Monday, November 24, 2014

Word of the Week - 38

In the Japanese festival of Hari Kujo, broken and worn needles are set to rest outside shrines, thanked for their hard work, article here.
Word of the Week: WONDERSTRUCK

That at any hour on any day I may find (figuratively) my knees weakened by the sight or knowledge of a previously unknown delight for the eye or mind or spirit or, generally, all of the above, causes me to declare myself permanently wonderstruck.

Learning of the Hari Kujo festival yesterday via the writing of Mister Finch, himself a wonder, then discovering the date of the annual festival is Feb. 8, my birthday, set all my senses tingling.  I was brought to speechlessness by a celebration so profound and humble.  Thinking of all we owe to -  would we call them service objects? - and to our own hands as the means of livelihood, the means of keeping ourselves and our families fed and clothed, transported, protected, educated and entertained, my heart sighed for women.  Read the link to learn more of what the needles and pins represent.
Kimono sewing.
I hear the sound of monks chanting as women approach the block of tofu, the place of rest for tired tools, and long for such ceremony, such acknowledgement of the sacred in daily life. My message is that we need to create our own rituals, build the habit of reverence for what may be deemed small and insignificant yet is anything but.  Artists, think of pens, brushes, scissors, think of lined yellow tablets or typewriters or keyboards, think of ink but continue to think of needles, of pins.  The work of creating, of connecting, of holding together, preserving, mending, think of its significance, its metaphor.

Reading of this festival caused me to look at my hands, offer thanks for how well they learned the skills necessary to care for myself, my family, to create, to embellish, to add color and silliness and surprise in unexpected corners.  When we become wonderstruck, we are shifted on our foundations, pushed to the often teetering edge of the unknown where the only known element is awareness of wonder, that we are not who we were a moment ago.
Antique silk kimono.


Melissa Green said...

Dearest Marylinn, this was so full of wonder, from start to finish, beautifully unfolding like a kimono and obi. Could we ever imagine such a simple, humble and moving ceremony of tender regard for our tools, all that our hands hold to express and work and carve our days, our journey? Not in this culture. For all the buzz about 'gratitude' in the air these days, it feels, like static on the radio, as though it's gratitude for all the material comforts we've managed to amass. Gratefulness for being wonderstruck? Thunderstruck? Moved to tears and beyond it? No. The Thanking of the Needles seems an ancient sacred rite, connected to the deepest veins of our hearts and that it takes place on your birthday, Feb. 8, does not surprise me at all. You are a gatherer and guardian of wonder, Marylyn, and I thank you for your hands that humbly do their sacred work, companioned with wonder. xo

Elizabeth said...

This is wild and wondrous, indeed.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Melissa - You've brought me to tears before breakfast and I thank you. Truly, how did we become so otherwise engaged that we drifted from the sacredness at life's, at our own, core? I am more than content with my calling, finding the small tales and images that seem to have been left for me. It is glad work. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Elizabeth - Thank you. Wonder abounds. xo

Kass said...

Oh so beautiful. Are we Separatedatbirth sisters?

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - Thank you. And I suspect we may be, oh, septuplets, at least quintuplets. The joy of finding those of like mind and spirit, so comforting. xo