How I met Guan Yin

Last day in Shanghai and I am still looking for a Guan Yin statuette. Preferably made from Jade or some other crystal. A day earlier I was looking in the shops near the Great Buddha Temple but nothing there. Then I heard this voice telling me to look in the Old Town. We had been there a couple of days before when we visited Yuyuan Gardens. A crowded busy place with lots of tourists in the shops and restaurants around. My son and husband went crazy with the noise and decided to go back to the apartment. I started to wander about. Witch direction should I take? People were approaching me with questions where I wanted to go and if I wanted to buy something from them.

Suddenly I saw a sign: Antique Market in the basement of Building so and so. Just around the corner. I started to descent the stairs and suddenly everything was quiet, no noise could reach this hidden, tucked away place. Then I saw hundreds of shops down in the basement filled with beautiful artifacts. Buddha’s, dragons and what not, carved from jade, everything of high quality. Here I was in a hidden treasure place filling myself up with this vibrant energy. I felt happy to be surrounded by artifacts so beautiful. Then I started to look around for my Guan Yin. Where is she? I made my way through lots and lots of tiny little shops. Old men waving to me to come in. I saw several Guan Yins but I could not make up my mind. Is this the one? Or that one? My heart was pounding with excitement. I knew for sure this is the place where I am going to find her! I already put of my coat because I felt so hot in here and then I stumbled into a place witch looked like a junk shop. Everywhere little things like little bowls, teapots, little statuettes of fish, figurines etc. covered in dust. A man and a woman just had lunch and invited me in. I looked around and did not see what I really liked. Than the woman pointed towards a spot hidden in the shade on top of a shelf. She could not say anything in English but what I understood was: do you like this one? Her husband helped her to get the thing down and put it on the corner of a very small table witch was covered with other things. In this tiny little room I saw her for the first time. But this is not what I was looking for! Multi colored porcelain! I wanted to have a Guan Yin made of stone! In one color please!

But there she was and I fell for her. Her delicate pose, the beautiful colors of her garment and refined face.  There were other Guan Yins in the shop but not so beautiful as this one.  And when I still doubted she started to talk to me in her reassuring way.  Guan Yin goddess of mercy I love you! And that is how I came back to Holland with Guan Yin traveling in a suitcase I specially bought for her, because she didn’t want to travel in the luggage space of the airplane. And rightly so, she deserves to be above not below us. 

Now she is sitting on the piano overlooking the living room and everybody visiting. Welcome to our home Guan Yin!

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