Day Three Hundred Fifty One, January 8, 2012

sitting with a friend

Getting old: it brings to mind the image of a fan getting turned off and gradually slowing down before coming to a standstill. Movement slows down, worries begin to fade away and importances shift to allow contemplations to take precedence. Maybe that is why a lot of old people choose dogs for companions. Dogs don’t seem to mind the waiting around, the long slow walks or the hours stillness and quiet.

Day Two Hundred Twenty One, August 31, 2011

the end of a generation

Walking around the streets and alleys of Shanghai, I love to meet old people, the ones that represent the China that I had read about before moving here, the China of movies, of books and historical documentaries. And these people are still there, walking with their fans, with their tiny previously bound feet, with their age old traditions and they drift on the shores of the huge sea of modernism that is taking over China. And I wonder, how long will there be tai chi in the streets, mahjong in the parks, pajamas worn in the city, bird cages filling the park, crickets in tiny cages for good luck… when will all this start to become a thing of the past giving room to the ipod carrying new generation?

I feel so lucky to be witness to some of it that still lives on in the very few…

Day One Hundred Forty Seven, June 18, 2011

 

human eyes

It has been said that all creatures that have eyes, have a soul. Maybe that is why we don’t think twice about cutting flowers and eating plants, but we flinch each time we see any little animal or human being butchered, well at least most of us do. And the eyes radiate the truth. How often do you hear someone saying “look into my eyes and tell me again that you don’t love me” or something  to that effect. The eyes are able to convey what the face is trying to hide. So many times we see smiling faces with sad eyes, or little children with ‘old soul’ eyes. And yes, the eyes can radiate and we feel it especially if strong emotions are being expressed, like love or even hate, and that is when we say ‘eyes can kill’.  The eyes, another human mystery…

photo is of the beautiful blue eyes of Valerie, my daughter’s friend who agreed to model in exchange for some sweets 🙂

Day One Hundred Forty, June 11, 2011

扇 fan

It is given by gentlemen to their lady friend as a gift, it used to be gifted to other governments as a sign of friendship, it is used in folk dances, it comes in different sizes, shapes, folding, fixed, small, large, painted, carved… and it is very beautiful.

It has been a staple in China’s culture for over 3 thousand years, the fan. It’s original purpose was for creating a breeze in warm days, and it was made from a wide variety of materials like bamboo, feathers,  silk, sunflowers, paper among several other materials. It is one of the delicate things that say ‘China’ and a certain part of the culture that is still very much alive and held on to and celebrated. I love watching the lady dancers with their fans every morning in the streets of Shanghai who move with so much grace and charm!

lady dancing with red fan

Day Ninety Two, April 24, 2011

balance

Balance: how important it is in our lives. It is such a delicate dance, trying to find the middle place where life is harmonious. It is so difficult to live a balanced life with the pulls, tugs and demands of our daily goings on. And still it is so important to find it, to stand still for a moment and find that place again, where life is not too daunting, where stresses are kept at bay, and where values and standards are the main importance. And when balance is achieved, it is such a graceful sight!

photo: young Chinese acrobat performing at today’s Easter brunch in the Westin, Shanghai

the grace of balance