Students will now work on their individual projects until the end of term. Though I’ve given them a 28-word poem in week 1, everyone in class has declined to attempt it this term. Some, however, have chosen a line or a word or two from the poem as their project. A couple are still unclear as to what they want to do, or not do.
Everyone has a different problem with their work. Some to do with how they must set up their piece. Others find it hard to self critique. Those who are new to Chinese Calligraphy are still struggling with the shape of each stroke, the stroke sequence and the composition of each character.
Our most famous military strategist Sun Zi said ‘Know Thyself and Know thy Opponent and there will be little danger of losing.’
The opposite is also true: Not know your strengths and weaknesses and Not know that of your opponent, you will fail. But you have an even chance if you know yourself even if you do not know your opponent – that is the situation most of my students are in. It depends on the depth of their knowledge regarding oneself and one’s challenge.
The Ying Yang theory proposes that where is more darkness there is less light, where there is more light there is little darkness. Nothing is absolute but all nature obeys this principle. That is how you read the black and white ying yang symbol: that everything is in a state of change.
Next week there will be another test to see if the students know their strengths. To know the opponent may take the rest of our lives.