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Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Things that Please: Sei Shōnagon

Sei Shōnagon was a lady of the court in Imperial Japan, born around 966 AD.  She was a poet and writer, who kept a "Pillow Book" in which she wrote her thoughts and entries detailing court life.  Some of the entries were lists of things on a given subject, such as "Hateful Things", some reflections on behavior, such as on "A Good Lover."



In honor of Sei Shōnagon, my list of the day:
 
Things that Please

The cries of baby birds from one's tree. "Food, food!"

Rose bushes in one's garden, a feast of lush colors, crowned by one with flowers the size of latte cups, light yellow, blushing pink at the trembling edges.

One's sleepy dog, her ballerina feet twitching in a dream of chasing bunnies.

Neat piles of crisp laundry, smelling faintly of jasmine.

Steam curling from the morning's first cup of tea.

Poetry written with a purple pen.

A friend calling at an indecent hour just to say 'hi.'

Turquoise flip-flops with green frogs on them — summer feet.

Making travel plans to destinations too expensive to bear, but promising oneself  "some day."

The neighbor's backyard lights turning on to reveal the silhoutte of a wild fox.

Writing one's 'pillow-blog*' even when one's hand is cramping from the revenge of the carpal tunnel.

The thought of wonderful people stumbling in to read what one has scribbled.

 

 
<3 A

* I ardently wish I had coined this one, but Philobiblon got there first :)

Peter Greenaway made a strange and wonderful movie as an homage to Sei Shōnagon — incredibly lovely cinematic treats in this one.  And, Ewan McGregor in all his glory is nothing to scoff at....
The Pillowbook (1996).

Tags: Books

2 Comments:

Blogger Gawain said...

a wondeful person has.
your list reminds me of my life on cape cod -- garden, foxes, bird feeder. :)

June 07, 2006 9:05 PM  
Blogger Katja said...

Hey, I just realised that we haven't watched Pillowbook (or I haven't.) So next time I come Pillowbook, ice-cream and coffee, huh ???

June 11, 2006 2:21 PM  

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