Mindset

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—Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

Note: This is my third speech in Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club.

 

Does it ever occur to you that your keys are in your hand but you cannot find them? Why is that? Why does it often occur to me? Perhaps my mind was traveling, my memory terrible, my habits awful. But I never realized this could be a problem, my problem, until after the smart Michelle Wu told me, “Novel language is all about liberating the soul of the author, while public speaking is about making an instant connection with different souls.” 

 

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—Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

This immediately helped put my bizarre thoughts together – my soul seems to linger in the past, my spirit seems to thrive in the future, yet my body seems to float in the present. I wondered hard how to connect my soul in the past with different souls in the present. Her words made me think about the way of my thinking, my habitual attitude, my beliefs about myself, and my most basic qualities. Her words also made me think of a high school roommate who just wouldn’t talk to me till our graduation day when I finally couldn’t help asking her why. Guess what she said? “I don’t talk to you, because you are a girl, but you look like a boy, you talk like a boy, you act like a boy and you seem to play only with boys.”

 

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—Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

Oh, believe me, that confused me a lot. Since then, I would consciously ask myself: Who am I? What am I? Why am I like this? The only thing I’m certain is that I just want to write more, I can’t really care about what’s around me.

 

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—Me in Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

Then one evening during the Gossip Dinner after the Chinese Contest, the noble Suhail gently commented that my speech The Modern People was too deep, and the funny Alvin thought I must have prepared the speech for long time. That moment, my mind was enlightened. Firstly, I wrapped up the ideas on Monday, wrote the speech on Tuesday and delivered it on Wednesday. What made Alvin think that way? Secondly, why is the world I see different from the world others see? What on earth makes such a difference? 

 

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—Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

Then I recalled the reason why I joined Toastmasters. Like many of you, I really want to make a proper speech. Each time when standing on the stage, I imagined it was a party like the party in The Great Gatsby and you were my guests who could be writers, editors, publishers, journalists, artists or my dear friends who know me the best. I’m sorry if I have imagined too far. But thanks to the most handsome Brian, the sensual Paul, the courageous Damir and all those who have shown me something great on the stage, I came to the conclusion that our brains work very differently. But how differently?

 

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—Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

It is fascinating to ask, “Which position would you like to place your mind and which direction would you like to see?”

It is even more fascinating to know that all this wondering is just mindset.

 

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—Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

What is mindset?

 

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—Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

It is a way of thinking, an attitude, an opinion, or your beliefs.

 

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—Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

Now think about your intelligence, talents and personality. Who believes that you have a certain amount of brain and talent and nothing can change that? Please raise your left hand. Congratulations! You have a fixed mindset. And who believes that your brain and talent can be developed through dedication and hard work? Please raise your right hand. More congratulations! You have a growth mindset.

For those who didn’t raise any hand, I have more questions for you. Have you ever judged yourself and others like: “I’m a loser.” “ I’m a better person than they are.” “I’m a bad husband.” “My partner is selfish.”? Or would you ask yourself: What can I learn from this? How can I improve? How can I help my partner do this better?

 

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—Hongkong, 2014.1, 摄于香港

 

You don’t need to tell me the answer. This is a story we tell ourselves. But how to change the story with a growth mindset? How would you improve your speech without changing your style?

 

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大学城 | A Square Well In College

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—All my early Chinese writings are buried in this notebook, including a Chinese novel without a “happy” ending and this prose written on November 30th, 2008. 

—所有早期汉语作品都埋在这里了,今天挖出来分享一下08年汶川大地震发生后,个人对时间、生命和梦想的萌萌领悟。

 

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—海南琼台师范大学(旧校区),摄于2011年5月 

—No camera, no smart phone, no pics to share before 2010. This photo of my campus in Hainan Island was taken in May 2011. 

 

穿过一片田地,沿着一条公路,渐渐地,宽阔的道路,耸起的高楼,闲散的人流,就在这片黄土山坡上的大学城中,一一映入眼帘。

不论何时何地,我都喜欢凝望大学城的天空。很多时候,它是那么的澄澈,明净;湛蓝湛蓝的,飘着几朵雪白的云。看着看着,感觉好像在某个起风的冬日,喝下一口热乎乎的薄荷茶,清清的,爽爽的,叫人心旷神怡,从头到脚都是新的。

 

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—Photo taken in Haikou, May 2011 | 图片摄于海口,2011.5

 

但是,它也有黯然失色的时候。只是,它不像那些城市污染的天空,那般浑浊。没有太阳出现的天空,是灰色的,阴暗的,寂寞的,无奈的;犹如蒙上了一层神秘的黑面纱,时不时地露出一缕神色不定的日光。

