Born in 1976; native of Zhucheng, Shandong, member of the China Calligraphers Association, Vice-President of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Standing Committee and the China Disabled Persons’ Federation of Weifang, an award-winning calligrapher with works selected into more than 50 national and provincial calligraphy exhibitions, and a “National Model of Virtue” as awarded by the General Office of the Central Commission for Guiding Cultural and Ethical Progress.
“No matter how fast-paced and pressing life is, I feel calm and at ease whenever I pick up a writing brush.” – Liu Xiaoqing
A faint scent of ink in the air, a flat piece of rice paper on the desk, a writing brush in hand, Liu Xiaoqing is drawing poetic beauty as if to strike a chord with scholars in ancient times. Her favorite works are of Su Shi and Tao Qian—distinguished Chinese poets who lived during the Song and Eastern Jin Dynasties. Of all their respective lines, “turning my head, I see the dreary beaten track / let me go back! / Impervious to wind, rain or shine, I’ll have my will” and “what revelation at this view? / words fail if I try to tell you” best illustrate their imperturbable and broad-minded personalities which Xiaoqing greatly admires.
Xiaoqing is a native of Zhucheng City, Shandong Province. In 1981, when she was just five years old she was involved in a terrible accident—a tractor rolled over her, leaving her paralyzed from the chest down. Her family brought her to every doctor they could find all over the country hoping to reverse the injury, however their efforts were to no avail and they had to take her home.
At an otherwise innocent age, Xiaoqing suffered the cruelty of fate. “In the following four or five years, I often had nightmares about that accident. My legs couldn’t feel a thing, but my heart was aching so badly.”
In those darkest of days, calligraphy became her salvation. Because of her physical condition, she only studied for one and a half years in school. Her parents had to leave her home alone when they went to work. Xiaoqing endured endlessly long hours alone during the daytime, forlorn and helpless.
Never will she forget the day when she officially picked up a Chinese writing brush. It was September 12, 1992 and her parents had hired a calligraphy tutor for her. “Beginning then I saw hope. I found my best friend for life: Calligraphy.”
This story is part of a series of articles published as an exclusive editorial exchange between China Press for People with Disabilities & Spring Breeze and ABILITY Magazine