“Uncle” Stone

outside Eslite (the 24-hour one, on Dunhua) there are always vendors (unofficial and ones that are licensed), their wares spread out on blankets. usually it’s just umbrellas and sunglasses (probably from China) and clothing only a tiny person could fit into. this one time though, i saw something that made me stop and look. rocks. painted rocks to be more precise, a wizened old man selling them. several people stood around looking at them (and i was tired and wanted to buy book 2 in the Hunger Games series) so i hurried on past, thinking he’d still be there when i came out. (he wasn’t.) darn!

then, to my great surprise and joy – he was there again this week (when a co-worker and i came out of Eslite after getting some vegetarian dinner at the downstairs buffet).

after a brief conversation we learned that the artist had once been a social worker and teacher and, while looking for something to paint that couldn’t be crushed by little hands, came up with the idea of painting rocks with icons and patterns that have special meanings. I chose white dandelions on a white background signifying hope (and who can’t use that these days?). So enchanted with my little purchase, I went back a few days later and found “Uncle” Stone again and this time selected a classic design of rice, which is intended to mean “having plenty”. (well we’ve sure had plenty of earthquakes this week!)

Plenty of Hope

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As for me, I will take the road less travelled…

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