有好几个黄昏,大学城的天空异常美丽壮观,仿佛海平线上的夕阳,火红火红的一片,斜照在宿舍楼的某个高处。我定定地望着它,那扣人心弦的一幕,好似盛开在丛林中一朵艳丽夺目的山茶花。

恍过神来,和朋友一起出去散散步,吹吹风,大学城的夜景一样迷人。尤其是那条“美食街”:人们买的买,卖的卖,摆的摆,逛的逛;拥挤的过道只容得下一个人,繁忙的景象一到这个时候,几乎都不曾休闲过。同学们三三两两,成群结队的,蜂拥而至。一波走了,另一波又来了。只有我这双呆滞的目光停留在来来往往的人群中,总想摸索点什么。

 

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—Photo taken in Sanya, May 2011 | 图片摄于三亚,2011.5

 

渐渐地,天要更衣了。披上一层时而明朗,时而朦胧,时而暗淡的月光。笼罩在人来人往的人流中,拖出一条条忽长忽短、若隐若现的影子。我总觉得,人好小,影子好长,好模糊,甚至怀疑那地上的影子到底是不是自己的。

我很不确定。一个人踱着细碎的脚步漫不经心地朝宿舍的方向走去。

大学城的宿舍,像一个古色古香的四合院。你看着对面的人,对面的人也在看着你;无劲,无聊;闭塞的氛围,只有一个小门口可以出去透透气,一个四围的天窗可以看看天。怎么,就像是坐井观天?

 

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—Photo taken in Sanya, May 2011 | 图片摄于三亚,2011.5

 

夜渐渐深了,人却静不下来。从前,一楼地男生有个专门的乐队,其中一个男生挽着一部吉他,深情地哼着一道道青春挽歌,流出一丝丝校园纯情,夹杂着一抹抹绵绵哀伤,隔如一层淡淡的红豆香。

汶川大地震发生后的一个夜晚,大伙手捧一根根蜡烛,烛光一晃一晃的,像是一盆水在阳光的照耀下,反射在墙壁上,形成一道触目惊心的光和影。生命的脆弱,在光和影的荡漾中不断跳跃,挣扎。一旦将毛巾轻轻地放入水中,缓缓地浸湿,那个跳动的影子便渐渐地消失,渐渐地不见了。留给人的只有一抹忧伤的记忆。心也慢慢地往下沉,深入生命的漩涡。但我们都知道,祈祷完了,还得记得祝福明天。

 

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—Photo taken in Sanya, May 2011 | 图片摄于三亚,2011.5

 

夜很深很深,人也很静很静的时候,只有不眠的昆虫在鸣叫,偶尔有情侣在调情。但更多的是,野性的呼唤!人心惶惶的我,总会在噩梦中被惊醒。

天刚破晓,回荡在大学城的上空,几乎每天都是同样的几个调。而我每次都会在这样的背景音乐中,心揪得好痛好痛。不管那音乐的调调是喜是悲,节奏是快是慢,我的心都是悬着的。躺,躺不下;坐,坐不住;傻傻的,发着呆;时间,就这样在一阵冥想中悄悄地流逝了。于是,我再也不敢躺,不敢坐,不去发呆,也不愿去想。洗刷完之后,粗粗的整理一下书本,就匆匆地往食堂奔去了。

那是头一回,我在冥冥之中感到时间的仓促,生命的短暂。我想,是时候该做点该做的事了。

 

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—Photo taken in Sanya, May 2011 | 图片摄于三亚,2011.5

 

在这片蓝蓝的天空下,在这个小小的大学城中,我曾深深地感触到人情的冷漠和疏远,世俗的讥讽,官僚的腐败,思想的堕落,人性的腐化。未来等待我的是残酷的面试,“由衷”的失业。我一直在想,在苦苦地思想着,到底要干什么好。到底要往哪去放飞我的梦想?

 

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—Photo taken on the ship back to Shenzhen, May 2011 | 图片摄于回深圳的轮船上,2011.5

 

庆幸的是,身边还有位知心朋友,可以倾诉倾诉。虽然,我们的思想大不相同,甚至相反,但不冲突。她让我在茫茫之中大彻大悟:要做就做一个“思想着”的人,而不是一个单纯的“冥想者”。


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Transformations

The Dying, The Dead and The Rotten

The Dying, The Dead and The Rotten! (Picture taken in Fujian, 2015.12)

 

A kidney stone that almost caused surgery in high school, somehow, enlightened me to wonder: what is the point of being a good student? A month break with painful injections everyday, that gave me time to reflect on what was really good. When I returned to the classroom, as a monitor, not only did I lose patience and interest in listening to the teacher but felt vulnerable disciplining the “bad” boys. Worse, at night I came to play majhong with them and in the day, I became the best enemy of all the teachers. One afternoon, furiously, the math teacher told me to leave. I did. But before I did, I torn the whole math textbook into pieces and threw them in the air. Since then, I gained a reputation of changing from a good student to a bad student.

