Affirmation

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long time, no blog

well, no better time than the now

I have a good tiedyer friend who passed on into the blue yonder just a while back, and have had the good fortune of having had a certain amount of his remains entrusted to me for enshrinement here in Japan, on the mountain out back. And this morning we took him up the mountain, my boys and i.

I told them about Michel on the way up, how he touched a lot of people through his posts on FB and through his tie dye even though he had never met so many of them in the flesh. I thought of his almost daily posts, mandalas, poems, rants, witty comments and observations, entreatments for a sale so he could buy Mt Dew and other necessities of life. He was a big part of my life, like a brother, and his sudden departure echoed across months, even now.

So we went up the mountain to a shrine almost at the top. There is a large outcropping of bedrock along the front face of the mountain, and one large boulder has broken loose and split in two. Legend has it that a certain earthquake split the rock over a hundred years back. Now, the space created under the two pieces is revered as a Shinto shrine, with deities and offerings. This was the first place that i had planned to enshrine my friend.

So i reached down and found an appropriate piece of wood which i used to scoop a small amount of the remains from the bag and then set them on a rock in front of the shrine. No sooner had i set this bit down, not a second after, a temple bell tolled somewhere from below, clearly, once. The timing could not have been better.

A temple bell, and it must have been a large one, because the tone was low and carried long. I do not even know of such a bell in the area, and i tend to know the temples which are around. I have never once heard such a bell from my house below, and i have been here for 12 years now.

I looked up, surprised, at my boys, who were staring back at me in disbelief. My younger boy let out a nervous laugh, and remarked it was scary. The japanese people are very superstitious , especially about things surrounding death. But I was happy to hear the bell. For me, it was loud and clear, purely an affirmation. Michel was where he should be.

After this, I moved away from the shrine somewhat to a cliff area, a lookout ridge that faces south over the expansive bowl of civilization, towns and buildings. It was where i had planned to leave my friend to rest, a place with a view, a look out spot, able to take flight in his astral journey through parallel planes and lands we can only dream of. And i placed the rest of him there.

It was out on a cliff, off the beaten path, and on our way back to the shrine from there, my boy exclaimed and poimnted at my feet. Down below there were feathers strewn across the pine needles, feathers adorned with blue and white stripes. The gift, the thank you, balancing out.

I picked up the feathers and put them in the package which used to carry my friends essence , and after saying a prayer, brought them back down, back down to a different realm, our realm. When you follow a path of karma, observing as you go, the affirmations come, and the gifts follow. : )

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Workshop time in LA(Long Beach)!!!

It’s comin’ up on that time of year! That time that I look forward to, going on over to Glennis’ in California to teach together with her. Link below.Image

https://www.facebook.com/events/320024571463053/?ref=3&ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular

This year, we are teaching BOTH mandala shibori AND itajime techniques in a three-day course. Mandalas basically being circular patterns which display different magnitudes of symmetry. Itajime shibori is an ancient japanese technique, but I initially approached it for a different reason. For me, the initial attraction was the fact that it is also repeated mandalas, if you look at it that way. And also the fact that Japanese width fabric lends itself so perfectly to such a technique!Image

Today, I completed this panel which combines both techniques in one work. The central mandala is 6 points in the middle, doubling to 12 points partway thru. Anybody who knows me and my work knows I love and prefer 6 and variables thereof, like 12 and 24. Six is displayed in nature in crystals of ice, and elsewhere, and the 12-point mandala surrounded by six-pointers seen in the itajime pattern (hard to make out clearly with this one, too many colors) is a basic representation of the structure within certain energy flow models. Sacred geometry, baby!

 

Granted, our first pieces don’t have to go the full nine-yards like this one did. We will learn and practice on both silk and cotton, steadily and repetitively over the three days. You will certainly get  the practice needed to retain the technique, so you you can take it with you and make it your own! : ) Everybody should dye mandalas!! It’s too fun!We are still looking for more students, so if you think you are interested, get in touch! : )

There’s the link below.

https://www.facebook.com/events/320024571463053/?ref=3&ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular


Greedy mandala, desire mandala….欲張りまんだら欲まんだら

Tried to make this 12 point out to 24 point mandala work. I had this super thin, super fine fabric which I had wanted to try for a while. Tied up a mandala yesterday and went for it. This is what I got. Kind of not what I had hoped for, a fail , in my eyes. Dye penetration sucks. Yeah, I ain’t gonna throw it away but….

First lesson: sometimes you push too hard and don’t get it exactly right.

One thing I found kinda ironic , though. The part which constitutes the fail, the areas of lighter color throughout the mandala, which radiate out from the center, actually look interesting , in a way, like light shining thru the mandala. Basically, the fail is the success….

Second lesson: same thing looked at from a different perspective looks very different, like a different object altogether.


new tube knits~~新しいチューブニット

Friend came to visit and brought me 4 new bundles of cotton tubeknit fabrics yesterday. He works inthe industry and frequently comes across discarded material…Four new cotton tubeknits!! How am I to be expected to concentrate??! Got an exhibition starting in five days….better concentrate…

友達が昨日来て新しい布四種類のチューブニット持って来てくれました〜〜〜!彼は布専門の仕事してよく捨てられる布を見つけれるらしい〜〜〜〜!四つの新しい生地〜! どうやって集中すればいいだろう!!あと五日間で展示会始まる。。。。集中しなくちゃ〜〜〜〜。。。。。

This is a test mandala on one of the fabrics–a really thick jersey-like knit, not much stretch….

これで一つの生地のテストまんだらーー分厚いジャーじぽい布、あんまり延びん。。。。


Dyein’ stuff blue….イろいろ青く染める。。。。

Dyein’ stuff blue,

Seemed like the thing to do.

An old honeycomb, some bark, fiber from wood,

Heck, I’d dye you blue, too, if only I could….

Oh great, now how am I gonna translate THAT into Japanese….?!