Friday, December 06, 2013

No time to watch the sun set over the Boise River

Just time at the stoplight to try to catch it. I think I am blessing the iPhone camera, but I almost don't use anything else now. I ordered a bookcase and it came yesterday, but I  am afraid to try to put it together. Some reviewers on Amazon said it was easy, less than an hour. Another person said it took her three hours. Not tonight. Today we went shopping for Christmas and finished the easy part, gifts for each other, Think technology.

My best friend from high school won the Christmas Card Sweepstakes again this year. Her card arrived today, DECEMBER SIXTH! Awesome. She always writes a nice note, too! I am working on the cards two of us send to Japan (to all the haiku people who were so wonderful to us there) now. Then I'll choose a photo for the few family cards we still send.

A couple of years ago I added another lighted miniature building to my Christmas stash. It is a Home Depot! I'll bet you don't have one! Honestly, it is very cute! Tomorrow I will put a couple of little lighted buildings in the front window, and string white lights around the door. We probably won't do a tree--we're going to Grandchildland for Christmas.

Dog report: both dogs are much better, but still a little clingy. Wish to sit in laps and get extra petting.

Remember Sei Shonagon?    It's been almost a year, since I was quoting her from my Kindle version. Today, she turned up again in Kimiko Hahn's book: Mosquito and Ant, W.W. Norton, 1999.

Hahn's long poem in prose sections (pages 44-49) is called The Downpour; a zuihitsu after Sei Shonagon. I have copied you the definition from Wikipedia: This is a link to the whole article.

"Zuihitsu (随筆?) is a genre of Japanese literature consisting of loosely connected personal essays and fragmented ideas that typically respond to the author's surroundings. The name is derived from two Kanji meaning "to follow" and "brush." The provenance of the term zuihitsu is ultimately Chinese, however, being a transcription of suibi rendered into Japanese as fude ni shitagau (“follow the brush”).[1]Thus works of the genre should be considered not as traditionally planned literary pieces but rather as casual or randomly recorded thoughts by the authors."

Reminds me of this blog . . . . here are two sections from Hahn's long poem.

We do not know her name. We call her Sei Shonagon. Shonagon for her own palace title, "Minor Counsellor"; Sei, a character from her father's clan name, Kiyowara. We do not know her name. But she is not anonymous. Recent research suggests her name may have been Nagiko. But we do not know her name just as we do not know the name of her contemporary and literary rival, Murasaki Shikibu. We do not know her name although it seems she was married to Tachibana no Norimitsu and may have had a son. On the other hand, neither may be true.


The aristocracy during the Heian Period cut themselves off from foreigh influence as well as real provincial government. They basked in high forms of indulgence. They created an art out of marrying one's cousin. They did not know the rough, hairy, unpowdered, unperfumed warrior class outside the capital would cut them down.


We do not know her name.

              ----Kimiko Hahn

This is a very interesting poem, and one that could serve as a model for many different types of thinking. I plan to Kindle up Sei Shonagon again just before sleeping. And I hope to start a linking of passages like this on a topic that will turn up, I am sure/

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