spring-moon-agate-tiger-stamp

Cynthe's Chinese Spring Moon stamp hand-carved from agate

2007 ~ The Chinese stone carver craftsman called “Chen Yu” softly as Bill and I were selecting a serene Chinese wall scroll among the offerings on the far side of the store. The only customers shopping at the time, it dawned on me he was calling MY name….my new Chinese pseudonym for use on my SpringMoon D’Gravure™ etchings and art site.

With a shy smile of recognition, I walked over to his counter to see the lovely signature stamp he had just hand carved for me. The kindly fellow showed me the finished stamp, rubbed the incised surface in vermilion paste and stamped it firmly for my approval on the same scrap of paper where he had written Chen Yu for the original order.

It was beautifully done! Surprised at how quickly he had carved it and admiring his skilled craftsmanship, I smiled. He glanced up with a pleased look handing me a red silk lined brocade box, where the mottled jasper stamp was nestled beside a round, dark smoky brown, stone container filled with more of the vermilion paste.

spring-moon-agate-tiger-signature-stamp

Cynthe's Spring Moon signature stamp has a tiger, her Chinese astrological animal, on top.

I had enjoyed looking carefully at all the stone stamps displayed on a counter in the front window, each topped with a different Chinese astrological animal. Selected a handsome ochre agate stamp with strong oxblood markings crowned with a carved tiger – the Chinese astrological animal of my birth year.

We went over to pay the charming saleswoman at the cash register. She asked what name I had chosen. I showed her the stamp. She murmured “Chen Yu.” Her face softened with appreciation… Looking through me as if to another time and place, she confided, “This is an excellent name, a REAL Chinese name. VERY beautiful!” Delighting me, of course!

Bill and I walked out with our treasures: my signature stamp & a 5 foot high wall scroll ~ a full moon rising behind a graceful stand of bamboo, painted on silk. San Francisco’s Chinatown was crowded that sunny July afternoon. Folks everywhere! Narrow streets full of traffic, pedestrians,

spring-moon-agate-tiger-signature-stamp

Cynthe's Spring Moon signature stamp is topped with the Chinese tiger, her astrological symbol.

entertainers, and tourists. Chinese men sitting around the edges of the grassy park playing board games, card games, and gambling. A great day for an outing. We were so glad our Tai Chi friend, Julia Wong and her sister Helen, had recommended this wonderful shop to us or we never would have known where to go. 

My sweet Chinese Tai Chi classmates and excellent instructor Li ShuDong, one of four “Diamond” [highest honor] Tai Chi Masters in all of China, had helped me select my Chinese name ‘SpringMoon.’ [ChenYu in Cantonese / TuWen YuEh in Mandarin]. Everyone approved of my final choice ~ and with those same soft expressions on their faces ~ telling me it sounded authentically Chinese.

SpringMoon was derived from the season of my birth 
combined with my formal first name, Cynthia – a less familiar, alternate name for Diana / Artemis (the Greek & Roman moon goddess).

SpringMoon is also a tribute to my Oriental past-lives…the exact details now only intuitive impressions, strong aesthetic preferences, and an abundance of  Asian & Oriental associations in my current life.

chinese-signature-stamp-in-brocade-box

Cynthe's Chinese SpringMoon signature stamp in its brocade box

Justin ~ Master Li’s gifted protegee ~ had been studying Mandarin for several years. He explained why it’s such a PERFECT name, containing all the elements of harmonious balance.  TuWen pronounced with a rising lilt means ‘Spring,’ and has masculine or Yang energy. YuEh pronounced with a descending tone means ‘Moon’ and has feminine or Yin energy. And then there’s the poetic element of springtime’s beauty and the loveliness of a full moon night.



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