Monday, January 19, 2015
take a tabi with me
Years ago, I purchased a pair of tabi socks, which, if you've never heard of them before, are ankle-high, with a separation between the big toe and other toes. They are worn in Japan by both men and women, with traditional thonged Japanese footwear like zori and geta. Tabi are usually very white, suitable for formal situations like tea ceremony. The ones I bought had a traditional-but-flashy design, and I meant to (but never did) send them to a young niece of mine in the US where they wouldn't shock anyone.
I came across these tabi the other day while sorting the storage room, and decided to take them out of their packaging for a closer look. There was a foot-shaped stiff board inside each sock, and when I pulled them out, I could feel them begging to be made into etegami-collages. So that's what I did.
For the left foot, I played with the Japanese proverb "tabi wa michizure, Yo wa nasake" (Just as a journey is improved by traveling companions, life is improved by compassion/ tender human feelings.) The word tabi (journey) has the same sound as the word for the aforementioned two-toed traditional socks. So I switched the original character for journey with the two characters that mean tabi socks. (I'm so clever. ha ha)
For the right foot, I quoted the last stanza of Robert Louis Stevenson's poem Winter-Time, and decorated it with snow-flakes.
Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding-cake.