Sunday, January 12, 2014

Japanese Lessons

Every time I return to Japan it takes a bit of time to resettle.  Part of me is still elsewhere.  One aspect of this is reinvesting in learning the language.  I was thankful that Kaneko-san understood my phone message canceling our Japanese lesson this morning and that he further understood my desire to reschedule for the following Monday.  I haven't studied vocabulary or grammar since last month, but somehow the ability to speak a little bit of Japanese has stuck to me.

And although it's been several weeks since practicing shodo, I channelled its lessons this morning while I used a recorder to practice a movement of Bach.  Every take, there was something more to be wanted–a note held too long, something not started the way I wanted, out of tune, too much time, too little time–always in a different spot.  I remembered mornings spent with the brush, page after page, always something more to be wanted, using the blank space on my best copy to practice more.  And I remembered the way my teacher would so easily mark up one of her beautiful examples, so free in letting it go.  I remembered finding the answer less in the copy she gave me than in watching her make it.  

There are many lessons hidden inside of Japan.  Soon it will be time for me to seek them again.   

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