Wednesday Reads: “I weave freely today, as always.”

Weaving on a Loom by Utamaro Kitagawa (1753-1806)

Weaving on a Loom by Utamaro Kitagawa (1753-1806)

Good Morning…

I am excited. Today a FedEx truck will come up my driveway bringing a 15 pound box that found its way from Japan to Louisiana to Memphis to Banjoville. Inside that box is a chrome Piccolo Saori Loom that I have been slowly making layaway payments towards since Thanksgiving.1012229_590408267701716_822638718_n

It is a little loom but it has super big possibilities

You may remember my big Glimakra countermarche loom is broken down and packed away in storage.

Ugh, all over “away in storage.”  The loom is too big anyway to fit in the house we are living in now, so this baby should be perfect.

Anyway, let me quickly give you some links that explain what the Saori weaving philosophy is all about and how this creative form “self-innovation though free weaving” got started

In the introduction of her book, “Saori: Innovation through free weaving” Misao Jo quotes a Haiku written by Eihei Dōgen,  a Japanese ZYōshū_Chikanobu_Filial_Pietyen Buddhist teacher who founded the Sōtō school of Zen in Japan.

Under the moonlit sky,

people enjoy dancing,

casting shadows of different shapes.

Misao goes on to say that the haiku:

…implies that once born in the world, we are destined to live different lives.

She grew up following others and had become one of the majority. It was not until it finally hit her and she:

weaving_loom_vintage_japanese_woodcut_canvas-r3b31975739c747a19b6da8e79d48b0d0_d4bt_8byvr_512…became aware of the importance of developing a path of my own. I crawled up against a stream and found a beautiful flower garden unfolded before me. In that flower garden I learned that kansei* is inherent in everyone.

kansei*– Misao Jo use of word “meant the significance of an intuitive sense of beauty existing inside of us.”

What is SAORI ?

20051019.jpg“SA” of SAORI has the same meaning as the first syllable of the word “SAI” which is found in Zen vocabulary.  It means everything has its own individual dignity.  And the “ORI” means weaving.

All flowers are beautiful, even though each individual flower is different in form and color.  Because of this difference, “all are good”.  Because everything has the same life, life cannot be measured by a yardstick.  It is this individuality that makes everything meaningful and the uniqueness of each thread that creates the tapestry of life.

                                                                                                         Misao Jo, Founder of SAORI

woman-spinningSAORI – How it sarted

SAORI – Our Mission

SAORI – Our History

So…that should give you enough information on this new path I am starting on. If you would like to see some pictures of woven Saori, look here:

 The translation of Teika (Shui guso, XI:335) is taken from Robert H. Brewer and Earl Miner, Japanese Court Poetry, p. 15.  Click image to go to copy of book...

The translation of Teika (Shui guso, XI:335) is taken from Robert H. Brewer and Earl Miner, Japanese Court Poetry, p. 15. Click image to go to copy of book…

More images here: Weaving Saori and Around the World Weaving on Pinterest

Ainu_kvinde_2Okay, the rest of today’s post will be your usual newsy stuff…after the jump of course. Oh, and the pictures, woodblock, painting you see are various Japanese artwork featuring weaving or spinning.  (That includes the tattooed women! Tattooing among Japan’s Ainu people .)

Wada, Sanzo (1883-1967) - Women WeaversThese links are in dump fashion, it is five o’clock and I am beat…

A Startlingly Simple Theory About the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet | Autopia |

There has been a lot of speculation about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Terrorism, hijacking, meteors. I cannot believe the analysis on CNN; it’s almost disturbing. I tend to look for a simpler explanation, and I find it with the 13,000-foot runway at Pulau Langkawi.

We know the story of MH370: A loaded Boeing 777 departs at midnight from Kuala Lampur, headed to Beijing. A hot night. A heavy aircraft. About an hour out, across the gulf toward Vietnam, the plane goes dark, meaning the transponder and secondary radar tracking go off. Two days later we hear reports that Malaysian military radar (which is a primary radar, meaning the plane is tracked by reflection rather than by transponder interrogation response) has tracked the plane on a southwesterly course back across the Malay Peninsula into the Strait of Malacca.

