“Pain” – Collage by El Collie

The following is a short excerpt from Xinran’s book
“The Good Women of China –Hidden Voices”  

“Some say that women 
always have to sacrifice 
emotion to success”

“In China, 
that is almost always the case.” 
Zhou Ting said, 
choosing her words carefully.

“If a woman 
asked you for 
the secret of your success, 
how would you reply?” I asked.

“First, put away 
the tender emotions 
of a woman 
and let the media 
gasp in amazement 
about how different your are.”

“Second, cut your heart out 
and create a good news story.”

“Then use your scars 
as a business opportunity: 
exhibit them to the public; 
tell them your pain.”

“As people exclaim 
over the wounds 
you must have suffered, 
lay out your products 
on their counters 
and take away the money.”

“Oh, Zhou Ting! 
It can’t really be that way?”

“Yes, It is. 
From my understanding of it, it is.” 
She said earnestly.

“Then how do you cope with life?” 
I asked, marveling once again 
at the courage of women.

“Do you have 
a callus on your hand? 
Or scars on your body? 
Touch them — 
do you feel anything?” 
Zhou Ting spoke gently, 
but her words made me despair.”

“The Good Women of China –
Hidden Voices” 
by Xinran

I have been deeply moved by Xinran’s book.
Her stories of Chinese women,
Centered around the time 
Of the Cultural Revolution,
Are heart rending.

Yet bringing these stories to light
brings a small redemption
for all the suffering,
Despair and Pain
Suffered by these women.

Xinran’s compassion
marks her 
with the brand of love
instead of the calluses
of deadened heart.

Her heart stays open
In the depths 
Of hellish despair

She give me hope

Feb 2010

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