Monday, September 28, 2015

88

I've been gardening a lot, cooking a bit, reading while recuperating, and not weaving much. If I have a dressed floor loom I could weave in spurts, but since it's only the two table looms ready for me, I find it harder to sit down quietly after a morning, or longer, in the garden. But this is the very reason I haven't dressed the floor looms; I prefer to weave on them and I have projects I can only work on the table looms I want to get through.

Daylight savings started last weekend so that should alter my body clock slightly. Strange thing is, the week leading to the switch over, I kept waking up around six o'clock, extraordinarily early for me. Maybe working outside a lot has put my body more in sync with the changes of the season. It's still cold in the mornings, unusually for this time of year, but the direction and the brightness of the sun is decidedly spring, even summer, and hay fever is in full bloom. On the North Island and sunnier gardens around the country, flowers are in bloom. Chez moi, seeds are sprouting, seedlings are going into the ground.
I can show you the cherry tree now; it's about 65% in flower. (Japanese start calling out at about 30% and follow how far a certain famous cherry tree or park or mountain is in flower. It's covered in the nightly news there.) And just as in Japan, the spring wind blows and rain comes down just as the flowers come out, but it's said that this extremely short season is why we Japanese love cherries.
I mended everything that needed mending and fringed everything that needed fringing, and I have two pieces and two big fabric swatches to wash. This one on Klik didn't look very interesting while I wove, but as it sat not under tension for a while, it started to look better and I am heartened.
Today is my Dad's 88th birthday, a double-lucky number in Japan, and I assume China. In Japanese the 88th birthday is called "beiju", pronounced like "beige" but with a stronger vowel at the end, because 88 in Kanji look like "rice", in this case pronounced /bei/, and "ju" means celebration.

                                 八
                                 十   米
                                 八
                                 88           rice

Dad was really looking forward to turning 88, (he died at 85.5,) and his former students were going to throw a big birthday party. Instead, he got two big and two small memorial gathering in two years; he'd be laughing at how it turned out.

It's strange how I miss him, how I don't remember any of his vulnerabilities, his fragility, and his temper; he had a fierce temper but it now feels as distant as something I read but not experienced. I miss him, but I'm now used to the fact he's not around. I'm not even taken aback when I want to ask him about chemistry, history, geography, politics, politics, and politics but I'm annoyed he's not there to answer me. But I still yell at the telly when politicians are being stupid and elicit Dad to do the same.

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