First Love

It all started with this little book I received from my mother. I must not have been more than 5 years old then. The book was nothing special, its contents were but samples of elementary-school students’ compositions with pictorial illustrations. Something many Chinese parents would buy for their little children who were just starting to learn how to read and write. Yet it was the first piece of literature I ever encountered; and it ensnared me. I remember going over those short essays and stories again and again, seeing what the authors saw, feeling what the authors felt. My imagination was kindled. Eventually I began to write on my own, in a little notebook, imitating and learning from what I had read. What was beyond my vision at that time, was that I had nailed my soul to the altar of something far powerful than I will ever be; and that I had pledged myself with a vow that cannot be broken or annulled.

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