With no warning, I got some bad news a couple of weeks ago. It certainly wasn’t earth-shattering or tragic news, mostly just yukky news that affects your ego. And maybe your stomach. For awhile. That kind of bad news.
I was upset, naturally. I had planned to meet up with a friend in downtown Los Angeles that night for a quick dinner before going to an event for online journalists at the LA Times building. It still sounded like fun even though I was feeling punky, so I went.
Amazingly, I didn’t hit any traffic at all and was driving through Chinatown when I realized that I was pretty early. I’ve always wanted to stroll through Chinatown and have literally never done it in the years that my husband and I have lived in the Los Angeles area.
Magically, a parking spot appeared and I knew the moment was meant to be. I took a couple of photos with my snappy new mobile phone camera and then went shopping.
The first store I went into had an array of the usual stuff you find in American Chinatowns, but I was so thrilled to be there that I perused everything carefully. Suddenly, along one wall, I saw an assortment of carved stone stamps.
When I walked over and looked closer, I saw that they were Chinese characters for people’s names and for special words. I started looking for my name but gave up because there were so many and they were arranged in no particular order (that I could determine).
Then I saw it. The stamp that made me feel better and more hopeful, all at once.
Here it is:
Or, at least that’s what the label on the stamp says (if anyone sees that I have actually bought a stamp that says I LOVE FUDGE or KITTENS ARE MY LIFE or whatever, do, please, let me know.).
I bought the gooey red ink to go with my stamp and happily went on my way to pick up the rest of my life, post-bad news.