Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Meat-Free Monday: All Smiles Edition

Last night, I made pasta with mushrooms, spinach, and squash. I was bored, so I made it into a happy face.


Not that I was feeling particularly happy last night. I watched The Squid and the Whale. Good movie. I so love Laura Linney.

I knitted.

Then, I watched The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Which reminded me of my annual Pumpkin Carving Party.
Which reminded me that the one last year was held at John's.
Which reminded me of John.
Which made me sad. I cried.

So, to combat the negativity, I tried to do something positive.

I rummaged through my spare room (currently for storage, eventually an office). I found my Japanese calligraphy set and got to work.

Sitting at my butcher block table,

I laid out the black felt cloth.
I put a little water in the stone basiny thing and rub-rub-rubbed the stick of black ink.
I took a piece of calligraphy paper and folded it into sixteenths.
I put the paper on top of the black felt cloth.
I placed the heavy metal bar across the top of the paper to hold it in place.
With my right hand I picked up my brush and dipped it in the ink.

Back straight. Brush perpendicular to the paper.

Swoosh swoosh swoosh

I made unsteady strokes on the paper. When I learned calligraphy in Japan, my teacher made me write right-handed.

Swish dip press schwing

Having never used my right-hand for any type of fine motor activity, my very first calligraphy stroke was a bit ... wavy.

The sensei laughed at my first attempt. As the weeks wore on, my strokes became steady and straight. Dark and beautiful. Confident.

Dip press swoosh lift

I made more unsteady strokes.

Then, it hit me. I don't freaking remember how to write calligraphy. I remember the stroke order for each character, but I don't remember the technique ... when to press, when to lift, when to twist.

Swish dip twist flick

I put the brush down, balled up my work, and threw it in the trash.


  1. japanese calligraphy is a good way to calm your mind. if you remember how to write it! well, actually, the process before getting ready to write, as you described, is supposed to make your mind peaceful. is it?

  2. Your meat free monday dish looks like my picture! Except mine is mexican. I done meat free tuesday - again TT didn't notice and said it was the best lasagne she'd had in years.

    I wont bother posting you the recipe since everyone can cook vege lasagne so I'm not overly proud of the compliment. Except she thought it was "normal" lasagne...

  3. This entry is well written and sad.