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!


 

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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Secret Love In Sketches|速写暗恋

WeChat Image_20190822121812

Photo Credit: MOOOOE Studio

Photo Credit: MOOOOE Studio

 

Sometimes, the inner drive is like the magic of the stage. My brain bloated badly. Once I returned to Shanghai from a family trip, I longed to take part in a sketch activity. It opened up slowly around the Secret Love, and felt like emptying yourself.

有时,内心的驱使如舞台的魔力。脑胀的厉害,一回上海便赶脚参加了一次围绕暗恋慢慢敞开的速写活动,放空自我。

 

WeChat Image_20190822121851WeChat Image_20190822114757WeChat Image_20190822121841
Drawing by Inja, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Inja, 2019.8.17

 

An old story began.

在此,也特别分享一段遥远的故事。

 

WeChat Image_20190822114801

Drawing by Kaka, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Kaka, 2019.8.17

 

My Grade Three primary school teacher Mr Hu was a fresh meat from a neighbouring town. He came as a volunteer to teach us in 1999. No one knew I was precocious. After all, it was only the third grade of primary school! But when it came to the end of the school year, Mr Hu had to leave. I cried.

小学三年级的班主任是从县城来到我们草坑村支教的小鲜肉。没有人晓得我比较早熟。毕竟才小学三年级! 但是小学三年级期末结束后,那位老师要离开了。我哭了。

 

Drawing by Charles Tsunashima, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Charles Tsunashima, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Nianci, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Nianci, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Yantong, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Yantong, 2019.8.17

 

On the morning when he said goodbye, he slowly crossed a stone bridge. I just stared at his back. Tears flooded my face.

离开的那一天,他缓缓走过老家的一座石桥,挥手向我告白,我两眼直直的望着他,挥一挥右手,微微颤抖。两行眼泪止不住的掉落。

WeChat Image_20190822145310

WeChat Image_20190822145349

Drawing by Jonghan Kim, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Jonghan Kim, 2019.8.17

 

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.

他回头一笑,示意我该回家了,因为别的同学都走光了。

 

WeChat Image_20190822150602

Drawing by Maria Amelia Odetti, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Maria Amelia Odetti, 2019.8.17

 

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.

我也笑了,捂着嘴,没说什么,继续望着他的背影,直至消失不见。

 

WeChat Image_20190822121827

Drawing by Daryl Star Bates, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Daryl Star Bates, 2019.8.17

 

I didn’t know what secret love was, but it was the feeling of not willing to give up and not willing to accept. I knew I might never see him again.

当时不懂什么叫暗恋,但就是那种不舍和无法割舍的感觉,明白那张迷人的脸可能再也没机会看到了。

 

Drawing by Anna, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Anna, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Heather Cai, 2019.8.17

Drawing by Heather Cai, 2019.8.17

 

Now, it feels funny. Who can fathom the poetic picture between man and woman?

现在想想,觉得挺好笑。人与人之间的诗情画意,谁能捉摸透呢?

 

Photo of Daryl sketching, credit: Heather Cai, 2019.8.17

Photo of Daryl sketching, credit: Heather Cai, 2019.8.17

 

Click here to enjoy the complete story of Secret Love.

 

MOOOOE Studio hosts Life Drawing on Saturdays, organized by Inja.

Time: 3-6pm     Add: 2F, Building 20A, 2577Longhua Rd, Shanghai.

 

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!

 

 

捕获

 

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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Drawing#70: Cry

 

 

Cry

“I’m worth more dead than alive.

Don’t cry for me after I’m gone;

cry for me now.

–  Marlene Dietrich-

 


From now on, I’ll post my drawings weekly, or maybe twice a week. To share the below auto-biographic stories, I’ll keep being creative, transforming my thoughts into words and images.

