pen, pencil, or maobi

before we communicated electronically, we used to write letters.

or, if you lived in China, you would take time to find the exactly right  毛笔 máo bǐ – writing brush,

find the perfect inkstone   , do some breathing exercises for serenity before you picked up your inkstick from it’s brocade-covered box, grind the inkstone ( adding a bit of water to make the texture just so),

breathe again before picking up brush and calmly, with intent, paint/draw/write/form



or   山 shān  , mountain. No, the calligraphy is not mine, but that of   Zhang Zhengyu.


Then, you would write the same character again and again, to contemplate it’s form, to find new expressions, to find perfection in the moment in the painting/drawing/writing/forming  the word you wanted to write.

It’s a meditation of sorts. What does it mean to be a mountain, to write the word mountain, to contemplate the order and format of the strokes….

Then of course, there is always the old folk you will see in the streets, parks, walkways, using a large brush almost as tall as themselves, with water for ink, making water words on the pavement.

It’s an art form, a beauty, a practice of serenity.

All from the humble 毛笔 máo bǐ



<a href=””>Pens and Pencils</a>