I headed to Kyoto early Sunday morning when a typhoon was approaching.
This was to attend the celebration of my master Ms. Fukumi Shimura’s ninetieth birthday.
I took a taxi that I had booked in advance with my 2-year-old daughter who was asleep, and first went to the nearest station.
Although it was not affected by the typhoon yet, it was raining and the foot of the mountain was gloomy and foggy due to the autumn rain front approaching.
While watching the scenery through the car window, I was anxious about whether I could reach Kyoto safely.
Exactly two years ago, there was a celebration of her 88th birthday, and I had the bitter memories of cancelling because my daughter had a fever just before.
This time, I wanted to be sure to congratulate her and I have carefully prepared health condition of myself and my daughter.
And yet, a typhoon was approaching…but I was determined to head for west unless the train stopped.
I had the option to have my daughter stay at home, but it was my hope to take her with me.
What I learned and felt at the workshop of Ms Fukumi Shimura and her eldest daughter Ms. Yoko in Kyoto nearly 20 years ago, underlie my basis.
I would like to tell my daughter about my experience at the workshop in some way.
Yet, it was not about dyeing and weaving techniques such as “there is the warp and the weft in weaving…”, but it was more about mind and the senses, so it was hard and difficult to find the appropriate words to convey the message for her.
If that’s the case, I thought that one way would be for her to get the atmosphere of the workshop.
When I arrived at Kyoto, it was mild cloudy with no hint of typhoon and there were bustling tourists, and it took the wind out of my sails who was fully covered with rain wear.
What’s more, I was relieved to see my dear masters and ex-colleagues in full of vigour.
But at the same time, Ms. Fukumi spoke softly “we must be aware that we benefit from nature” and her sincere and modest passion and sense of her mission rising even at the age of 90 made me feel tense.
Such tension makes me feel good.
Kyoto is a special place for me where comfort and tension intersect like warp and weft.
And then, the happy time passed very quickly, and I made my way home chased by the typhoon.
I am not sure if my daughter remembers it, but someday I would like to talk to her about this day again.