Today I wandered the main street of Hurstville, Sydney. In a few days it is Chinese New Year, so the usually car dense street was closed at either ends, and today it swarmed instead of people and stalls.
One stall was handing out thin, red napkin sized squares of rice paper speckled with gold flecks with the Chinese character for “blessing” brushed on it in black ink. It was beautiful. Strangely, I had fallen in love with the paper the day before. Working at a local printing service, I had guillotined the paper for the stall. The large sheets it came in were cumbersome to cut down and they left my palms stained with dye and the floor littered with gold (not that I minded) but I still thought it was gorgeous – so because the customer who dropped it off explained that it would be at a Hurstville stall – I sought them out. Now I had my own piece to keep!
But the word.. . I suppose it looked – oriental? But I could not read it. It meant nothing. That is, until the girl who handed it to me began to explain it.
The character means “blessing” and though one word, it is made up of four.
In the top right corner are the Chinese characters for “one” and “mouth” – and in the bottom right corner is the character for “rice field” – in other words, food. This, the girl explained, represented how being able to eat was a blessing. But without the character in the left hand side, the word blessing wasn’t entire. It wasn’t really a blessing.
So what did the character on the left mean? What made a blessing entire? God.
And in a few short seconds meaningless strokes on a paper became something much more…
This post is, I guess, uncharacteristic of what I’ve blogged so far. It is more personal, and unrelated to my art. But I think I’ll do more of this in the future. It will still be about my art, but also my other creative pursuits, and life – if I think something is blog worthy. Because right now, my blog is not really the kind of blog that interests even myself to read!
So consider this my (Chinese) New Year’s Resolution! This blog is will change. 🙂