Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Being provided for

[Joomchi] I really had no idea that my book tour would be so full, every minute. I have barely slept since I got up at 4:45am on Saturday morning to take the bus from NYC to Boston and teach. I was delighted to finally visit the Boston Paper Collective; great energy! Lots of goodies and equipment and sun. Melinda was a lovely host and I was so touched when I saw that Susan was one of my students (she's famous in the book arts world), as well as the wife of one of my Oberlin classmates! AND the administrator of one of my hanji classes last year. Zoe then came to whisk me away to her wonderful world, full of an outrageously wonderful potluck of acupuncture school classmates (they know how to cook and eat; it was like Thanksgiving times ten), audiobooks, dim sum, corn paper, a beautiful home in the trees, and such calm energy. She had very wise things to say about the different entry points for papermaking and why she was okay hosting me, a perfect stranger, because we were both papermakers. Turns out we are both snakes, too, of the same year.
[More joomchi] Then, Lauren came to whisk me away to the next adventure with Rona, who does beautiful Japanese calligraphy but is also a remarkable artist. Yet another beautiful, incredible home/studio. I feel so grateful to be able to walk into these strangers' homes and see the things they care about so clearly articulated in the way they choose what to live with. We poked around for a bit and then went out to eat dinner, and then came back for tea. SO MUCH to learn from these ladies! I suspected some similarities when I saw the way Rona lived and laid out her exquisite belongings, and was right: her birthday is one day away from mine, and she is also a snake (several decades older).
[Regina has a studio in the same building and went off to test her drop spindle on colored hanji. Works great!] Somehow, Lauren drove us back to Providence that night despite our mutual exhaustion. I get to stay here for a few more days until my Wed night talk in Pawtucket is over and I take the bus on Thurs back to NY (only to turn around on Fri and take the bus to Baltimore, then D.C.). Yet another home chock full of goodies. I have shifu behind me and paper curtains on the side and silk and baskets and bark and prints and fans and washi and and and and.
Maybe we got to bed at 2am, I don't know. I got up late and we slowly got to work so I could finally visit Paper Connection! It was fabulous. More paper, more goodies, more surprises, more delight. I met one of her employees, who ALSO has the same paper knife as I do. She is one of two other people I know in the world who have them for sure and cherishes it as much as I do. After a quick meal, we then entered the magical home of Jan and Mark. Mouth agape, again. Books, rocks, combs, furniture, textiles, gourds, WOW. She was so lovely and of tremendous kindness and hospitality. He named my knife and talked about similar metal equivalents to my corded paper bracelet. It really is such a privilege to be invited into these spaces and share tea. Lauren and I somehow made it to dinner and revived a bit over Cambodian soup before heading home for another night of exchange.

If I'm lucky, I'll get to bed at 1am. As Elizabeth says, let Providence provide for me!

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