I haven’t written in a while. This is perhaps symptomatic of being busy in my last semester of University, or that Covid-19 has drained me of any inspiration, or just growing up and realizing maybe I’m not meant to write and have no new thoughts to offer to the world.

Maybe the last conclusion is a little dramatic. But, the fact of the matter is, it’s really hard to come up with new ideas. We see this in film—all auteurs make movies about the same things. Scorsese continues to make the same mafia movies, Tarantino continues to be racist. Perhaps…


My mother once described me as a porcupine. “Whenever we argue, your spikes come out,” she said. “Zhārén.”

In Chinese, ‘zhārén’ means to prick someone, but my mother would use it to say that I cut her deeply. It’s a loose translation that vaguely summarizes what she means, but I guess her words were just lost in translation. She said if anyone misspeaks, I would prickle and poke them with my words until they bleed. …

Helen Du

anecdotes and musings

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store