Monday, January 3, 2011

Painting Names

Da Jie knew that any day now, her mother would give birth to a baby and this was a thought that filled her with Exceeding Joy. To have a sibling, fourteen years younger and most assuredly a girl, would be the one movement in the universe that would finally put right all that had so far gone wrong in Big Sister’s short teen life.

She practiced writing her soon to arrive  little sister’s name every night. She used reams of paper perfecting the the way the letters would lay above and below the line. With each stroke  her bond to this baby became as close as ink stained on paper.

Da Jie is now an old woman and the hoped for baby sister turned out to be a boy.  But this brother became like a son to her. She would later say that his birth saved her life. After he was born, she had purpose and a place to go.   She carried him around on her hip until he could run and he slept tucked under her arm until she went  to university.  

“So it is fitting”,Big Sister thought to herself, “That tonight I am again practicing calligraphy, trying out names that have yet to be spoken for a boy yet to be born.”

 This boy is the son of Da Jie’s little  brother.   He will arrive in the world at any hour now and she will never be the same. He, like his sister, will  bring exceeding joy to their old Gu Ma.  The name she practiced over and over was  Exceeding  Heaven.

~I am waiting in Shang Hai for news from Hong Kong and will fly with my reams of paper as soon as I am called.  The Vegetable Cleaning Brush purchased in Hang Zhou on New Year's eve, worked  perfectly.  A new modern kind of calligraphy! 


  1. Moved beyond words by the story and the image.

  2. Exceeding Heaven- I love it. Hours are turning into days, but we are hoping soon... Cannot wait to see our Da Jie. xx

  3. Utterly superb and perfectly perfect. The lighting moves me so.

  4. Love you :)
    What news are you waiting for? Did I miss something?
    This picture is divine. Imagine being able to see it in real life!!
    Congratulations on the new store.... lucky people in China! xx


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