The left turn is the key here. Zaharie Ahmad Shah1 was a very experienced senior captain with 18,000 hours of flight Two women observe a third weaving silk.  Ukiyo-e woodblock print, about 1840’s, Japan, by artist Kikugawa Eizan.time. We old pilots were drilled to know what is the closest airport of safe harbor while in cruise. Airports behind us, airports abeam us, and airports ahead of us. They’re always in our head. Always. If something happens, you don’t want to be thinking about what are you going to do–you already know what you are going to do. When I saw that left turn with a direct heading, I instinctively knew he was heading for an airport. He was taking a direct route to Palau Langkawi, a 13,000-foot airstrip with an approach over water and no obstacles. The captain did not turn back to Kuala Lampur because he knew he had 8,000-foot ridges to cross. He knew the terrain was friendlier toward Langkawi, which also was closer.

Thailand radar may have picked up missing Malaysia jet, but military said nothing – NY Daily News

The already bizarre saga of vanished Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went farther down the rabbit hole Tuesday. Thai officials say they didn’t report a radar blip because Malaysia never asked; Chinese relatives are threatening a hunger strike.


67Speaking 11 days after the Boeing 777 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, Royal Thai Air Force spokesman Montol Suchookorn said radar showed an unidentified aircraft tracking west toward the Strait of Malacca at 1:28 a.m. on March 8.
Flight 370 stopped communicating with air-traffic controllers eight minutes earlier. Suchookorn said the Thai military doesn’t know if the plane on the radar was Flight 370.
He said “we did not pay attention to it” because it did not enter Thai airspace. He added that the information was not shared sooner because Malaysia’s first request for information was imprecise.

tumblr_mk69exNtZG1ri6x74o1_1280Deterioration in U.S.-Russian Relations May Disrupt Coming Talks With Iran –

Tensions between the West and Russia over events in Ukraine have cast a shadow over the second round of talks set to begin on Tuesday in Vienna on a permanent nuclear agreement with Iran.

Although the talks have no direct connection to Ukraine, their success hinges on solidarity among the so-called P5-plus-one countries — the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, which include Russia, plus Germany — in favor of a tough agreement with Iran to drastically scale back its nuclear program.

If Russia signals that its cooperation with the West has weakened, that will reduce pressure on Iran to make concessions, said experts knowledgeable about the talks, which began last month with three days of meetings involving senior diplomats from each of the governments involved.

Crimeans Look to Putin and Russia After Referendum |

After the euphoria of Crimea’s secession referendum, pro-Russian Crimeans now look to Moscow and the prospect of outright annexation. They may be disappointed as Moscow’s elites may have to think twice about what they’re doing The indigenous people of northern Japan call themselves “Ainu,” meaning “people” or “humans” in their the face of Western sanctions

Crimea crisis: Fears of war grow as Ukrainian officer is killed at military base in Simferopol – Europe – World – The Independent

Fears were growing that widespread violence would erupt in the aftermath of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, as former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned of growing regional tensions.

Clinton called Russia’s move to annex Crimea “illegal” and “a violation of international law” and said that other countries near Russia could also face aggression if President Vladimir Putin is allowed to get away with his actions in Ukraine.

“If he’s allowed to get away with that, I think you’ll see a lot of other countries either directly facing Russian aggression or suborned with their political systems so that they are so intimidated that in effect they are transformed into vassals, not sovereign democracies,” Clinton said at an event hosted by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal at the Palais des Congres.

JapaneseweaveraHillary Clinton: It’s up to Putin whether there’s ‘another Cold War’ – CNN Political Ticker – Blogs

Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that the conflict between Russia and Western allies over Crimea is a “clash of values” and that it’s up to Russian President Vladimir Putin whether there’s “another Cold War.”

“I hope there is not another Cold War,” Clinton said during the question and answer portion of an appearance in Montreal. “Obviously, nobody wants to see that. I think that is primarily up to Putin.”

