Wednesday, September 16, 2009
persimmons advise patience
How I love Autumn in Hokkaido! I love the sharpness in the air, the smells on the breeze, the colors on the trees, and the sardine-shaped clouds in a deep blue sky. I find myself looking upwards a lot. My joy is tinged with the bittersweet awareness of Winter lurking around the next corner, but that makes it all the more precious to me.
I draw persimmons every fall. I used to wait till they were ripe, and paint them in all their persimmon-orange glory. Later, I became intrigued by the green and yellow stages leading up to their fully-mature state. Then, last year, I became fascinated with dried persimmons, and I struggled to express the many sugar-dusted wrinkles on shrunken fruit that had faded to a salmon-pink. Maybe this year I'll focus on sliced fresh persimmons, with their flat black seeds and sticky juices. Ahh, persimmons!
The etegami I've posted here is of unripe persimmons on the branch. The greenish fruit is tinged with yellow, which I emphasized by gluing lacy yellow tissue paper (see earlier post on chigiri-e) over the green orbs. The accompanying words are an old Japanese proverb: Momo Kuri San-nen, Kaki Hachi-nen (Three years for Peach or Chestnut- Eight years for Persimmon) It is a reference to how long it takes for these trees to produce fruit. In other words: don't get upset if your efforts don't bear fruit right away. These things take time. The proverb advises patience.