Beauty and the Beast

If we met a guy like Gaston today, how would we respond?

How would we like to respond?

Think on that for a while.

Post-a-day 2018

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What to do with my life…

Nope, no idea.  I really haven’t any idea.  I mean, sure, I have loads of ideas all day long.  But I open up the page – that dreadful, white, blank page – and it all just seems to melt away.  It almost feels as though none of it ever existed in the first place.  It isn’t that I have a block.  It is that I have an empty slate.  And being able to create anything for this nothing is not only amazing, but mind-blowing.  I always look for direction, instruction, guidance…, and yet, does that direction, instruction, guidance, even if ever so slightly, take away from the me of it?  Does that not remove the me from the creation, and put at least a part of the result under the specifications of another, when it could have been all generated from me?  It could have been purely me, but I wanted outside direction.  But I want me and I want the blank slate… sort of.  I want the slate however it may be, but perhaps I would like to paint it first, and then begin to work (although the painting would be beginning already), because blank and solid and white is just not me.  Yes, yes… perhaps I just need to paint, and then create further and further from that initial coat.

Post-a-day 2018

Is it heart or nonsense?

Ever feel like you’re secretly an amazing artist, and you just have to set up your life so that you start creating the art, and the world will follow suit by tossing gobs of money your way to encourage more art to be shared with the world?  I totally do.  And I felt a lot of the pull today towards doing that with my life.  It has been a spectacular end of and beginning of these two different years of my life today.  My brain is sleepy from so much back-and-forth thought patterns and emotions, but thrilled at prospects that feel ever nearer.  🙂  I have happy hopes and intentions for this year.

Post-a-day 2018

But… those are mine – the things we do for love <3

Girls and bracelets.  Seems like a rather simple topic, right?  Just girls and bracelets.  Nothing special.  Today, however, they were both special.

It was my last day going by the school where I have been based this past year.  A student had been in touch to find out this information, and so knew that I was going to be there today in the morning.  When I arrived at my (well, it’s not my former desk, but I guess it must have still been mine, since the stuff all on it was for me) desk, I was surprised by a small and adorable (because Japan) pile of wrapped gifts.  Each one had a different note and was from someone different, both teachers and students.  They all surprised me, but the one that got me ready for tears was the one on a beautiful piece of Rapunzel Disney (C) paper, with “Love” tape to attach it to the pink bag.  It read:

Dear Hannah
Present for you.

From Nono, Yuna

These were the two main trumpet players in the band at school, the two with whom I had spent bits of time here and there, just listening to them play, chatting with them, having lunch with them, taking photos with and of them, letting them paint me (yes, they painted my arms one day), giving them fun jazz (which they had never heard!) music to play, and also playing trumpet with them.  Of course, I am going to miss these two dearly.

However, I never quite expected a present from them.  Let alone the nice little Japanese mirror, charm, and coin purse (or maybe it’s for makeup, even).  They’re designed to go with the whole yukata/kimono getup, and I had never found ones to go with mine.  So it was essentially a perfect going-away present for me!  And they had no idea.  They were just being sweet and giving me something Japanese.

So, a short time later, they show up to the teachers’ room and ask for me.  I rush over to them and shove them out of the teachers’ room in a hurry – no one else needs to be part of this little celebration-slash-goodbye ordeal that’s about to go down.

With the two are a handful of other girls from the band, too.  I thank them eagerly (Is that right?  Let me check… “eager, avid, keen, anxious, athirst mean moved by a strong and urgent desire or interest. eager implies ardor and enthusiasm and sometimes impatience at delay or restraint,” says merriam-webster.com, so I accept it as appropriate in this case.), and give hugs all around.  Some embrace the american social norm, and others delight in it hesitantly, but they all hug me with joy and enthusiasm.  I will miss these guys, runs through my head as we’re all chatting and being silly together, and I know my thought is right.  I will miss them desperately, and I know they will miss me, too.  The simple fact that my successor is not even musically inclined shows the unlikelihood of their finding a replacement-ish for me, and the fact that I am leaving Japan almost guarantees that I couldn’t even begin to find a sort of replacement for all of them.