I started school when I was ten. In primary school, there was no lessons other than Maths and Chinese. The rest were merely reading on your own and doing homework. So basically, I had to skip the rest of the classes to do housework or farmwork. And the teacher used charcoal to write on the wooden board. Not to mention that I never owned any proper paper. One evening after dinner, I invited my best playmate to visit my room. We sat up on the bed face to face, looking into each other. Then we came up with an idea to draw each other’s face. So we used the back page of my Chinese and Math books, which were blank and white. In the end, we looked again and again at the drawings, laughing with pride. Too bad, soon the pictures faded away naturally. Now the drawn face has become vague, but the memory of my very first drawing with a pencil is still vivid. Continue reading

Drawing#69: Hatred

 

Hatred

“Years of love have been forgot

In the hatred of a minute.

–  Edgar Allan Poe –

“IT IS BETTER TO BE HATED FOR WHAT YOU ARE THAN

TO BE LOVED FOR WHAT YOU ARE NOT.”

 


From now on, I’ll post my drawings weekly, or maybe twice a week. To share the below auto-biographic stories, I’ll keep being creative, transforming my thoughts into words and images.

I started school when I was ten. In primary school, there was no lessons other than Maths and Chinese. The rest were merely reading on your own and doing homework. So basically, I had to skip the rest of the classes to do housework or farmwork. And the teacher used charcoal to write on the wooden board. Not to mention that I never owned any proper paper. One evening after dinner, I invited my best playmate to visit my room. We sat up on the bed face to face, looking into each other. Then we came up with an idea to draw each other’s face. So we used the back page of my Chinese and Math books, which were blank and white. In the end, we looked again and again at the drawings, laughing with pride. Too bad, soon the pictures faded away naturally. Now the drawn face has become vague, but the memory of my very first drawing with a pencil is still vivid. Continue reading

Drawing#68: Singer

 

“The best advice I can give a young aspiring singer is not to become an old aspiring singer.

– – Renata Scotto

“There are a lot of aspiring singers who are not to be paid attention to because they don’t look like a fashion model.

– – Linda Ronstadt

 


From now on, I’ll post my drawings weekly, or maybe twice a week. To share the below auto-biographic stories, I’ll keep being creative, transforming my thoughts into words and images.

I started school when I was ten. In primary school, there was no lessons other than Maths and Chinese. The rest were merely reading on your own and doing homework. So basically, I had to skip the rest of the classes to do housework or farmwork. And the teacher used charcoal to write on the wooden board. Not to mention that I never owned any proper paper. One evening after dinner, I invited my best playmate to visit my room. We sat up on the bed face to face, looking into each other. Then we came up with an idea to draw each other’s face. So we used the back page of my Chinese and Math books, which were blank and white. In the end, we looked again and again at the drawings, laughing with pride. Too bad, soon the pictures faded away naturally. Now the drawn face has become vague, but the memory of my very first drawing with a pencil is still vivid. Continue reading

Drawing#67: Butterfly

 

Butterfly

“The fluttering of a butterfly’s wings can effect climate changes on the other side of the planet.

– – Paul Erlich

“I would like to think that the singer is the butterfly, and the drummer was just the little grub in the ground, working to become a caterpillar.

– – Robert Wyatt

 


From now on, I’ll post my drawings weekly, or maybe twice a week. To share the below auto-biographic stories, I’ll keep being creative, transforming my thoughts into words and images.

I started school when I was ten. In primary school, there was no lessons other than Maths and Chinese. The rest were merely reading on your own and doing homework. So basically, I had to skip the rest of the classes to do housework or farmwork. And the teacher used charcoal to write on the wooden board. Not to mention that I never owned any proper paper. One evening after dinner, I invited my best playmate to visit my room. We sat up on the bed face to face, looking into each other. Then we came up with an idea to draw each other’s face. So we used the back page of my Chinese and Math books, which were blank and white. In the end, we looked again and again at the drawings, laughing with pride. Too bad, soon the pictures faded away naturally. Now the drawn face has become vague, but the memory of my very first drawing with a pencil is still vivid. Continue reading

Drawing#66: Stranger

 

Stranger

“From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents – Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.