Meanwhile back in the states…and our own war…War on Women that is:

GOP Lawmaker Says Sick Leave, Equal Pay Bills Make Women ‘Look Like Whiners’

A package of bills in Minnesota that would enhance women’s economic security by raising the minimum wage, providing paid family and sick leave and addressing the gender pay gap makes women “look like whiners,” a state GOP lawmaker said last week.

“We heard several bills last week about women’s issues and I kept thinking to myself, these bills are putting us Ainu-people-4backwards in time,” State Rep. Andrea Kieffer (R) told colleagues at a Wednesday hearing on one of the measures. “We are losing the respect that we so dearly want in the workplace by bringing up all these special bills for women and almost making us look like whiners.”

The progressive group Alliance for a Better Minnesota has posted the audio recording of Keiffer’s remarks and circulated a petition asking voters to denounce it.

Abortion bill passes Georgia Legislature |

album_2_25-1Legislation that would bar the state employee health insurance plan from covering abortions in most cases received final passage Tuesday from the Georgia Legislature, sending it to Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature.

Senate Bill 98 passed after both the House and Senate agreed to changes made to the bill in committee. House members voted first, 105-64, to approve the measure. The Senate then voted 36-18 to do the same.

The bill makes no exception for rape or incest, only allowing consideration of a medical emergency involving the life of the mother. It doesn’t make any medical procedure that is legal today illegal. It instead dictates how medical care involving abortions is paid for through the state health plans and through insurance exchanges offered via the Affordable Care Act.

Fucking asshole Deal and his minions. They also fucked the poor by again not extending Medicaid to Georgia’s residents.Ainu_kvinde

Conservative Media’s Birth Control Talking Points Make Their Way To The Supreme Court | Blog | Media Matters for America

In a recent article in Slate, legal expert Emily Bazelon detailed how many of these amicus briefs, filed largely by religious conservatives, voiced arguments from a bygone era when it comes to reproductive rights. Bazelon wrote, “If it sounds like I’m describing a 1960s enraged sermon about the pill, I guess that’s the point[.] I could be”:

[T]he American Freedom Law Center, which says it “defends America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values,” sees contraception, instead, as Pope Paul VI did in 1968. In its brief, AFLC quotes the former pope like so:

“It has come to pass that the widespread use of contraceptives has indeed harmed women physically, emotionally, morally, and spiritually — and has, in many respects, reduced her to the ‘mere instrument for the satisfaction of [man’s] own desires.’ Consequently, the promotion of contraceptive services — the very goal of the challenged mandate — harms not only women, but it harms society in general by ‘open[ing] wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards.'”

apanese women weaving, c.1890 (hand-coloured photo). Japanese Photographer,The Beverly LaHaye Institute, the research arm of Concerned Women for America, drives home this point, arguing that the government should have considered:

“the documented negative effects the widespread availability of contraceptives has on women’s ability to enter into and maintain desired marital relationships. This in turn leads to decreased emotional wellbeing and economic stability (out-of-wedlock childbearing being a chief predictor of female poverty), as well as deleterious physical health consequences arising from, inter alia, sexually transmitted infections and domestic violence.”

And so, as the AFLC argues, contraceptives of all kinds aren’t medical or related to health care at all. They are “procedures involving gravely immoral practices.” Protected sex demeans women by making men disrespect them. (Just as Pope Paul VI did decades ago, the AFLC presents this as true inside marriage as well as out.) By separating sex from childbearing, birth control is to blame for the erosion of marriage, for the economic difficulties of single motherhood, and even for the rotten behavior of men who beat their girlfriends and wives. Birth control is the original sin of modernity. Its widespread availability changed everything, for the worse.

While these amicus briefs don’t necessarily represent either the litigants or society at large (the actual plaintiffs in the Hobby Lobby case aren’t Catholic, and American Catholics appear to have rejected the “immoral[ity]” of birth control), they are reminiscent of right-wing media’s long opposition to the contraception mandate.

add0025For example, in a recent segment on Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Elisabeth Hasselbeck hosted Ralph Reed to expound on how the policies of the Obama administration have put the nation on a path towards “moral decay.” Reed specifically complained that Obama’s policies, like the contraception mandate, are “openly hostile to Christians and their right to speak in public”…

Video and more examples at the link.

