A doctor has come to see one of his patients in a hospital. The patient has had major surgery to both of his hands.
"Doctor," says the man excitedly and dramatically holds up his heavily bandaged hands. "Will I be able to play the piano when these bandages come off?"
"I don't see why not," replies the doctor.
"Wonderful," says the man. "I always wanted to be able to play!"
|1978, signing a painting|
So, I loved the discipline of sho-do where my mistakes were quieter. Wikipedia says, "Japanese calligraphy was influenced by, and influenced, Zen thought. For any particular piece of paper, the calligrapher has but one chance to create with the brush. The brush strokes cannot be corrected and even a lack of confidence will show up in the work. The calligrapher must concentrate and be fluid in execution. The brush writes a statement about the calligrapher at a moment in time (-Hitsuzendo, the Zen way of the brush)." I liked the high stakes, no going back process. My favorite poem and possbily the only one I had memorized well was by Basho:
Old pond yaThe calligraphy sample below of the poem is from this website: http://longzijun.wordpress.com/category/teaching-learning/ I studied calligraphy at Kaji Aso Studio, where, very long ago, I was a founding member. Their catalogue lists Calligraphy like this:
frog jumps in
the sound of water.
Introduction to Japanese Calligraphy “ The Art of the Brush” Japanese calligraphy is presented not just as an art form and an exercise, but as a unified aestheticism and life enriching practice. Enjoy the simplicity of this art form that is so close to dance in its expression.
|Fire by Kaji Aso|
Luckily, I am not going to Japan to write or recite haiku. I will be talking about storytelling and how it is a powerful, underutilized tool to promote literacy and help ELL learners gain proficiency. And I am presenting my talk in English. Phew! It is my hope that it will also foster an enthusiasm for English in Japanese youth for it is a required subject from the time they are five. Wish me luck.
|poem, Basho http://longzijun.wordpress.com|