The objects in the picture are called the Four Treasures of the Study. They are brushes, inkstones, paperweights, and Xuan paper. On the right of the photograph, one brush is made of wolf hair and the other is made of wool. They have different nib hardnesses because they have different functions. On the top of the picture is the inkstone decorated by a carved dragon and a Chinese scroll, which symbolizes majesty. The inkstone is a special stone, and its function is to hold the ink stick that will be ground and mixed with water to make liquid ink, which will be transferred to the right container. On the left of the picture are two paperweights, and the pattern on them is bamboo from the Three Friends of Winter. These two heavier stones are responsible for keeping the paper flat. In the middle is Xuan paper, a specially crafted calligraphy paper. The word written on the paper is 福（blessing)—this Chinese character symbolizes peace and happiness. My mother and I like to use these tools to practice calligraphy. In the picture, I am writing calligraphy. My mother taught me calligraphy when I was very young. For my family, calligraphy not only represents a skill; it also cultivates one's mind and temperament. Because of my studies, I do not have time to study calligraphy systematically. Whenever I have free time, I always like to open the window and let the sunshine and breeze sprinkle onto the desk in the warm afternoon air. I like to feel the roughness of the ink particles and the smoothness of the Xuan paper, and forget all the worries in life to make my artwork.
I have always been curious about the evolution of other scripts, such as the ancient Greek alphabet, Egyptian hieroglyphs, cuneiform, and Indus Scripts. Unfortunately, these scripts and their cultures have all fallen into the long river of history. These characters are like mysterious codes waiting for humans to crack. There is only a little connection between them and the modern scripts, and their vitality is like a flame from a burned out candle. At this time, I feel the greatness of Chinese characters more and more. This is the only living ancient writing system with its own unique writing methods and instruments. I feel very fortunate that my culture is not locked away in a museum. It is in the homes of ordinary Chinese people who love and are still writing calligraphy, a part of the Chinese culture. Whenever I hold a brush, I feel I am connected to history. Whether it is ancient poetry or novels, ancient military orders or edicts, they were all written with the tools in my hand and the characters I use. How romantic is this! It's like passing the Olympic flame. Every Chinese dynasty, every Chinese emperor, and every ordinary person will pass the Chinese culture from generation to generation. The fire of the times burns traces of the old dynasty, but they cannot burn away all the traces of culture. This is not only a miracle for the Chinese people but also a miracle for humanity. Today, Chinese traditional culture has met with modern development. Calligraphy has a new life, and people don't need to commemorate it because it still exists.