Sunday, July 09, 2006
Tanabata, Star Festival
After a light meal, we sat outside and wrote haiku while we waited for the stars to appear. Later, there was a bright moon, which somewhat diminished the candlepower of the River of Stars. But who would complain about moonlight on a warm summer evening? When the sun was gone, crickets began to trill. Later we heard the cry of a hunting owl. Two donkeys browsed along the fenceline below us. One of them snuffled softly, again and again. The quiet was so profound that you could hear this muted sound clearly.
Before we left, we wrote some of our new haiku on the paper kimonos that our founder, Kiyoko, taught us how to make. We read them aloud, then tied them on a large bamboo frond.
he waits to greet her
she crosses the Milky Way
her feet on feathers
This is a Tanabata haiku that Kiyoko praised when I wrote it several yeara ago. Her memory was very presnt with us at our gathering. She used to cut ladderlike scissored-paper filigrees to hang on the bamboo, too. She learned this as a child; she grew up near Saga Bay on the Japanese island of Kyushu. She said the delicate rice-paper objects were made to carry prayers to heaven. Now she is gone. No one of us ever learned to make them. It was a beautiful evening; many fine haiku were written. These parties are quiet and communal in a very special way. This one was a fine example.
at 9:22 AM