 

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Drawn by a vivid fantasy of the sea, I started my college life in Hainan and was given a name Katie when working part-time for an international hostel. I wandered wastefully throughout the first two years, till I met a Mongolian painter who mentioned Simone de Beauvoir to me. I began to read Henry Miller and William Faulkner. Then everything became crystal clear, and spiritually I named myself Beauvior.

 

The Maze

Trying to find a way through the maze in colors…

 

Alas, after graduation, the monotony of working as a wage slave, doomed me to a fatal swirl. I couldn’t read or write, but spend every Saturday afternoon in a KTV box, brewing the aftertaste of a dark film Quills about Marquis de Sade, which blended me into a wild fermentation. And that inspired me to flip Pearl into Qearl, as my personal name.

 

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Three years later, something unexpected happened. I quit my full-time job on impulse and started traveling as well as chasing my dream. After four years of writing two English novels under a finally official name Heather, I moved to Shanghai on December 12th,2017. Like a twist, I joined MetLife Insurance company. To my surprise, the person who rejected my very first job application in Shanghai, contacted me last Sunday to work for an art gallery. Without any art background, I’m now stumbling into the art field.

 

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Life is transformations, and I have been transformed.

 

 

The Maze Thinker

Trying to find a way through the maze in colors...

Trying to find a way through the maze in colors…

For about ten years, working as a watcher in a factory, my father has been collecting everything that worths of every single penny. On Tomb Sweeping Day(Apr 5th,2015), he was using a fruit knife to separate the wires from the skin to the copper. Just because the price is slightly different. Staring at the colorful lines, my thoughts became thicker and thicker…

And gradually, even something is making me lose the will to eat and something is eating me little by little; I don’t know if “something” is called the sudden depression.

Certainly, there are many things going on and on. Yet nothing is really cheerful unless the fucking book gets published. However, time and patience are essential, I know. Just the moment makes me feel that I am living in a black hole, bottomless.

Thinking of each word I’ve heard from each visit to my family, each word is like a cold black mountain. – Getting a job and finding a husband, now become a topic that is absolute. Even my mother who never utters a word in my ears, now repeats, Find a husband, just find a husband, a good husband…

Seemingly, all the things happening distract my attention from doing what I want, not only writing. As if all the things happening have something to do with the absolute topic, the definite allergy, for which now almost every morning I wake up with tears. Why not just leave me alone? Sometimes, in my dream I even can hear myself screaming like The Scream.

Munch - The Scream

Munch – The Scream (Source: Google)


Sorry, I should share some happy photos from the trip. But more than 9000 pics make me no choice that I have to sort out first and it takes longer than usual…

She is a girl or a woman?…

Here at an unknown corner of China, the wind is coldly blowing her bare feet. Outside, more people are constructing in the dust than those who are celebrating Xmas of 2014. Yet right now she can’t stop thinking of a question: What exactly makes a girl become a woman?

Why? Because she is nobody’s, from nowhere. She is twenty-eight, remains an orphan and a yellow flower leftover on the roadside. Nobody can look into her eyes and tell her directly whether she is now a woman or a girl.

Thus, she remembers her mother’s face and some of her words. Even though her face now is rather vague yet her words still echoing and haunting her world. Particularly, one sleepless night, before her mother fell asleep so deeply that she never woke up and that she herself, at ten, never thought of death and being all alone, she was told, If you bleed between your legs, you are no longer the same girl. You would be a woman, a woman who can breed like I have you. Remember, don’t be afraid and don’t be a silly girl but a strong woman. Be a woman, a real woman! Continue reading

A Perfect Man

If a man is perfect, what is perfection?

If truth to be told, truth is relative;

If sin is original, sing for this sin;

If blue is the way, choose the way to blue;

If life or love is a bitch, then marry one or both;

If river becomes a memory, follow the river man;

If dreams are broken, keep day dreaming;

If already too much history, invent a new one;

If falling in love again, tell that Men are Dogs;

If marriage is a joke, bad joke, fuck it and say:

“I can live without you, I cannot live without myself.”

Eggs In Love

When one egg falls in love with another, they don’t talk but just kiss and kiss till they are eaten.