627lot841I will end with this essay written by Steven Heine and Taigen Dan Leighton Published in “Kyoto Journal,” No. 39, 1999 Dylan And Dogen: Masters of Spirit and Words

Oh, it is good…and I think you will really find it an interesting looooong read!

Steven Heine, scholar of Eihei Dogen, the great 13th century Japanese Zen master and author, once remarked that he would like to be buried with the collected works of a great spiritual writer whose name has five letters beginning with “D” and ending with “n,” but who was not Dogen. Another American translator of Dogen, Zen priest Taigen 10.Fritze_0Dan Leighton, has been known to mention his gratefulness to be living in the same time as Bob Dylan. After 35 years of songwriting Dylan recently released the critically-acclaimed album Time Out of Mind, and received appreciation with the Lillian Gish and Kennedy Center honors and three Grammy awards. During conversations sharing their high esteem for Dylan’s work, Heine and Leighton noted the striking parallels between Dogen and Dylan as spiritual writers who demonstrate a remarkable ability to use the tropes and idioms of everyday language to convey profound spiritual truths. This article is a product of that dialogue.

From: Heine, Steven. The Zen Poetry of Dogen: Verses from the Mountain of Eternal Peace. Boston: Tuttle Publishing, 1997.

From: Heine, Steven. The Zen Poetry of Dogen: Verses from the Mountain of Eternal Peace. Boston: Tuttle Publishing, 1997.

Enjoy…and share any links you have below in the comments.

43 Comments on “Wednesday Reads: “I weave freely today, as always.””

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Great post, JJ!

    I can see why you’re excited. Those photos of saori weaving are gorgeous. Let us know when the loom arrives.

    • RalphB says:

      Me to, those weavings are true art and gorgeous!

    • dakinikat says:

      I had an extensive collection of japanese woodblock prints prior to my divorce. My daughter Jean loves them and luckily, the girls will get many more. My mom loved them too and my dad still has some hanging in his apartment in Seattle. I’ve never seen the loom ones before. They are gorgeous.

  2. Fannie says:

    Fantastic, I’ve got a huge smile on my face, thinking of your loom and your future creations!

  3. bostonboomer says:

    The Most Important Economic Chart Of Our Era

    Read more:

    • RalphB says:

      Here’s a large compendium of charts illustrating the Reagan effect on the US economy and us.

      The Reagan Revolution in Charts – everything got worse

      When Republicans try and articulate a coherent explanation of what they actually do – besides destroy social institutions, tell lies, and ruin a lot of lives – there are inevitably attempts to invoke the myth of Reagan, the trend increasingly notably since his death and now 100th birthday. This reflex is fitting, since myths and poorly-recalled false memories are what suits modern conservatives best. As reality’s harsh light shines on the nihilism and pathology of the right, Republicans tend to bury themselves in denial and fabrication.

      Here’s some reality: since 1981, just about every economic measure available has gotten worse. The election of Reagan brought us the “conservative era;” and as the following measures show, it has been a damn catastrophe for the nation and its middle class (the top 10% excluded, who have done exceedingly well since then, which is not mere coincidence).

      • dakinikat says:

        Yeah, well Reagan got everything wrong. He thought Mandala was a terrorist and he supported Osama Bin Laden. Let’s just start with that one too.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Files Were Deleted From Malaysia Airlines Pilot’s Flight Simulator

    Forensics teams are scrambling to recover files recently deleted from the home flight simulator of the pilot who was commanding Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 when it disappeared, officials said today.

    Investigators had confiscated the homemade flight simulator as part of their efforts to determine whether the crew of the plane could have been complicit in whatever happened to the flight and the 239 people on board. Authorities are baffled about the plane’s disappearance, but have determined that it was a “deliberate act.”

    The files from Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s simulator were deleted on Feb. 3, Malaysian Police Chief Khalid Abu said at a news conference today. The family of the pilot is cooperating with the investigation, officials said.

