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An old friend just called, informed me that she knew a gallery in New York, which collects print-makings, which she thought I would be interested. After thanking her for her good intention, I told her that I was not interested. I do not have any print-making works on hands. “Why not make some?” she asked. I said I could not make “some” just by demand. If I do any, it has to be by inspiration, which I don’t get very often, and which means I am not qualified to be a professional artist. She mentioned that reason I had problem with art was that because I didn’t value art as “high” as it actually is, and she thought that I did not appreciate myself enough. NO, I said firmly, I know how valuable art is, but it’s just not WHO I AM.
I got this comment very often through my life. So many people looked me in a way they looked at a master, mainly because my skill and my background. For many people, choosing a career is a matter of its “social value”, which means how others value the things we do, not the value how much they enjoy doing them by themselves. Art seems to be something revered by most people in this world, that’s why many people often told me that it is a shame if I don’t continue doing art. Especially, considering that I had already spent so much time of my life in this career. But deep inside, I knew if I forced myself doing what people think I should do, I would feel miserable all my life, no matter how many compliments I receive everyday. I still remember long time ago, when I was found “hiding in home” studying math for one month, one of friends stared at me with remark: “Are you out of your mind?” The truth is, I had most fun in that one month.
Well, it is true that I had spent 30 some years in art career, and 30 some years I struggled trying to get rid of it as a profession, which imposed on me since I was too young by my parents. Now I did, by teaching kids art, I could spend most of my spare time without doing any art works. I just cannot imagine anything better than that.
Yes, life is short. We all have right to be happy. Now a cup of tea in hand, a book in another, I am simply in heaven. Of course, if my readers and I think I hate art, will not do any in the rest of my life, I must say, we are all wrong. I never know what I want to do tomorrow morning, even next minute after this moment. Isn’t this a fun mystery to play with? Yes, life is a mystery.