---"Inclusion or Exclusion", Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《排斥或包容》摄于斯里兰卡

Our Pressures | 我们的压力


— All PPT images from Bing, | 所有PPT图片来自网络


What is Pecha Kucha?

Pecha Kucha, “the sound of conversation” or “chit-chat” in Japanese, is a visual presentation style with automatically changing slides for 20 seconds each. It started in Tokyo in 2003, designed by architects, Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham. In a similar way to a Haiku poem, Pecha Kucha forces the creator to creatively arrange their message within a strict form. And such creativity often produces amazing results. —(Bing)


什么是Pecha Kucha

Pecha Kucha 即“喋喋不休”或“闲聊”。2003年始创于日本东京,由建筑师Astrid Klein 和 Mark Dytham联合设计。它是一种快节奏的视觉呈现方式,演讲者给观众展示自动播放的幻灯片,每幅图仅有20秒的解说时间。类似俳句,Pecha Kucha迫使演讲者在严格把控的形式上创造性地去组织传递信息。这种创造力通常会产生惊人的结果。


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Why are we talking about something that has nothing to do with our pressures? Because pressure is something tense, but presenting it in Pecha Kucha style was fun. I did it in Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club on August 28th, 2019.
为什么我们要谈论这个Pecha Kucha与压力无关的东西?因为压力让人精神紧绷,但用Pecha Kucha的方式来解说压力就感觉有趣多了。2019年8月28日,我在上海头马演讲舞台上体验过。
This month (August) my family told me that chasing my writing dream is a shame and a sin. My mother cried when my father said working for art is washing the toilet. Their voices still echo in my ears, and I began to sink into the black sea of life pressure, work pressure and peer pressure.





Living alone in the magic city of Shanghai, with a fast-paced lifestyle, daily crowds and monthly bills, it is unavoidable to face some difficult problems. Don’t you agree? For me, I often feel time is a knife pointing at my back, and I have to struggle to survive.





Almost every day during my last family trip, my parents, uncles and aunts would repeat the same thing. “You will end up begging on the street if you keep writing.” Can you imagine the horror in their eyes? 

上次与家人度假期间,几乎每天,我的家人亲戚都会重复同样的事情。”如果你继续写下去,你就会落败街头乞讨。” 能想象他们眼中的恐惧吗?




“Everyone is getting married. Why not you?” my family asked a million times. I kept silent. They have social pressure from the folks around them. They invited several each day for lunch or dinner, and they talked about me. The more they talked, the more face my family lost, and the more peer pressure they had.

“所有人都结婚了,为什么你还没有?” 我家人问了千万遍。我沉默不语。他们要面对周围的人给他们带来的社会压力。他们每天都邀请不同的人来家里做客吃饭,而我成了他们餐桌上必聊的那道菜。他们聊的越多,我家人感觉越丢脸,所面临的同辈压力也越大。




A Peer Group is a social group whose members have interests, social positions, and age in common. Peer Pressure is the influence exerted by a peer group, encouraging individuals to change their attitudes, values, or behavior in order to conform to group norms. —(Bing)





Well, peer pressure might influence you in a number of ways, including fashion choices, alcohol and drug use, decisions to have a boyfriend or girlfriend, choice of who your friends can be, and your daily life. Which one has affected you?





Now we know people who give in to peer pressure often become psychologically weak. How to resist then? Two ways: build a positive self-image and learn to say “NO”. Don’t follow your friends blindly. Be inspired and inspire others.





I live for writing. I enjoy traveling. I like socializing and fashion. I like being independent and curious. I like pleasing myself. I might even like the pain of giving birth to a baby. But I never like following others or copying their lives. I wonder if the more you fight, the more peer pressure you would face?





With peer pressure or social pressure, how to balance life and work? Do you plan ahead? Do you keep a journal to reduce your stress? Do you have the courage to chase your dream job and your dream life? Or are you sacrificing your time for something you don’t really want?





If you are stressed, what would you normally do? Would you first take care of yourself? Would you be adaptable and flexible, like bamboo – bending but not breaking? Now circumstances tell me to become a teacher again, but this only makes me work harder on my dreams.





Pressure is a force. If we can handle our pressures properly, we can turn them into a good force. As Yuda said, “May the force be with you!” And be yourself! Don’t change but embrace all the pressures. So the right people will like the real you.

压力是一种外在驱使的力量。如果我们能妥善面对我们的压力,我们就能把压力变成一股好的力量。就像Yuda说的,“愿你的力量与你同在!” 做你自己!不要改变!拥抱所有的压力,对的人会喜欢那个真正的你。


---"Inclusion or Exclusion", Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《排斥或包容》摄于斯里兰卡

—“Inclusion or Exclusion”, Sri Lanka, 2015.3 | 《排斥或包容》摄于斯里兰卡


Note: To build a mutual Literature & Art community, Heather has now opened her personal channel (WeChat ID: Heather69) to her friends, who are following HeathersChamber. No cheaters!

