Monday, January 27, 2014

Trees from the Forest

It was one of those days in shodo.  I began with two words in hiragana.  うぐいす(uguisu–a small bird, the name of which prompted the all the people in the class to start imitating its call in an attempt to define it), and  ふぶき (fubuki–the word for winter storm, something many people in America are experiencing right now).  I spent some time working through the straight lines and curves of these two.

Sensei's copies on the left, my attempts on the right
I then turned to the other assignment she had given me, kanji for forest:

Sensei's example
It's all trees, but some of the trees are a little different.  The right branches on the right trees are different from the right branches on the left trees.  The spacing and size is a little different for each of them.  A world to explore.

a few tree studies
So many trees, so many trees.  き、き、き。。。ki, ki, ki....the word for tree.  My Japanese friend laughed.  And Sensei came over to show me something.

Sensei's three diagonal lines and one horizontal line 
You have the time.  From the beginning to the end.  It is so easy to want to think about the other lines coming up, or judge the ones that already passed.  But then the present line is lost.  All lines become lost.  It's in her stroke while she makes it and how it appears on the page–time, patience, presence.

What does it mean to master something?  Is it the line or the way of the line?  Is it the sound or the way of the sound?  Is it in the things that we do, or in the way that we do them?

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