Song of Hope Author


Song of Hope

Three women in three generations struggle with love and pain through times of great political upheaval in China...
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“Home” can have different meanings for different people, just as “homesickness” may also feel different to each of us. For me “home” is where my heart finds its peace and my soul finds its mother.
I lost my mother when I was very young and have never stopped missing her. In the beginning all I could see was a sad gray color each time I thought of her, but the years went by and the gray slowly transformed into the warm yellow of autumn, a mixture of desire and longing. I think that anyone who has lost someone they love or has moved abroad leaving their roots behind, understands this feeling. The sudden nostalgia for home, which often sweeps over me, has prompted me to question how to introduce my country to others. Most people know where China is, but how many really know what it is? Since the American author Pearl S. Buck started writing stories about China eighty years ago, there have been countless other works published on the subject, yet how many of these really enable the reader to enter into the spirit of the country and understand the culture? China has a long and complex history. Can one therefore unveil its true nature simply by reading about Mao or the country’s last Emperor? For me China is like a huge lake, and each story someone tells about it is like one tiny droplet on its surface. Through my story I try to sprinkle my droplet in the hope that the ripples expand far beyond time and space, so that more and more people may find a new home for their heart wherever they are from.
I grew up with a very beautiful and richly decorated baldachin bed. A bed like this has always been more than just a place for sleeping or giving birth. For children it is their nursery and playpen, whilst for grown ups it is the perfect place for a Chinese tea ceremony. I remember my parents practicing “cha dao”, the way of tea, almost every day there. After dinner my grandmother used to tell me about imperial China’s golden past. I once asked her if she had lived through the stories she liked to tell me but she just smiled knowingly. The following evening I asked her again. “My little granddaughter” she answered, “The stories I tell are the stories of this bed. Every old thing has been through far more than we have and has seen things we can barely even imagine.”
My grandmother was right. That baldachin bed had lived to see three generations of women and over a century of Chinese history. It was there to witness the dramatic changes in politics and in their lives, their tragic loss and family separation, their passion, their love and the hope they held for tomorrow… I write what this bed narrates…

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