– – Jane Austen

 


From now on, I’ll post my drawings weekly, or maybe twice a week. To share the below auto-biographic stories, I’ll keep being creative, transforming my thoughts into words and images.

I started school when I was ten. In primary school, there was no lessons other than Maths and Chinese. The rest were merely reading on your own and doing homework. So basically, I had to skip the rest of the classes to do housework or farmwork. And the teacher used charcoal to write on the wooden board. Not to mention that I never owned any proper paper. One evening after dinner, I invited my best playmate to visit my room. We sat up on the bed face to face, looking into each other. Then we came up with an idea to draw each other’s face. So we used the back page of my Chinese and Math books, which were blank and white. In the end, we looked again and again at the drawings, laughing with pride. Too bad, soon the pictures faded away naturally. Now the drawn face has become vague, but the memory of my very first drawing with a pencil is still vivid. Continue reading

Drawing#65: Freedom

 

Freedom

Freedom

“FREEDOM IS

WHAT YOU DO

WITH WHAT’S

BEEN DONE TO

YOU.

– – Jean-Paul Sarte (French Philosopher,1905-1980)

 


From now on, I’ll post my drawings weekly, or maybe twice a week. To share the below auto-biographic stories, I’ll keep being creative, transforming my thoughts into words and images.

I started school when I was ten. In primary school, there was no lessons other than Maths and Chinese. The rest were merely reading on your own and doing homework. So basically, I had to skip the rest of the classes to do housework or farmwork. And the teacher used charcoal to write on the wooden board. Not to mention that I never owned any proper paper. One evening after dinner, I invited my best playmate to visit my room. We sat up on the bed face to face, looking into each other. Then we came up with an idea to draw each other’s face. So we used the back page of my Chinese and Math books, which were blank and white. In the end, we looked again and again at the drawings, laughing with pride. Too bad, soon the pictures faded away naturally. Now the drawn face has become vague, but the memory of my very first drawing with a pencil is still vivid. Continue reading

Drawing#64: Incarnation

 

Incarnation

“When writers die they become books,

which is, after all,

not too bad an incarnation.

– – Jorge Luis Borges

 


From now on, I’ll post my drawings weekly, or maybe twice a week. To share the below auto-biographic stories, I’ll keep being creative, transforming my thoughts into words and images.

I started school when I was ten. In primary school, there was no lessons other than Maths and Chinese. The rest were merely reading on your own and doing homework. So basically, I had to skip the rest of the classes to do housework or farmwork. And the teacher used charcoal to write on the wooden board. Not to mention that I never owned any proper paper. One evening after dinner, I invited my best playmate to visit my room. We sat up on the bed face to face, looking into each other. Then we came up with an idea to draw each other’s face. So we used the back page of my Chinese and Math books, which were blank and white. In the end, we looked again and again at the drawings, laughing with pride. Too bad, soon the pictures faded away naturally. Now the drawn face has become vague, but the memory of my very first drawing with a pencil is still vivid. Continue reading

Drawing#63: Dying

 

Dying

“I’D RATHER BE DEAD THAN DYING.

– – STEPHEN EVANS

 


From now on, I’ll post my drawings weekly, or maybe twice a week. To share the below auto-biographic stories, I’ll keep being creative, transforming my thoughts into words and images.

I started school when I was ten. In primary school, there was no lessons other than Maths and Chinese. The rest were merely reading on your own and doing homework. So basically, I had to skip the rest of the classes to do housework or farmwork. And the teacher used charcoal to write on the wooden board. Not to mention that I never owned any proper paper. One evening after dinner, I invited my best playmate to visit my room. We sat up on the bed face to face, looking into each other. Then we came up with an idea to draw each other’s face. So we used the back page of my Chinese and Math books, which were blank and white. In the end, we looked again and again at the drawings, laughing with pride. Too bad, soon the pictures faded away naturally. Now the drawn face has become vague, but the memory of my very first drawing with a pencil is still vivid. Continue reading