The pen is messier than the sword!
Everybody I know from when I was young, including myself, is very surprised about how ladylike I am now. When I was young, I was often mistaken for a boy. I wore my hair super short and usually had my brother’s hand-me-down clothes on. I also was a bit of a Tomboy. I liked to play and climb, just like the boys in my village. So much so, that even my teachers called me a little monkey. It didn’t get much better as I got older. All through grade school, middle school, high school and on to college I had a hard time to sit still. It was pretty much impossible for me to pay attention and stay quiet. Now that I know a bit about it, I guess I probably had ADHD. But of course, back then we just called it bad behavior! There were no medications for it, at least in China and when I was in college, I had never heard of yoga or meditation to settle your mood. But I did find one thing that calmed me down and that was to practice calligraphy.
The Chinese traditional culture is quite rich and goes back a very long way. Calligraphy and traditional painting are two art forms that require specific actions and a slow steady pace. They demand complete focus to make sure every stroke is perfect. When you see a well done piece of character writing it really can be quite beautiful. I’ve done a lot of calligraphy, but I’m still not very good at that or brush painting. Having these experiences when I was young gave me some sense about beauty and fashion. I always love the detail oriented approach to calligraphy and painting. I’m a bit of a perfectionist now so that aspect really fits my personality. The same applies when I’m creating an outfit or assembling my wardrobe pieces. One of the main ideas when creating a painting or calligraphy text is that it shouldn’t be too busy and should leave some space. You don’t want to look cluttered. I carried that concept into today’s look. I kept an all-white base for my canvas just as in painting. I wanted to keep this outfit easy and minimal so only added a little color with my beautiful turquoise and black silk scarf. A splash of red at the ends was the final welcome brush stroke. This crisp clean outfit is a calming breath of fresh air.
Nowadays gardening has taken the place of my calligraphy brush. Nothing calms me more than working with my flowers or pulling weeds. It’s both soothing and healthy. What has the same effect for you when your stress levels go off the charts? I hope you can leave some comments on what you do or where you go to take a break from the rat race.