Now that I am taking a step back from work in my profession which is building websites for small business owners, I decided to have a different creative outlet. When I was a little girl growing up in China, we didn’t have dance lessons, we had calligraphy lessons. 🙂
Chinese calligraphy is not just an art, it’s a way of expressing ourselves in the world. It teaches us form with personality. To write good calligraphy, it takes proper posture to allow “chi” to flow through from you to your arm to your hand to your brush and express onto paper. It’s a way of cultivating stillness and creativity at the same time. I loved it from a very young age, but as I grew older, my parents wanted me to do other more “practical and productive” hobbies. I gave up on calligraphy.
On my last China trip (like a decade ago), I bought myself a few brushes, an ink stone and ink stick, and some Chinese calligraphy papers. I dabbled with it for a little bit then life got in the way. They sat in a box and moved with me from city to city. Last week, I found them when I cleared out my closet. I decided to use it as my art therapy on my healing journey.
I started by writing the character “yi“, intention. We use this word a lot in our tai chi practice such as use intention instead of tension in your movements, etc. The Chinese culture and philosophy is very much based on intentions which I won’t go into it here. I wasn’t taught to set goals, I was taught to set intentions growing up.
The character yi is made up for 3 particles, top, middle, and bottom. Think of it as upper gate, middle gate, lower gate in the human body in energy practices.
The top part means “stand, live, exist”.
The middle means “sun or light”.
The bottom means “heart”. It even looks like a heart with 4 chambers and shaped like a heart.
Putting them altogether in calligraphy form: standing in the light as a heart centered human being. The heart is at the bottom to ground us on earth or in reality. Chinese characters are kinda like emojis (lol). One character says so much in meaning. As I wrote it over and over again, my mind is stilled and my heart is calmed.
Since I haven’t practiced calligraphy in decades, I feel a little childish writing them. Like a child that thinks their “art work” is the happiest thing to share with the world, I too, want to share this with you all as a thank you gift for walking this difficult journey with me. If you would like any of the characters I doodled, please fill out this form and I will send them to you. I will add characters as I go.
I have learned so much from you (and I don’t mean just tai chi), and I continue to learn each time you teach a class or write a blog entry. You are special.
Kathleen M Daily says
What Pat said. And, good advice: Stand, live, light heart!
Your words touched me and made my heart light. Thank you, birthday twin. Love and all good things to you.