  5. Beata says:

    Ukrainian Jewish leaders, as well as Western Jewish observers, are disputing Putin’s claims that neo-Nazi Ukrainian nationalists are committing acts of anti-Semitism against Ukraine’s Jewish population. Jewish defenders of the new Ukrainian interim government blame anti-Semitic acts on pro-Russian “professional provocators”. Meanwhile, Jews in Crimea are described as “understandably apprehensive” about becoming part of the Russian Federation. There are an estimated 10,000 Jews in Crimea; 4000 of whom are elderly. Prices of food and medicine in Crimea have reportedly gone up 30 to 50 percent with future shortages predicted.

    From “The Jewish Daily Forward”:

  6. janicen says:

    Fascinating info about Saori, JJ. I learned something today! Thank you!

  7. RalphB says:

    Life Its Ownself: Balls

    Democrats today remind me of the scene in the Godfather when Johnny Fontane whines about being denied a movie role he covets.

    The only problem is there is no Godfather to help the gutless wonders Democrats have become in this political season.

    The NYT reports they are cringing in fear because Obama’s approval ratings are in major cardiac arrest and they blame him for their misfortune.

    All the polling I’ve seen shows that people despise Obama Care. But when they are asked about a program that eliminates pre-existing conditions, life time caps, can’t throw them off their plan because they’re sick; and my favorite for old farts like me, Obama care makes drugs for seniors cheaper by filling the doughnut hall.

    So I would respectfully like to encourage all the Democratic candidates running for office, to grow a set of balls!

    The Clintons are traveling with some of these guys and that’s a couple with balls to spare. Take a pair.

    Here’s how it works. When your opponent runs an ad or says in a debate:

    “My opponent voted for Obama Care and I will kill it. Send me to Washington.

    You say:

    “That’s a damn lie. You won’t kill it because it keeps insurance companies from screwing people. Obama Care has fixed a broken health care system. What’s your plan? Obama Care provides insurance for millions of people who’ve never had it, (5 million to be precise) gets rid of pre-existing conditions, life time caps and dropping sick people from their policies. And if you’re on Medicare it makes drugs cheaper by filling the doughnut hole. I guess you want to go back to the good old days when the “drug companies got the doughnut and Grannie got the hole.”

    But you won’t. I know you. You’ll turn and run away. You know what happens when you run away? You get shot in the back.

    Good advice for Democrats.

  8. dakinikat says:

    JJ, my exhusband’s family in Japan have a small factorty that weave Obies and Obi material. They have one of the last remaining factories that do that. I have some gorgeous hand bags and things that are woven that way as they tried to branch out into doing some different kinds since the Obi market isn’t what it used to be! How exciting for you!!

  9. dakinikat says:

    Jindal plays hook from the short legislative season to pen lies in the NY post and label them ‘scientific’.

    It is well-established that Rupert Murdoch does not employ fact-checkers, but if he did, he would learn that he allowed the Governor of Louisiana to publish an insidious deception about the intention of the United States Department of Justice in Alexander Hamilton’s newspaper.

    Where do I begin?

    First, Jindal’s voucher schools aren’t better. They’re significantly, demonstrably worse.

    1. 45% of Louisiana’s voucher school students attend failing schools.
    2. Voucher students in Louisiana scored 30 points lower on standardized tests than their peers in public schools.
    3. More than 90% of voucher schools in Louisiana failed to comply with the state’s auditing requirements.
    4. Numerous voucher schools illegally overcharged the state on the basis of a student’s religious affiliation.
    5. Dozens of Louisiana’s voucher schools teach New Earth Creationism as science.

    There is a good reason the United States Department of Justice intervened: Jindal’s program was almost completely unaccountable. Attorney General Eric Holder, an African-American whose sister-in-law was, famously, one of two black students prevented from enrolling in the University of Alabama when Governor George Wallace literally stood in front of the doors, and Barack Obama, the first African-American President of the United States, are not meddling with Jindal’s voucher program because they want to prevent black children from receiving a quality education. They’re intervening because Jindal’s program is a sham. And yes, there is a legitimate concern that Jindal’s program, which disproportionately targets African-American children, will make majority white public schools even whiter, while reassigning black students to fly-by-night church schools. And yes, that most definitely undermines the central aspiration of integration.

