On of my favorite things to look for in Chinese parks are the men (it’s almost always men) who write poetry on the sidewalk using a large sponge calligraphy brush:

It’s beautiful, living art.

It’s social with people hanging around and chatting about the stroke order, the ability of the writer, the words written.

It’s also fleeting. Writing with water is a different kind of creative endeavor than working with ink. You know from the beginning it will not last.

Isn’t that an apt summary of life: beautiful, social, fleeting.

As much as I don’t like it, it turns out that most of what I pour my time and energy into is fleeting, at least on the surface. Laundry? Sure it’s done, only to be done again. A great lesson plan leads to mixed feelings of pride, joy, fun, and a bit of a let down (now I need to start on the next one). Whether you are a foodie or live on peanut butter toast, food and dishes are on going. I’ll hit publish on this post and  as I do an internal happy dance, I’ll also be thinking about future posts.

I’m coming to the end of my time in the US and wonder, what have I done with this time that won’t evaporate? What has been built on rock and not sand?

It is right and good to reflect on the ways we invest our lives, time, and money. But it is also right and good to turn to each other and say:

“Just because something looks to be fleeting, that is not the full picture.”

What you do, the conversations you have, the games you play, the emails you write, the projects you work on, the loads of laundry you do are the strands of life that when woven together build into something larger than the fleeting moments they represent. Amen?! Amen.

Yes, I create with water, you create with water, but it is not mere water.

Categories: China, Faith, God, Relationships



Leave A Comment

  1. David Rupert July 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    An intriguing post. We all want legacy. We all want things that last. But who says if it’s important today, that it needs to be important tomorrow?

  2. Melanie August 7, 2012 at 6:55 am - Reply

    This post definitely got me thinking, Amy. And what incredible pictures. I want to spend the majority of my time on creations that last.

    • Avatar photo
      Amy August 7, 2012 at 7:20 am - Reply

      me too! :). me too!

  3. Gleanings « Dwell Richly August 15, 2012 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    […] Amy at The Messy Middle.   A fascinating Chinese art form and reflections on its implications for […]

  4. […] a stormy night is quite an example of perseverance and hope against steep odds.  It reminds me of this post about how what we work at often disappears before our very eyes (no spiders at that link, I […]

Related Posts