Besides being an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life,
an aspect of Japanese cultural tradition that is often associated with Buddhist influence
and which is embodied in the concept of:
Mono no aware
The transience of the blossoms, the exquisite beauty and volatility, has often associated with mortality
and graceful and readily acceptance of destiny and karma; for this reason, cherry blossoms are richly symbolic
I’ve been obsessed lately with cherry blossoms, which I hear are popping up in many spots around the world, from the west coast of Canada, to D.C. USA, to Japan of course.
I found several songs (Japanese folk songs) about cherry blossoms. I found, through further investigation and coincidence, that they have a meaning closely related to one not-so-thankful thing that did happen this week, along with the colder weather around here.
Here in Ontario, Canada it has been bitterly cold this weekend. Here’s my list of thankfuls, in spite of the weather, which I hope will improve very soon.
TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL
For a chance Facebook Messenger chat last Sunday evening, after months of a developing online writing relationship, and suddenly I had myself a writing mentor.
I wasn’t altogether happy with where I was with my writing and she saw that in me, rightly so. She volunteered and I eagerly reached out for her offered help.
For a return to my violin lessons.
Finally, there was no more interrupted holidays or illnesses. I couldn’t get by with only one lesson, if I were ever going to become even halfway decent.
For one hour, I go into a small practice room, on a university campus, and I funnel all my energy, all my mental power, into what my fingers are doing, holding the bow, how my arm is held to have a proper reach on the notes, and all the while making sure I don’t raise my right shoulder. It all takes incredible focus for me. I think nothing but violin, often forgetting many other basic facts and details about my life.
Sound dramatic? Well, it’s all true.
For the 100 year celebration of a life.
A master at work. Powerful performance.
Gregory Peck would have turned one hundred and I thought it worth mentioning the performance of a lifetime he gave. It makes me tear up when I watch, every time.
I like his reaction when he asks Scout if she knows what a compromise means. When she answers with “bending the law” as her guess, his reaction is priceless, not to mention the part about how “you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view”.
For the sense of bonding with those who understand.
It’s just nice, even when I’m not feeling always up to going, to get out and spend a few hours, one evening every few weeks, at my favourite place: the library.
We may all be of different ages and have a wide array of writing interests, but we all are there because we love writing/storytelling in some capacity.
For a wide open release of our song.
And now…I present to you…
DON’T LOOK BACK
If you listen to one song today, make it THIS ONE! Lyrics written by – THIS GIRL!
For a dinner with my parents, after an afternoon where it was brought home to me how lucky I am to have them both.
We went to pay our respects, to an old family friend, someone who means so much to so many. He was a wonderful family man: husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend.
He fought hard, battling the cancer, that would eventually take his life.
I thought harder still about the cherry blossom, once I learned its meaning, the only actual flowers I saw (with the weather being as it is) this week was what I could detect the scent of, as people send flowers as a condolence to the grieving family.
For a history of 90s music remembered with a legend.
You Know You’re Right – Nirvana
Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain died, twenty-two years ago, but he will always be what the nineties were for my brothers, who introduced the grunge world and this band in particular, to me. It was a kind of music none of us had ever heard at the time.
For the first voice-to-face meeting with my new writing mentor.
What would we do without the invention of a little thing called Skype?
It was nice, though I was nervous originally, to finally hear her voice, after months of online interaction.
We had a beneficial first meeting, discussing writing and nothing but, for more than an hour. She told me some things I needed to hear, things about my abilities as a writer. She let me learn from her and the road she has traveled into the world of mostly literary travel writing.
I left the call, by the end, feeling highly energized and hopeful.
For another extremely enjoyable family gathering.
For my siblings.
It’s Siblings Day today and I celebrated yesterday: had some excellent discussions with my sisters, have enjoyed collaborating on a song with my younger brother, and had my older brother do what he does best and that’s take photographs. This, however, means he is rarely, if ever, actually featured in any of our photos himself.
I would not be the person I am today without these guys.
And so, all and all, it was an overall success of a week. Big things are happening. I can feel it.
While, at the same time, life isn’t always easy and things happen we’re never going to be ready for.
Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks
Traveling to pay our respects, driving through the old neighbourhood of the deceased and his family, my mom talked about the people and the history of the area.
The past felt so long back, to me, but it all felt very present just then, and I was left wondering about the future.
Goodbye Michelle, my little one
You gave me love and helped me find the sun
And every time I was down
You would always come around
And get my feet back on the ground
Goodbye Michelle it’s hard to die
When all the birds are singing in the sky
Now that the spring is in the air
With the flowers everywhere
I wish that we could both be there
We had joy we had fun
We had seasons in the sun
But the wine and the song like the seasons
Have all gone
All our lives we had fun
We had seasons in the sun
But the hills that we climbed were just seasons
Out of time