  10. RalphB says:

    James Moore: Greg Abbott and the Politics of Anger Taking it out on Texas.

    This gem made the front page of HuffPo. Here’s the original from Don’t Grow Texas.

  11. dakinikat says:

    The ACLU settled that lawsuit about that poor Buddhist student from Sabines Parish out of court. The school district is now denying they did anything wrong and making a martyr out of the whacko teacher even though they have to comply with some new standards:

    But the school board, in an unattributed press release issued to TPM, admitted no wrongdoing after the order — consistent with its denials to the court. In fact, it portrayed the ACLU’s acquiescence to the consent decree as an admission that the group had no case against its officials accused of violating the student’s First Amendment rights.

    “The Sabine Parish School Board was then able to resolve the remaining claims asserted by the ACLU,” the district said in the release. “This action was taken in order to comply with federal law and further financial loss to the District.”

    • RalphB says:

      I saw the judge’s opinion somewhere. Tore the hide right off the school district and gave them a long list of things to do. Training for everyone involved administrators, teachers, the school board the whole ball of wax. It was a thing of beauty.

      • RalphB says:

        The opinion is at the link. The portion that’s most impressive is the long list of permanent injunctions. The court retained jurisdiction for a minimum of 10 years so things will change in that district.

      • dakinikat says:

        Yea,but they are telling the world they didn’t do anything wrong and that they are being persecuted as xtians.

        • RalphB says:

          It’s possible they could get hauled back into court. That’s probably why the press release was unattributed, so everyone can deny it.

  12. dakinikat says:

    and more crazy people:

    Franklin Graham sees Putin with moral high ground

  13. RalphB says:

    Texas Tribune Interactive: The Impact of HB 2 on Texas Abortion Facilities over time.

    Since November, abortion facilities in South Texas, Beaumont and the Panhandle have closed as a result of strict abortion regulations approved in July by the Republican-led Texas Legislature. In August, before the rules took effect, there were 40 licensed abortion providers in Texas. Now there are 28 licensed abortion providers, according to the Department of State Health Services. When additional rules take effect in September that require abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers, the number of abortion facilities will likely drop to six.

    This interactive map puts the impact in the starkest of terms. It’s a freakin’ disaster.

  14. dakinikat says:

    Study: Bush, aides made 935 false statements in run-up to war

    “In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003,” reads an overview of the examination, conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and its affiliated group, the Fund for Independence in Journalism.

    According to the study, Bush and seven top officials — including Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice — made 935 false statements about Iraq during those two years.

    Can we please prosecute these war criminals now?

  15. RalphB says:

    When you see traditional GOP suckups like these say “all bets are off”, it’s a great sign for Wendy Davis.

  16. RalphB says:

    LA Times: Abby Huntsman wants to lead her own generation into poverty

    Abby Huntsman is really, really upset about Social Security. We know this because the television presenter, a daughter of former GOP Presidential contender Jon Huntsman, went on an extended rant about it Thursday on MSNBC’s “The Cycle.”

    Unfortunately, almost everything she said about Social Security in the name of making it “sustainable” for her generation was wrong.

    Dead wrong.

    Huntsman wants to tell it like it is, but she fails due to lack of information. And if her generation believes what she said, it’s going to be in deep trouble. …

    FSM save us from ignorant rich millennials!

  17. bostonboomer says:

    Moscow is “concerned” about ethnic Russians in Estonia.

  18. NW Luna says:

    JJ, I am delighted to read that your loom is here! (by now, which must be very late your time). (Just got back from work.) Oh, how exciting! And the Saori looms come pre-warped, don’t they? So you can start making beautiful textiles right away. They’re supposed to be very quiet. I was looking at the Piccolo model myself…I like that it’s height-adjustable, which is so important to help time at the loom be easy on your body. Keep us posted!

  19. bostonboomer says: