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Misfortune May Be a Blessing in Disguise --Shirley's America Travel Diary 130 & 546th Friendly Greeting - Dec 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Thank you so much for your good help and accompanying in the past so many years and I do hope your family members and you happier, luckier and more successful in the new year.

On my side, it is the 8th week of my current American travel.

In the past 7 days, the strongest feeling of mine is that Misfortune May Be a Blessing in Disguise.

Seemingly, the big frustration which I missed the thesis proposal with a group of professors of the Graduate School at Chinese National Academy of Arts in Beijing, will lose my time, money, work and study; in the long run, it will also bring me a good opportunity to slow down my steps, to do much more preparedness for my long-term dream to be true…

Since realizing this, gradually, my heart has gotten peaceful. Just in the short 7 days, I have read through 4 books, painted 5 paintings, composed a piece of music, heard 30 articles of VOA news and did 30 dictations with 90 paragraphs.

-- A shamed thing is that my tutor / supervisor required me to read an art theory book by Mr. Shi Dao(1642-1708) on July 15, 2016, until Dec 15, I started 5 times, still I was reading the firs chapter. But after experiencing the big frustration, I have not only read all of the 18 chapters of the book, but also I have read another 3 books. They the Chinese art theory books

by Mr. Shi Dao(1642-1708) in Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911);
by Mr. Dong Qichang (1555 -- 1636) in Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644);
by Mr. Huang Bihong (1865-1955)
by Mr. Pan Tianshou (1897 -1971)

A strong feel is that there are so many “treasures” in my hands or nearby me, but I did not know them so that I had missed them for so long time. Therefore, I do appreciate both of the frustration and my tutor-- Professor Mu Jiashan. If I did not experienced the bad situation and if I did not meet my tutor, I would miss these treasures in the Chinese cultural and artistic palaces...

-- Although I could not very understand what I had read at this time yet and I will certainly read them many times, now, I have felt a lot of positive influence already.

For example, according to the books, in the 13 kinds of Chinese paintings, landscape is on the top level; And in the landscape, the one with Chinese ink and wash is on the top level… then I just understand why my tutor /supervisor Professor Mu Jiashan keeps requiring me to learn landscape with Chinese ink and wash instead of colors, he would like me to learn something on the highest level in Chinese painting field.

Another example, during the reading, I realized that Chinese painting emphasizes that a painting should come from the heart of an artist...

So, when I painted the 5th painting with this letter, instead of painting a pure landscape, I would like to express the feeling of the boy by the gate -- His mother has not come back from her job on picking up the water chestnut, he was waiting for her back by the gate...

When I was painting, I could not help thinking of my son, when he was young, how he waited for me back every night when I was working in the newspaper office… Then I felt the stones and the grass on my picture were alive with some feelings of human being.

When I painted the 4th painting with this letter, I would like to express the interaction between the songs of the bird in the sky and the sound of the music on the ground; between the lonely bird and the hermit...

--- When I created a piece of music for a Chinese classical poem, instead of composing the music for Jueju as I have done in the past 11 years, now I am composing for lüshi, a poem of eight lines, each containing five or seven characters, with a strict tonal pattern and rhyme scheme. Its degree of difficulty is higher than usual, but I feel better for it has given me a bigger room to create.

-- For improving my oral English, each week, I hear about 30 articles of VOA news, and did the dictations for 90 paragraphs ( the first 3 paragraphs of every article ).

I quite cherish the opportunity to study English in the USA, because I will not be able to connect Google, Face book, and You tube as soon as I entered the mainland of China, it will be quite difficult to connect VOA as well. About 50 to 60% of times, I could not connect it.

So, now, my feeling is good for I realize that Misfortune May Be a Blessing in disguise for me indeed.

I would really like to do my best to make up the leaks and the blank spaces in my knowledge structure under the good directions of my tutor and try to make progress every day.

Before I finish this letter, I would really like to thank Mrs. Wanda Nava for she and her husband would like to invite me to have a lunch on Dec 24, although for I missed their call and we missed the meeting. What they have done for me have brought me so much warm.

Mr. John David Lawson and his wife for they sent some food which cooked by themselves to me as my Christmas gift and arranged their friend Mr. Tim to repair my floor on Dec 27 before they left for visiting their parents in Utah. :-)

I would also like to thank the Wal-Mart near my home for lending me a cart on Dec 22 and allowed me to push it back home after knowing that I could not catch a taxi after calling 4 times and waiting for about 40 minutes in the cold weather with rain. It gave me an opportunity to walk for about 20 minutes first time since Nov 28, and now I do feel that I have been able to bear the ache on my ankle and leg already. :- )

How about you? Do you have anything special to share?
I am just a student on Arts of Painting, Music, English and Management, to work on the web site in my free time. I would really like to do somethings with what I have learned to make this little web site to be an Electronic Bridge of Cross - Culture and Comprehensive Arts, Language & Friendship. To help the others and this world while improving myself and realizing my own value of life.

I would really like to appreciate you for your understanding, directions, supports and help.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, you are welcome to write to or leave your message on Message Board.


Shirley Yiping Zhang
Dec 25, 2016 (American Time)


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