy who is not my boyfriend. Can you believe that? I can’t even believe myself. A WeChat Moment begins to miraculously influence a rebellious leftover woman. Is it the power of something almost skeptical or my love for my family? Frankly, I don’t know.

 

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Photograph: courtesy Shan He, 2019.4.22

 

Do your family tell you what you should do and what you shouldn’t? Have they criticized anything about your lifestyle? Or are you free to do anything?

 


 

 – Art of Crow –

捕获

Artistic credo: “You can also paint a song”

 

Crow is a  German painter, rock musician, and performance artist. His paintings and installations are as energetic and passionate as his rock songs, inspired by the natural elements earth, air, fire, and water, and by a wild and free spirit.As the founder, vocalist and songwriter of the Heavy Metal band Medusa`s Child (1999-present), Crow toured through Europe and Asia, and his artwork was exhibited in China, Japan, Switzerland, Finland, Germany, and the USA. Alternating between microphone and brush, Crow follows his artistic credo – “You can also paint a song.“

 


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现代人 The Modern People

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—听老家村里唯一一位活了将近百岁的裹脚老奶奶“唠叨” (照片拍摄:Mike, 福建槽坑村,2014.8 | Fujian) A nearly 100-year-old and the only woman Yu with bound-feet in my home village.

 

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—西方周游过世界的Mike 与东方从未离过村的裹脚老奶奶之间的对话。 (照片拍摄:Heather, 福建槽坑村,2014.8 | Fujian) A conversation between the western Mike, who has travelled all over the world, and the eastern Yu, who has never left the village.

 

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—一双裹脚鞋,摄于美国作家Amanda的深圳公寓,2014 | Writer Amanda’s, Shenzhen

 

请问谁没有听过老一輩的人說,我們那個年代有多苦多苦,現在的人應該懂得知足?

 

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—摄于福建寿宁,2014.8 | Shouning Town, Fujian Province

 

時代在突飞猛进,为什么还没有一项科技可以完全消除人类的烦恼呢?

 

捕获

—摄于广东深圳,2014.11 | Shenzhen, Guangdong

 

物欲持续横流,钢筋水泥下人心不乏孤独,请问现在的人都在焦虑什么呢?有人会忧国忧民吗?有人感到怀才不遇吗?有人买不到好房好车吗?有人找不到真爱吗?有人认为工作压力太大工作收入太少吗?有人害怕世界末日资源能源快要耗竭吗?有人怀疑社会不公平生活毫无乐趣吗?有人觉得自己太少受关注吗?有人叹息这人生没有目标没有成就感吗?

 

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—摄于福建寿宁,2014.8 | Shouning Town, Fujian Province

 

既然人类如此焦虑,那我们跟上时代的步伐了吗?还是跟着时代的机器一个轮子一个齿子的滚着?那我们还算是现代人吗?

 

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—摄于福建老家,2013.12 | My home village, Fujian Province

 

维基百科生物学上有提到,現代人類是在約20萬年前的東非大裂谷演化成形的。我很好奇,这20万年到底积淀了人类多少的智慧与烦恼呢?我也很好奇,这20万年过去了,现代人是不是比古代人更聪明呢?请问有谁能够认为自己是铁铮铮的现代人呢?有谁能够站出来称自己是现代社会主义的接班人呢?又有谁能够考虑人类的生存条件而当一名真正的现代人呢?

 

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—摄于广东深圳荔枝公园,2014.6 | Litchi Park, Shenzhen

 

半年前,带着这些令人抓狂的问题,我写下了这一篇日记:
彼时的我在生命的长河正顺流醉入声势磅礴的瀑布之中。这纵然一跃是蜕变,也是解开一个千缠百绕的扭结。那扭结缠绕的松紧是人和环境的摩擦与交融。因为一次偶然的机缘,加入大都会后,更觉得环境是自己的血肉之躯,而人就是多巴胺。

 

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—摄于福建老家房顶,2013.12 | The rooftop of my home dirt house, Fujian Province

 

在上海一个缘故也没有,却决然选择做保险,就是想要在不可能中创造一种可能!
好比如当初笃定自己一个人死了就死了,不可能会有“杂念”。但自从落地这个大魔都后,发现越是迷恋一座城市,越是向往一种新生活,对求生的欲望就越强,从而危机感便油然而生, 成为了可能。
正是如此,我开始领悟从不可能到可能只要一个想法或观念的转变,开始反思自己过去对保险的无视,开始追问为什么国人都不大爱投保,开始明白为什么国家近年重视保险教育了,也开始相信保险其实能解决社会很多问题。想想,要是人人都有了保障,这个社会不就更安定更和谐了吗?有了保障,还会焦头烂额可怜兮兮的搞轻松筹吗?有了保障,还会怕一个人病塌一个家吗?有了保障,还担心要是顶梁柱倒下了剩下家人该怎么办吗?有了保障,面对风险还会手足无措吗?

 

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—摄于广东深圳荔枝公园,2014.6 | Litchi Park, Shenzhen

 

我很喜欢这份工作!它不仅充满爱与责任,让我学到很多东西,认识很多有趣的人,还能在极限中挑战和突破自己,做一些不喜欢做的事情却可以带来意外的惊喜。

 

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—摄于福建老家,2013.12 | Inside my home dirt house in Caokeng Village, Fujian Province

 

假如参加活动是一艘帆船要启航了,那认识人就是乘风破浪。这是一次冒险的旅行。旅行的目的就是大胆地传播爱,传播福音,传播正能量。请记住,船长不是倭寇,也不是加勒比海盗,而是一个敬畏生命、连只蚂蚁都舍不得踩的小女人。她的名字叫蔡太莲!

 

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—摄于福建老家,2013.12 | My home village, Fujian Province

 

很坦诚的说,历经一个蜕变的过程犹如在一个黑暗的瓶颈里奋力求生。此时此刻,我特别感谢并珍惜跟我见面的人!

 

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—福建老家:最左边那栋土房,2013.12 | My home – the left house, Fujian Province

 

记得胡适先生有说过:“保险的意义只是今天做明天的准备;生时做死时的准备;父母做儿女的准备;儿女幼时做儿女长大的准备。今天预备明天,这是真稳健;生时预备死时,这是真豁达;父母预备儿女,这是真慈爱。能做到这三步的人,才能算作是现代人。”

 

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—摄于广东深圳荔枝公园,2014.6 | Litchi Park, Shenzhen

 

敢问我们究竟有多少人堪称自己是“现代人”呢?

 

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