备注由于时间和精力有限,为了建立一个互敬互惠的文学艺术圈子,阿太特向已关注此公众号的朋友们分享她的个人微信号:Heather69 。骗子勿扰!

Last article 上一篇:  How Can Art Be Healing | 艺术如何疗愈

About Heather Cai:

Heather Cover

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 teaching kids chess in Shanghai.

Copyright © 2018-2019 Heather Cai. All Rights Reserved. 所有版权归作者蔡太莲所有!

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


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Be Empty


Spiritually, too full.

Full of too many feelings, thoughts and imaginations.

Meanwhile, there is fear.

Fear of mankind, of the unknown world.

Life is a solid wall.

Sometimes, you have to break it, ruin it;

Sometimes, you have to climb up and stride over it;

Sometimes, you have to make a hole, a window of it;

Sometimes, or maybe sometimes,

You just have to let go, be empty.

Empty, empty, empty.

From head to toe, from one pocket to another.

Till you can embrace it, as to embrace the darkness.

Maybe Lao Tzu was right. –

To become learned, each day add something.

To become enlightened, each day drop something.

So, time to drop, time to enlighten.

Meanwhile, to become learned.

Learn through traveling, traveling all alone.

Through the shadow of a solitary beauty;

Through what you really see.

So, let the journey begin.

From south to north, from one place to another.

Sometimes, fly up in the air;

Sometimes, pass some bends;

Sometimes, stay still.

All full of joy, surprise and adventure.

So what? So what?

Drop, drop, drop;

Add, add, add;

Drop, drop, drop.

To become wildly naked.

Yet, holy blessed.


Before writing the second novel, I’m going to throw myself into the crowds, to empty myself with madness, to sketch, to experience something new and afterwards, to survive from zero.

Therefore, on 27th, I’ll travel alone to Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing, Wuzhen and Hangzhou. For Beijing, I’m going to face the fear and power. For Shanghai, I’m going to get lost into material world. For Suzhou, I’m going to feel the classical form of beauty. For Nanjing, I’m going to try to understand thoroughly about war and hatred. For Wuzhen, I’m going to explore the possibilities of recovering one’s original simplicity. For Hangzhou, I’m going to feel like a nun, imagining to drown in the West Lake.

Then, I shall doom myself again for In Between.

A Big Mess, A Small Achievement


If you listen to yourself, you will stand tall before the wind. If you don’t, your will won’t bend for bread but the PEN.

The Pen.

A Purple Diary, A Golden Pen

Thinking back, the past three weeks were somewhat dramatic.

Two weeks ago, apart from drawing, I have been rewriting, based on the old writing, on and off, not so good and seemed almost stuck there.

The week before last, everything seemed a big mess but fun. –

On Monday, I met a good friend (E) and another old friend (D) joined us. I shared a wonderful dream with D first. In the dream, D was a super hero who killed the bad guys. We then talked about all sorts of things, many naughty topics and I shared another dirty dream. We laughed, toasted, blushed and shared more life. That night, something sleeping long and deep inside me suddenly awoke. As a result, I masturbated like crazy.

On Tuesday, I listened to myself as I listened to Yesterday Once More. Except eating and sleeping, I did walking, wondering, thinking, drawing, missing some friends and masturbating.

On Wednesday, I listened to myself as I listened to Big Big World. I forgot eating until the evening. I lost some sleep in the night but I overslept in the morning. I went out facing the wind, walking further and further, wondering about more things, missing fewer friends, thinking harder, and masturbating more.

On Thursday, I listened to myself as I listened to the leaves falling. I had lost the sense of time completely. I felt as if time stayed  still and I was the only subject moving beyond time. Again, without feeling hungry almost all day, I did drawings, walking with the leaves dancing on my feet and before my eyes, missing only one friend, wondering only one thing, thinking even harder, masturbating like the body was not mine, seeing and fearing a deep hole swallowing my soul. 

On Friday, I couldn’t listen to myself, partly my body seemed to be worn out and partly my mind was burning like hell. Instead, I went out only for food and came back home straight afterwards. Then I watched a movie, The Foxcatcher. I was into the heavy images with my heart hanging in the dark, so intense. The end of the movie was shocking. Meanwhile, Black Swan was awoken naturally. I then wanted to get drunk by the evening, which I did, but not as drunk as I had expected. Though I did get more drunk when arriving at home by myself. It was like a torture being half drunk half awake. With no choice, I played with my toy Rabbit till I fell asleep.

On Saturday, by the late morning, I woke up with the toy still in my hand and hungover. The whole day, I was like a zombie or a fly without a head. Yet there was a decision being made after dinner. That I must stop this and write on.

On Sunday, consciously I was back to usual writing habit after a light breakfast. It seemed as if I was enlightened. My mind was unusually clear. I divided the old writings into several different chapters. Then I made them all blank. Soon, my imagination seemed to grow wings and I seemed to fly freely.

So for the last week,  I wrote nonstop about 3000 to 4500 words each day and finished rewriting the whole bit by the midnight on Saturday. Now the last edit will be reading the whole fucking book, I felt relieved. But it was never enough as the work will never done till the happy ending.