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Archive for May 13th, 2010

After a week’s break, ikebana picked back up again last night, with nearly everyone bringing something tasty to share with the group.  I had purchased some random snacks from China, and enjoyed watching my ladies get a big kick out of translating the Chinese characters into something readable in Japanese.  Comments I especially liked were: Foreign candy is a little scary, no? and It’s not as scary if we try it together and This tastes like China!

Also, it was really interesting to get to do some ‘cultural observing.’  It had come to pass that one of the ladies’ schedule’s had changed so that meeting on Wednesday nights was no longer convenient timing for her.  After a private talk with our Sensei, they returned to our hang-out table where the Sensei spoke on behalf of (we’ll call her) Ikelady-san.  The conversation more or less went like this:

“Ikelady-san’s schedule has changed and now Wednesday night’s are difficult for her.  She does not want to quit ikebana, nor does her husband want her to quit, but she must now work Wednesday nights at their family temple.  While Ikelady-san has not and cannot ask to have the day changed, I am doing it for her.”

What proceeded was silence while the other women mulled this over.  Then, suddenly, everyone seemed to have an opinion, and problems with other days of the week.  (Mind you, without coming out directly and saying that it was a problem nor that other weekdays were impossible.)  Ikelady-san sat there mindfully the whole time.  It concluded with the women saying “Can’t you go back to your husband to see if you can change your schedule?” and “Just ganbare (read: suck it up and deal with it) and come after your temple shifts on Wednesday nights.”  Essentially, it was 10 minutes of round-about annoyance at being put out ending with a simple “There there, now shut up, dear” while Ikelady-san resigned herself to her fate.  I stayed silent throughout and watched the circus.

Anyway, enough talk.  Last night was another shinputai arrangement, in which we were allowed to select our own shyu or focus.  Shyu: Ansurumu, what appears to be in the Calla lilly family, but I’m not certain; You: Taniwatara leaf; Ashirai: Queen Anne’s lace

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