Thursday, December 31, 2009

flounders floundering.......with parameters.

Tsukiji Flounder

Much as I feel right now. I'm struggling with time and healing and the fact that I can't DO any of the things that I am programmed to do. From mind to hand is how I usually operate. An interrupted circuit, the sounds of a grinding and frustrated engine, trying to become 'quiet'.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

different kinds of offerings....

Ema (絵馬?) are small wooden plaques on which Shinto worshippers write their prayers or wishes. The ema are then left hanging up at the shrine, where the kami (spirits or gods) receive them. They bear various pictures, often of animals or other Shinto imagery, and many have the word gan'i (願意), meaning "wish", written along the side. In ancient times people would donate horses to the shrines for good favor, over time this was trasferred to a wooden plaque with a picture of a horse, and later still to the various wooden plaques sold today for the same purpose.

Ema are sold for various wishes. Common reasons for buying a plaque are for success in work or on exams, marital bliss, to have children, and health. Some shrines specialize in certain types of these plaques, and the larger shrines may offer more than one.

The second picture is of a Pachinko Parlor, a different kind of shrine. Bowing to chaos, smoke and loud, loud sound.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

48 hours in.....

Just saying 'no' to evil
Kyoto Side Street

almost 48 hours into my new thumb. a left handed update. the only problem is getting to the question mark on my keyboard.

i suspect this will be slow going for awhile.

i hope that every ones holidays are enjoyable, and that you all can take some time for yourselves!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Home safely.


From Wikipedia:
"Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社?) is the head shrine of Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan. The shrine sits at the base of a mountain also named Inari, and includes trails up the mountain to many smaller shrines.

Because Inari is the god of business, each of the Torii is donated by a Japanese business.

Merchants and manufacturers worship Inari for wealth. Donated torii lining footpaths are part of the scenic view.

This popular shrine is said to have as many as 40,000 sub-shrines (matsuji) throughout Japan."

The single most breathtaking batch of images from my trip came from this location. I don't know where to begin on my recall from this time away.

I'll start here, with much to digest.

So many thanks go to so many people for making this trip possible, not the least of which has been ongoing well wishes for a safe return (now completed) and healing thoughts towards Tuesdays procedure.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I'm off......

The time has finally come. Today is the final pack job for my trip to Japan.

Last week I had a loss of a most treasured accessory, unquestioningly my favorite scarf. It has traveled with me for 6 years or so, essentially my 'security blanket'. A silk and wool scarf created by Inge Bauer, a German feltmaker extraordinaire.

Yesterday I was possessed to create a version of my own. In this time of anticipation it seemed imperative to have a warm and soft 'comfort object'. In my long hiatus from feltmaking I was pleased to have a new found communication with the fibers, the result was a piece I am pleased with......and of course look forward.....way the resumption of my time to create more, later.

In the meantime, a junket around Japan, traveling to Tokyo, Kobe and Kyoto. I am armed with a couple of travel guides, figuring I'll have 17 hours of study time once I leave the ground. Ooooh, monkeys and fishmarkets, oh my.

For those who might place orders between now and then. I apologize beforehand that I won't be filling orders until my return, 12/19/09.

I returned Sunday late from a lovely time in south Florida. The guild and its members surely make you feel welcome. I loved my time in Diane's home and the jungle outside, made to think about how much time and effort needs to go into trying to tame nature and fight back the inevitable and rapid growth of vegetation in a tropical climate. It's challenge enough here in currently dormant New England. A giant thank you to all who chose to come and spend some time with me in the three great days that I spent with all of you.

I leave conceding to take my 'real' camera, and trying to channel a zen approach to packing as I have to haul whatever the choices are all over the country. Oh yeah, minimalism.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Just focus on the important parts....

....and it is up to each of us to determine what is most important.