As we are wrapping things up, so that they can go eat before they have to be back at band rehearsal (to which I had been listening earlier on in the morning, secretly), I notice yet again a comment directed at my shins-ankles-feet region.  i couldn’t hear what was said, as it wasn’t said to me.  Each time it happened, the comment was almost whispered to another girl, just quietly enough that I couldn’t quite hear.  But I could see.

I wondered if they were finally noticing how I don’t shave my legs – I kind of gave up shaving… not sure where I’m going with that in life, but it seems to be the current situation.  I am always happy to talk about almost anything with the girls, despite their often being incredibly shy about most things.  So, as I usually do, I encourage the comment to come to the open.

Finally, someone gets the nerve enough to say it aloud, and I am surprised.  It was not, as I thought, anything to do with my hairy legs (it is dirty blonde, after all, so it isn’t all too noticeable in the first place, but I imagine they’re all accustomed to mine already anyway, plus they seem to love the colors in all my various hairs (since they’re not just black, like Japanese people’s)).  What was the comment regarding?  My anklet.

“She… want… it,” was the oh-so-embarrasing phrase.  And oh, what self-searching consideration I had to make all of a sudden – I was amazed at myself at my success in the matter.

And so, as we all hug once more (or twice more) and say our goodbyes, I watch with a huge smile and a chuckle, as three of the girls bounce off wearing my anklet and two bracelets, all of which I had made for myself a couple or few years ago, and all of which I absolutely love wearing.  But, hey, as I told the girls, I made those myself, so I can get some more Mookaite and Jasper stones when I get back to Houston (I might even still have some, actually), and make myself some new versions of those same bracelets and the matching anklet.  Plus, as much as those meant to me, it pales in comparison to how much each now (and likely for the rest of their lives) means to those girls.  As they say in Japanese, one of them told me that it is her “precious treasure”.  I’m not sure they could have been more grateful, even if I had made the bracelets for them specifically.

I still kind of can’t believe those girls got my bracelets and anklet off of me.  But I also love how wonderful it felt to give away a part of myself to those who so greatly longed for a bit of it.  It was more than just giving away something I had with me, because it was 1)something I valued and 2)something I made myself, for myself.  It really was giving away a part of me.  It kind of feels like I’ll be able to take care of them forever, in some small way.  I like that.

Anyway, that was about ten minutes of today.  A really, really good ten minutes.  🙂


 

Post-a-day 2017

Tears for Art

Today, I cried a decent number of times.  I was exhausted, and still am (Therefore, I will keep this short.).  However, I only want to reference one of the cryings right now.

A student gave me her small piece of art today, after I complimented it to her.  As I was gazing at my newly acquired work of art, looking into the face of the person in it, I noticed that tears were starting to brim, and there was nothing to be done about it.  It was beautiful, and I was responding in a way I usually do not respond to beauty, though understand and accept fully.

Now, I want that student to do a portrait of me, color and all.
Post-a-day 2017

A slice of bread

Sometimes it really is the little things that count the most.  Today, I did some wonderfully awesome things.  I attended art class and mused over some amazing charcoal and pencil still-lifes coming to life; I taught traditionally silent and impassive kids to play charades, and to enjoy it; I played a bit of charades with some of those kids; I had lunch with a happy group of girls, while sitting barefoot in the wonderful and warm sunlight outdoors; I attended a master class on operatic vocal performance; I was given a private lesson in my first round of drawing with charcoal, and I did a decent job drawing; I had another personal lesson on how properly to put on a yukata and a kimono, and then did the yukata all by myself; I had tea and dinner with friends and acquaintances, and was given free amazing stuff to take home with me.

And yet, with all of that, the part f the day that stands out most to me, possibly as most fulfilling, even, was when I found myself spontaneously sitting on the floor with the two girls who had been teaching me to draw with charcoal, literally breaking bread together.  We were sitting and chatting and munching on a shared loaf of bread that we occasionally dipped in a bit of Bonne Mamman, enjoying ourselves completely.  We were silly and exhausted, and entirely content in one another’s company.  We knew we only had a short time for this little pause in the ever-forward movement of the day and its activities, and it was beautiful and blissful.  (And, funnily enough, it all happened, because the one girl had shown me her moldy bread earlier that she was using as a sort of eraser on her charcoal drawing, and I realized that I happened to have a fresh loaf of bread in my bag later on.)
Post-a-day 2017