A Normal Conversation

Nanjing’s Bullet Train Station, May 15, 2013

Life always has its own way of sorting you out. For a rather non-artistic person as myself who used to think of a horse yet painted out what my friends refer to as “some kind of carrot or sweet potato”, of all the people on earth I had to meet my Lingnan master at an art exhibition and has followed him ever since. One could consider this a new journey in life where the 50% passive Chinese blood suddenly seems to take over. The more I learn about ancient Chinese history, culture, and arts, the more I feel belonging to this glorious land of ancient civilization. The most startling thing, however, as I travel across the homeland of my beloved mother, is the feeling of being left out, like an outsider standing on the roadside watching millions of people rush by, not one sharing any interest in my passion and love for this country’s history, culture and arts. Conversations are built around brands, wealth, oportunities, and relationships, the kind that could take you somewhere in your fight for a better material life. Stuff like calligraphy, Chinese arts, history and culture get you nowhere, thus putting people off just by mentioning the topics. Though the passion only gets stronger every day, I almost give up my hope on sharing my interests with a China friend in my so-called a normal conversation…. After all, I know I am abnormal in the land of money and power.

Taking the bullet train from Nanjing to Hangzhou today, I get to spend more time chatting with Morrison who keeps me accompanied as we go from one province to another in search for business partners. Why a Chinese calls himself Morrison I really have no idea, but after coming across names such as Ferrari, Porsch, or Minnie, Morrison does not sound too bad. As the conversation matures, I get all emotional learning that Morrison carries a deep knowledge about Chinese ancient history and culture being a young chap. According to him, ancient knowledge is slowing finding its way back amongst the younger generation in China. Though what he shares need to be further verified, it is to me the best news ever for China. It is probably time for this country to start travelling back to the past in search for their hearts and souls and build a moral foundation for the country’s future.

“To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order; we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.” ― Confucius

It suddenly turns chilly and foggy today with scattered rain as we board the train, but the sun for once rises in my heart….


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#calligraphy #nanjing #culture #china #perspective #arts #life

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