Greeting List

No Pains, No Guides -- Shirley's 474th Friendly Greeting -Feb 11, 2015

Hi,Dear Friends

How are you?

How time flies!

Since I wrote to you last time, two weeks have past.

In the past 14 days, I have deeply concentrated myself on English study, book writing and painting so that I could not think of a suitable topic for my letter to you at the moment I prepared to write days ago.

Since then, in the process of the working, the words " No Pains, No Gains " jumped into my mind several times.

-- I had been to Malaysia, Europe, Australia and America since 1997 and I have lived, worked and studied in English for a long time. Therefore, I did not realize how my English poor so much that I could not believe the losing result of mine in the National English Examination in 2014 until I started the English study for passing the same examination in 2015 in an English School Dec 31, 2014.

With a shame heart and a totally new cognition of myself, in the past 42 days, I have not only attended 70 English lessons, but also I have read over 200 short articles and have done all of the assignments. Since I came back home, I have inputted all of the words in our Vocabulary Book into a software in my computer and to test myself every night. Then I got 75 in the first Placement Test 2 days ago. I will take part in the mid-term examination of the English School as soon as I have reviewed all of the handouts and all of the exercises.

It was really a hard choice to put down my beloved painting temporarily and to sit by the computer to read book in English, to remember new words, phrases and grammar rules day and night, while the birds singing out of the windows and the green world bathing in the sunshine. However, every time, when I was unwilling to work, I reminded myself: Shirley, didn¨t you want to seek your dream? If you wanted, you had to sit down and to work on English at this time since it is not only a tool that is like a piece of paper or a brush when you paint, but it is also an ^ admission ticket ̄ allowing you to go into the gate of an advanced art palace. Then I went back to work and passed the first examination.

-- As soon as the first volume of my new series book Poetry, Painting, Music: Comprehensive and Artistic Chinese was published in May, 2013, I wished to work on the second volume. But, I have been busy with the travels and the painting study so that the work has been delayed until now and I wish to complete it in my winter vocation.

However, after I completed 9 articles for the new books, I could not keep in touch with my England English tutor for he and his family member suffering sick. Meanwhile, my English teachers in the English School in China refused to check what I had written for it was not their duties. At the moment I knew my English tutor in the sickness and our schedule would be delayed once more, I felt my stomach paining so that I could not get up until 12:30a.m next morning. I felt so weakness and frustration and I could not help asking myself whether it was worth of working on it with so much suffering.

It seemed like the God was helping once more, I got and re-read an article about the growing up of the eagle on my cell phone as soon as I got up with the ache unwillingly:

Eagle is one of the birds who can live for longest years in the world. However, in the process of his growing up, he has to experience some hardest test at his about 40 years old. He has to fly to some highest peak, to cut down his obtuse beak and nails on the stone, to draw out of his feathers, then to spend the weakest time of his life time for about 5 months, to wait for his new beak, new nails and new feathers re-grow up. During the time, he has no any ability to fight against anyone else, so that many of them die in their weakest time, only can a few of the strongest ones live out of the hardest phase and win another completely new 30 years.

In spite of reading it second time, I was touched and got much power from it, so that I told myself: Shirley: It is also the hardest time of you since you have retreated from the fields you was familiar with, left from the people you was acquainted with, work on something new in the new fields with new people in the other cities, the other countries and the other cultures as a fresh student. You can certainly give up and to enjoy a comfortable life as a sparrow around of your home. However, will are you happy when you recall your lifetime at the moment you have to leave for the heaven? Will are you happy for you have given up your long-term dream just because of the temporary difficulties? Yes, It is a fact that you have no an English language environment and you have no any native English speakers around of you to help you, but, all of these bad elements will not be forever; they can be resolved along with the time certainly, right? To see 5 years ago, when you went to Beijing with several sicknesses together, you were just a amateur, but now, you have entered a professional field and you have had the qualification and the encouragement to take part in a National Examination for a Master Degree of Fine Arts.

Since you can enter the professional art field because of the hard work, why can¨t you do your best, to reach the professional level on English? Why don¨t you use the good opportunity of studying for preparing the English examination under the guidance of the Experts on English Test to improve yourself as much as possible?

With this idea, just feeling frustration for one night, I have re-gotten up and continued to work on my book writing in English. I am thinking, as long as I do not give up, even though I am later to hand in the script of the book, I will not have any pity.

-- Except the things over, the happiest thing is: last night, I tried my first jogging about 500 meters since I was had the first surgery in the end of 2009 and be diagnosed an illness as an incurable immune system disease which affects all of my bones and the other systems. Since I came back home, every time, when I walked on the footpath covered by the shadow of the green trees and flowers, I had a wish to run, but I did not dare to do it since it sounded like impossible for me and my doctors did not allow me to move intensively. However, I wanted, so I tried it. At the first, a half of my body was so pain and almost all of the joints ached as some needles in them, but I did feel the other part comfortable and I was happy for it. So, with the ache together, I tried slowly and I used for about 20 minutes to jog through the 500 meters but when I was in the health, I needed just 19 minutes to run 3,000 meters. Then I kept doing it once and once, when I stopped doing it, except feeling a bit dizzy, I felt my legs much easier. Even though in the midnight, one of I my legs pained so much and a half of my body was cold as in the ice, my heart was full of the delight for I felt a half of my body sounds like getting better... :- )

In theory, my doctors do not think the disease will be able to cured, but I am still wishing to create a miracle to overcome it and re-become the healthy Shirley as I was before 2009, to be able to run as usual some day.

I am sure that I can certainly go through the most difficult time as an eagle does at his middle age, to gain a new life for bringing something beautiful and helpful to more people and this world for another 30 years.

Do you believe in it? Would you like to give me a hand on my English writing in the hardest process if you are a native English speaker?

How about you? Do you have anything special to share?

Shirley's Art Works 958 & Chinese Mogu 047-A285 - Shirley's 358th Assignment at Chinese National Academy of Arts- Feb 9-10, 2015

Shirley's Art Works 957 & Chinese Mogu 046-A284 - Shirley's 357th Assignment at Chinese National Academy of Arts- Feb 6 - 7, 2015


Shirley Yiping Zhang
Feb 11, 2015 (Beijing Time)

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