The lost heart
I’ve been steadily learning Mandarin by repeatedly writing characters everyday. So far, I’ve had the most success with making flashcards with the english meaning on one side and the chinese character on the other. I go through these cards during my work breaks, writing down all the chinese characters. If I get any wrong, I’ll assign myself to write two lines of the character in order to help cement it in my brain.
I was learning one word (which can be multiple characters) per day, but decided to step it up and add in a worksheet I found online from Practical Chinese Reader I. I don’t have the included lessons, so I just practice the characters by looking each one up in the dictionary and making up sentences using them.
(I should mention that my sentence making skills thus far are such that a 3 year old can pwn me.)
One of the recent workbook words was 忙 (pronounced máng), which means busy. If you dissect the two parts of the word, the left side means ‘heart’ and the right side means ‘lost,’ which when put together could say ‘lost heart’ if you put it together the same way I did. I thought this was a pretty interesting way to make a character that means ‘busy.’ If you think about it, when you’re busy (hustling, pressed for time), it might cause you to lose heart in what you’re doing. It made me think about the slow movement, where you try to be more conscious of what you’re doing, whether it’s eating, drinking, making art, walking somewhere. I think it’s supposed to help you appreciate life instead of simply rushing from one activity to another, rushing through the current activity and anticipating the next one. Live in the moment, not the future.
Of course, maybe this isn’t how to interpret this at all, and I’m probably just way off base here and putting way too much of my own ideas into it. Either way, it does help me remember how to write it.