Monday, September 22, 2014

Autumn Sky for Granddad

The weather this morning, all day today, was so beautiful.  It's the kind of weather that hurts because it can't be loved enough.  Something about the sun, something about the sky, something about the air in the midst of a change that cannot be harnessed.  I recently the kanji, 日光 (nikko), meaning sunlight; I thought perhaps I would ask my shodo teacher to let me try it in class today.

But in class she gave me several other projects.  First was 登山 (tozan) for mountain climbing, then にわか雨 (niwaka ame) for rain showers, then 月光 (tsugikou) meaning moonlight.  I went through them in silence, first writing them on the back of a receipt, planning out the space and the motions with my pencil, and then using paper, brush and ink.

登山 (tozan) - mountain climbingにわか雨 (niwaka ame) - rain showers月光 (tsugikou) - moonlight
It took me far less time to work through these than usual.  Perhaps after several months away I've reacquired some beginner's luck.  Or perhaps without the camaraderie of my friends, I had nothing to do but to focus on the lines I was drawing, taking my time.  It was a slow and peaceful morning, washed in the sounds of others speaking Japanese, watching Sensei draw the lines with such calm acumen, working with other students, listening and watching her explain.

I had finally gone as far as I could with "moonlight."  I could see areas for improvement, but I felt it was time to have her corrections.  She added a few things but was mostly very pleased and gave me one more in the final ten minutes of class.

あきばれ (akibare) - clear fall sky
"Aki" means "autumn," "bare" is a derivative of "hare," which means "clear sky."  A feeling created, poetry in a single word.  An inspiration to learn more Japanese that I may come to feel it.

I relished the short bike ride home, wishing I didn't also feel a desire to practice during the afternoon.  So many wonderful things in life.  Skies, music, characters emerging on the page in time and over time, another language, another life.  No way to take it all in.

Can you find all beauty?  No, but you can fill your life with it.

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