Thursday, 21 July 2011

A Bird Called Exceeding Joy Rang My Doorbell

On the way home from hospital, Mum says casually, "We had guests. But you'll never guess who." Unsurprisingly, I couldn't guess, seeing as I had never met them before, and neither had my parents. A parcel intended for me, had found its way to another village. The lady of the house had signed for it, without looking at the name, since she had been expecting a parcel from her son. When she finally noticed 'Tayabali', she felt dreadful, and hustling her husband into the car, drove straight over. (I was hooked up to the IV, meanwhile, unaware of all of this). "Anyway," continues my mother, clearly enjoying herself, "they brought a parcel... a large parcel!" I hurtled into the house, and flew about the rooms, one by one, until my mother, feeling sorry for me, led me upstairs. There, on the doorstep of my (very untidy!) room....
For those of you who have been following my blog since its inception, you will know of my dear friend, the artist, Jeanne-ming Brantingham, who creates art on Wu Fung Road... We have never met, and I rang her for the first time while ripping into her gift. Here is the inscription on the back of the canvas...
No one knew that Miss T'ang wrote poetry deep into the night except for her close neighbor Mrs Hao, who could hear the faintest musical murmur drifting to her open window. She would stand straining to hear the beautifully crafted phrases and her heart soared each and every time she heard her young neighbor reading her poetry aloud to herself.
Frequently Hao Tai Tai stole across the alley bearing a pot of Jasmine tea. "Dear friend," she would whisper as she let herself in to T'ang Shiao Jye's study, "would you mind to read me that last poem again; the one about flying free?"

You can call me T'ang Shiao from now on, if you like :) Exceeding Joy is the name of the little bird popping excitedly out of his cage, to join us in a pot of Jasmine tea... I cannot believe I have my very own Jeanne-ming Brantingham painting... Now to find the perfect spot!


ruanna3 said...

What a magnificent story, Shaista. The painting is very beautiful and the friendship equally so :)

steven said...

goodness draws goodness to itself - or herself -shaista!!! lucky gifted you!!! steven

Yoli said...

How gorgeous!!! May exceeding joy always linger in your home. She is such a dear lady and so generous of heart.

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Sherry Blue Sky said...

How COMPLETELY wonderful!!!!!! A glorious painting, wonderful words on the back and I love the name of the little bird of exceeding joy. What a lift this gave my heart! SO wonderful!!!!! Bravo to your lovely artist friend, Jeanne-ming.

nene said...

This wonderful friendship of human collaboration is a manifestation of life's balance, the yin/yang of the Universe. Where ever you hang it will be the 'perfect' place.

Thanks for sharing this moment with us.

Marion said...

How very thoughtful of your dear friend. It is a lovely painting. Hope you are doing well.

Terresa said...

What a beautiful painting and gift! An honor. Maybe hang it on your wall near all of your books and nail polish bottles? :)

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