on traditions and self

it was girls day over the weekend. my japanese grandmother presented my mom/me with a huge set of dolls when i was a kid. every march we'd bring then out and when i was little i'd dress up in a kimono. it was a fun day. 

so this year we did the whole thing with the little. she wore my kimono from when i was a kid. 

she looked like a doll herself. and was beaming. [so was her grandmother]

it was really interesting to see the whole doll set again. i used to LOVE the little fake trees. and how each doll had his/her own job. their outfits are crazy and detailed like that guy above in the orange is carrying arrows to protect the emperor and empress. [did this spark my interest in costumes? - this and the masterpiece theater queen elizabeth show that my parents let me stay up late for. the show in which i had no idea what was going on, but i was mesmerized by the costumes.]

and he's the shoe carrying guy.

my favorite thing by far though, was the fake mochi. partially because i love mochi. partially i realize now because of the color and shape of them. [some aesthetics inklings never change].

the whole thing, along with my upcoming SOLO trip to the east coast has me thinking a lot about how things change and how things stay the same. the ebb and flow of constants - and the things we refer to as traditions. and how those traditions shape us into who we are and how we interact in the world.

i'm a fiercely independent person [maybe because i'm an only child]. i like being by myself. i thrive on solitude and being with my own thoughts and experiences [intensified by being an artist. we spend a lot of time alone, in our own worlds, making things, right?]. this is the first time in YEARS that i will be by myself for more than 48 hours - ok not entirely true as i will be interacting with other people. but this will be the first time in a long while where i am setting my own schedule. where i won't be asked continual questions, where i won't have to attend to anyone's needs but my own [no pets, no husband, no little]. i won't have to find anything for anyone besides myself [maybe i'll need to find something over the phone, but it's not the same].

i'd be lying if i said i wasn't excited about this. i think what thrills me almost more than anything is that i will be walking around in two large cities that i love [boston and new york] and i will have moments to follow my own whims. eat what i want, turn corners, POKE AROUND, take photos that interest me... just observe. just be ME with my thoughts. without having to worry about picking anyone up. or making dinner. or is it almost bathtime.

i will also be working [going to AWP  to represent MIEL as best i can]... doing my workshop at PURL - which by the way east coasters - come to the book signing party afterwards ! and send anyone who wants to learn embroidery to my class ! there are a few spots left.

but neither of those feels like work. i've been mentally packing. making piles. lists. i will not get to do or see all the things/people i want to. i will be running around. i will be nuts. i wonder if i will feel like i used to when i went on these kinds of trips [like a former life]. exhilarated. exhausted. full. flush. inspired. renewed.

what fascinates me too is that i now inherently see the world differently. i look for, linger over the things that SHE would notice and like. i know what she'd notice and i will notice them too. how this has just become part of me too. that i carry her around with me always - there is no way [or want] to turn that off.

and that, really, this is one of those things that can not be articulated to those who don't have it -- not that you need or necessarily want it - that is not what i am implying in any way shape or form.

there will be a lot i will miss, but absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? and there will be a lot for me to take in - and thus bring home.


Anne Marie said…
What a beautiful tradition to carry on to your daughter and to bond several generations together... sharing that feeling, since all of you once were a girl...

and these following lines resonated a lot with me. ...sometimes i sruggle with my concience for feeling this way:"i won't be asked continual questions, where i won't have to attend to anyone's needs but my own [no pets, no husband, no little]. i won't have to find anything for anyone besides myself"

...it helps knowing i am not alone :-)
What an exciting venture, enjoy! Such beautiful traditions, it is very special and so lovely for your daughter to experience and continue.
kathrynclark said…
Lovely to see the traditions continue on with the little. I could see how those dolls would influence you, all their little jobs, so fascinating.

Enjoy that time alone, oh boy, how lucky you are! I'll be doing it for the first time this June. Can't even imagine what that will feel like and likely missing everyone else regardless. Funny how that works!
Lisa PN said…
So wonderful, to read about this. Lately i have been thinking a lot about how to pass on our traditions to my two year old son max.
my husband is japanese, scottish, irish and i am of spanish ancestry, so we have many traditions, foods and things to pass to him for sure.
i recently found your name again after not having read blogs since max was born and you have inspired me to start stiching. Can't wait to get a copy of your book!

All best,

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