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a painting of a curtain...|
Reading KristaChen’s thread “My Happiness” is stirring up something in me. I can’t help thinking of my mother and the fond memories in my childhood are rushing into my head.
Those things seem too small to be significant. However, they stick in the back of my head all the time, shaping my thinking, sharpening my eyes. Here is one of many.
When I was sitting on a sofa, skimming through a magazine in the living room, my mum walked by and a painting in the magazine caught her eyes, she stopped and sat down next to me with a delightful look. As her fingers pointed at the window curtain in the picture, she marvelled, “Wow, the curtain was painted vividly. Look at the light and shadow and how they intertwined on the curtain, on the top of it the reflection is blindingly shining, in the middle the light and colors are softening and glowing, the lower part is deepening and the bright violet turning into dark blue…The painter did an excellent job…” Words flew from her mouth like a river, on and on. I lost my patient and complained, “Mum, I’m reading a magazine, not a curtain!” She said, “OK. OK.” and walked away.
Later I stealthily turned back to that page and looked at the painting closely, even used my fingers to touch the curtain. After closed the magazine and put it aside, I sat on the sofa, feeling absentminded and pondering, “How did I miss this vividly painted curtain? Because that is only small part of the whole picture? How much time and energy had the painter spent on painting that curtain? Why did my mum single out that curtain? Maybe she was telling me there are much more in the common place to meet the casual eyes as long as we paused a little longer to see and feel...”
The thing is that my mum didn’t instruct me I should examine the painting closely and thoroughly. In fact, she hardly said to my brother and I, “You should do this or that.” She just shared her insights, her ideas, her wonders and excitements with us.
At this moment when I’m putting my thoughts and feelings into the English words, I think of her for she only knows a few English words. However, it is she who read the stories (in Chinese) to my brother and me when I was a kid that kindled my love for literature and art and inspired me to learn English beyond a few text books, to dive into the roaring sea of English literature, to use it in the real world, to survive, to thrive.