Writer’s Block

---Dancing in the Dark, 2015.7.10 | 《在黑暗中跳舞》

—Dancing in the Dark, 2015.7.10 | 《在黑暗中跳舞》


Imagine your head is empty and you are facing a blank wall. What conversations can you possibly have?


---Fashion, 2015.5.17 |《时尚》

—Fashion, 2015.5.17 |《时尚》


In the first half year of 2015, my brain was erased. I couldn’t read or write. Nor could I communicate with anyone, including myself. The only word that kept scratching my skull was “curse”. You might ask, what curse? What happened?


---Torture, 2015.5.16 |《痛楚》

—Torture, 2015.5.16 |《痛楚》


It was about my younger and only brother. When we were little, we already believed that the only hope to escape from poverty was to climb out of the mountains, go to a college and work in a city. And we did. He has everything that many Chinese people long to have – a stable career as an official Shenzhen teacher, a house, a car and a lovely child. But he has a drama-queen wife, or should I say, an ex-wife? Honestly I don’t know. They got divorced a year ago and now they seem to be together again. For what? I really don’t understand their love if there is love and their marriage if there is still one. Just like I never understood how she could storm into his class, slap his face in front of his students and argue with his headmaster, just for a Taobao password? Even when they just started a relationship? And how she could call the police one morning when he couldn’t drive her to work because he himself was running late? Don’t you think that is too ridiculous?


---Pray, 2015.5.1 |《祈祷》

—Pray, 2015.5.1 |《祈祷》


Almost every goddamn time, when I heard or witnessed something, it was all like a chicken fighting against a dog with no peace. How could my brother tolerate such a ridiculous woman over and over? What exactly has he seen that is so good in her? Does he actually love her? Is love really a bitch?


---The Dream Police, 2015.5.3 |《理想的警察》

—The Dream Police, 2015.5.3 |《理想的警察》


I asked him these questions during Spring Festival of 2015 after she had smashed glasses all over the place. But he kept silent. His silence made me feel that his marriage was a curse. And the curse almost crushed me. I became depressed.


---Man & Science, 2015.5.4 |《人与科学》

—Man & Science, 2015.5.4 |《人与科学》


Worse, the following month of not being able to write a single word scared me. The fear urged me to make a move. On Feb 28th, the same year, I traveled to Sri Lanka. Like magic, when I was using the toilet in the first hotel, a strange face popped out between my feet. I took a long look. The face became more and more vivid. I couldn’t help sketching it, and made it the very first drawing of my life: The Left Eye.


---The Left Eye - my very first drawing, 2015.2.28 | 平生第一幅速写:《左眼》

—The Left Eye – my very first drawing, 2015.2.28 | 平生第一幅速写:《左眼》



From then on, I started seeing faces everywhere and kept sketching them for months. Here are some of them.


---Queue In China, 2015.5.8 |《在中国排队》

—Queue In China, 2015.5.8 |《在中国排队》


At this point, I still couldn’t read or write. But luckily I could speak to nature when traveling and talk to some strangers on the road. They mostly encouraged me by sharing their stories or listening to mine. And, one of them actually pointed out that I was experiencing so-called Writer’s Block.


---Writer's Block, 2015.4.29 |《创作灵感障碍》

—Writer’s Block, 2015.4.29 |《创作灵感障碍》


I started searching it online. The more information I gathered, the less fear I had. Gradually, the wall of my mind cracked. I came to understand the reason why I had this writer’s block was not only because I had depression, but also because I was ignorant of the fear. As soon as I knew what was happening to me, in July, I could read and write again. This assured me: depression is temporary, writer’s block is temporary.


---Half Man Half Beast, 2015.5.9 |《半人半兽》

—Half Man Half Beast, 2015.5.9 |《半人半兽》


But do you find it easier to talk to someone you don’t know at all than to someone you know very well? Why? Why does it feel easier to chat in a shared taxi when you are traveling together but not looking each other? Why is it more difficult to have a conversation with yourself than with strangers? Are you afraid of a new place in a distant land or more afraid of the unknown possibilities in your imagination?


Heather Cover

About Heather Cai:


Heather is the daughter of a subsistence rice farmer from Fujian Province, China. She tells stories from her experience as one of the poorest. She writes her dream to share with the world, a very personal place. She has now written two English literary novels and is looking to being published in the UK. Her passion is a splendid cocktail or milkshake of word, image, music and art. She likes collecting books, DVDs, papers, stones, shells and leaves. She desires for all forms of natural beauty. She is currently living in Shanghai and serving as Sergeant-at-arms (SAA) for Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者所有!


Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures


qrcode_for_gh_1231092a6fe5_430 (1)wps图片



现代人 The Modern People


—听老家村里唯一一位活了将近百岁的裹脚老奶奶“唠叨” (照片拍摄:Mike, 福建槽坑村,2014.8 | Fujian) A nearly 100-year-old and the only woman Yu with bound-feet in my home village.



—西方周游过世界的Mike 与东方从未离过村的裹脚老奶奶之间的对话。 (照片拍摄:Heather, 福建槽坑村,2014.8 | Fujian) A conversation between the western Mike, who has travelled all over the world, and the eastern Yu, who has never left the village.



—一双裹脚鞋,摄于美国作家Amanda的深圳公寓,2014 | Writer Amanda’s, Shenzhen





—摄于福建寿宁,2014.8 | Shouning Town, Fujian Province





—摄于广东深圳,2014.11 | Shenzhen, Guangdong





—摄于福建寿宁,2014.8 | Shouning Town, Fujian Province





—摄于福建老家,2013.12 | My home village, Fujian Province





—摄于广东深圳荔枝公园,2014.6 | Litchi Park, Shenzhen





—摄于福建老家房顶,2013.12 | The rooftop of my home dirt house, Fujian Province


好比如当初笃定自己一个人死了就死了,不可能会有“杂念”。但自从落地这个大魔都后,发现越是迷恋一座城市,越是向往一种新生活,对求生的欲望就越强,从而危机感便油然而生, 成为了可能。



—摄于广东深圳荔枝公园,2014.6 | Litchi Park, Shenzhen





—摄于福建老家,2013.12 | Inside my home dirt house in Caokeng Village, Fujian Province





—摄于福建老家,2013.12 | My home village, Fujian Province





—福建老家:最左边那栋土房,2013.12 | My home – the left house, Fujian Province





—摄于广东深圳荔枝公园,2014.6 | Litchi Park, Shenzhen




Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures


qrcode_for_gh_1231092a6fe5_430 (1)wps图片

A Brief Exhibition Review: Frames of Mind

WeChat Image_20190529184430

(Exhibition Poster. Courtesy of Elevate)


This modestly curated exhibition showcased some innovative artworks of five international emerging artists: Wendy Cao, Igor Huszag, Andrew Cole, Wu Tingting and Wu Lifan.


WeChat Image_20190529162624

(Photo taken on the Opening, 2019.5.28)


From my perspective, they either adapted a new technique or explored a new idea. Their works were displayed on the wall, with no descriptions or names. Just a solid painting to feed your imagination. This sparked a fascinating sensation in me. It allowed me to open my eyes and my heart more freely – a fulfilling moment. The general atmosphere gave me the feeling that this was a show for the young and the aspiring.


WeChat Image_20190529162634

(Photo taken on the Opening, 2019.5.28)


In a red mood, I was attracted to the dense colors of black, white, scarlet and grey. But of all the artworks, I was most drawn by Andrew Cole’s abstracts. He divided the canvas (world) into a delicate framed space and an enormous open field. It made me feel like a crouched nude body lying on a big frozen lake – the surface so smooth and so clean that the texture is almost transparent. This creates a rare tension, which made me want to spread some sand on the nude. Because it just felt too cold.


WeChat Image_20190529162638

(Photo taken by Wu Tingting on the Opening, 2019.5.28)


And the coldness was tempting and innermost, like one hugging oneself or one hand cuddling the other, especially on a late night.


WeChat Image_20190529162545

(Photo taken on the Opening, 2019.5.28)


The strange thing was that, I could stare at such beauty for a long time. But why couldn’t I even look at Wu Lifan’s, like this one? At first glance, I was hooked by the massive grayness painted in a unique style, which combined the modern abstract brushstrokes and the old Chinese inkiness. But soon I had to turn away, because it was too heavy for me to carry.


WeChat Image_20190529185740
(Wu Lifan. Courtesy of Elevate)


The heaviness lasted until later when I interviewed Wu Lifan, who revealed his personal background as an artist. He told me his stories and paints his paintings in an utterly philosophical way. My ears were burning when I left.


Follow HeathersChamber for more original poems, essays, prose, drawings and pictures

qrcode_for_gh_1231092a6fe5_430 (1)wps图片