The Art of Gratitude


A single, overworked father cradles his newborn child, the baby serene in her dreamlike state. The bags under his eyes and unshaven face punctuate an exhausted existence. His physical tiredness, however, is relegated to the background—replaced by his loving embrace with his child, delicately holding his baby’s hand, his touch providing the means for the baby’s tranquility. The father’s labors of love take many forms, but the most profound one is there in his offspring. He contemplates his gratitude for his good fortune in the midst of relentless uncertainty, as he silently projects to his child: “Let compassion always guide you on your journey.”


I created this entry from the November prompt, the art of gratitude. At first, the idea of gratitude came in the form of family, or specifically, my mother and father. I reflected on what they have given me, my heritage. With this idea in mind, I wanted to express both my gratitude towards my parents and also towards my heritage in one piece, creating a traditional Chinese brush painting piece on rice paper. I decided to focus on the importance of hair, one of which is significant in showing who I am, and also my identity as an Asian American. Also, Chinese Confucius said that hair is one that is gifted by parents. With these ideas in mind, I chose to connect the hairs of my parents to mine, a sign to thank them for giving me my life through their sacrifices and hard work. I created the piece “Parents” to thank my parents, and to also appreciate my heritage and identity.