Saturday, January 14, 2006


I spent a pokey day not doing much of anything until late in the day. I tidied the house, did laundry, cleaned up the kimono explosion in the tatami room, played with the video capture and authoring tools on my computer and worked on my knitting.

In a rare turn of events, I managed to get a hold of my kid brother, and we chatted for almost an hour. He loved his birthday gift! I sent him a set of kanna and nomi (planes and chisels), because he's a woodworker. Japanese hand tools are like little pieces of art. The ones I purchased were old tools, full of "character" or if you want the Japanese, they had wabi-sabi. I was really, really pleased to hear how much he liked them. He even pointed out that he liked the patina and the fact that they were smooth and worn from use, full of history, full of stories, and as he held them, he found himself thinking about the people who used them and what things were made with them. I knew right then, I had found those tools a good home.

Actually, they weren't that worn, the largest plane apparently still had a razor-sharp blade.

I'm glad my brother "hears" the stories of things, as it means I'm not as nuts as I thought. My kimono sensei told me she likes to watch me shop for kimono, because I always go for kimono that are not as flashy or flawless as the newer ones most Americans buy, but are often more valuable and are made from much finer (and rarer) materials. I've often picked out the best in the bunch. She asked how I make my selections, because for someone with no formal training, she says I have a good eye. This might just be horsepucky employed to make a sale, but I'd like to believe I have a little bit of nascent talent. Anyway, she asked me to explain how I went about picking out kimono.

I told her, "You're going to think I'm crazy, but I buy the ones that talk to me. I don't know how else to explain it." **

Apparently, I didn't need to explain it, because Eiko-san smiled and said "I'm glad someone hears their voices."

I was really glad that Bill could hear the tools' stories. I hope they give him lots of joy.

**Although Malcolm Gladwell's Blink might be able to 'splain it--it's a good book, I own it.

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