I'm reading. Again. But this time it is a long read, as I come back to it when possible, usually at night time, or in the early morning hours before all the usual rush starts ...
(and let's face it, however irritating that rush may be, pulling me away from a book, it is one of these life-defining elements, the one I know I will miss when it's gone, and feel truly good that I can witness it now, and be a part of it nearly every day... As once in a while it happens that they sleep longer, giving me an extra hour which I waste almost completely anyway, staring at them in their sleep... typical:)
Anyway, I stumbled upon this book one day. Since it was raining. And sun decided it was better to wait the weather out behind the clouds. I followed the example, my clouds being bookshelves at my local bookshop. And then I saw the cover, with bamboo stick on white background. And the title: 'Bend, Not Break. A Life in Two Worlds.'
There is something utterly refreshing and invigorating in white&green combination. It has this springy vibe and appeal that it is going to be better, whatever the weather.
The book though: it is a story of Ping Fu, a woman who was taken away from her family when she was 7 years old, told by the soldiers few years older than her that she was another people's child (awful way of finding out but that was the least of her problems), and taken to a sort of education / work camp. Where she not only had to survive, minding her newly identified little sister (completely on her own! At 7! That is incredible even by Medieval standards!), but worked at a factory. Learning electrical circuits, compiling radio transistors, polishing metal pieces until they looked like mirrors, spotless and clean... Only to become computer engineering student in the US years later, and a co-founder of a successful engineering software company.
I look at my 7-year old when reading this story and think how life can twist and twirl. Our lives have made a huge turn, too, but on a completely different level. Yet, I feel so many connections with that read. It's extraordinary.
Here is a story of a woman, like me, who grew up in a communism era, like me, who had incredibly difficult childhood, unlike me. Yet, I feel for her with every single page I turn.
And the thoughts she shares about ethics of work. Incredible. Like this one, from her early US working experience:
'There was no explanation of why we should perform our tasks or that the end product would look like. I was stunned. My approach to work had always been precisely the opposite. I had sought to understand the why before what and how. It was as though we were masons constructing a magnificent cathedral, only without the vision being communicated or an architectural plan presented. How could we be inspired if we received nothing more than instructions about how to lay bricks?'