At 91, my mother still inspires me with all her creative energy. With an unexpected windfall, she just had an art studio built behind her house where she works on clay sculptures several days a week.
Our daughter started college this fall. Before it happened, I couldn’t fully understand how much lies behind that simple statement—hope and excitement for your child’s future mixed with worry and sadness at their leaving.
For weeks after we dropped Maya off, the smallest thing could bring me to tears, like measuring oatmeal for three instead of four. My husband, son and I all miss her effervescent spirit, affectionate nature and hilarious observations. She has left our home quieter, tidier, and less exciting. It seems unfair that after eighteen years of the hard work of parenting, now that she’s pretty much perfect, she’s gone!
But happily, I got to visit Maya at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington earlier this month. (In a sweet bit of synchronicity, my freshman roommate at Stanford lives ten blocks from campus, so I also got to visit this dear friend.) To my delight, Maya decided to accompany me to the Seabeck Haiku Getaway.
geese arrowing south
part of my heart
in the passenger seat
For four days along beautiful Hood Canal, fifty poets talked, wrote and shared haiku, and I enjoyed giving a presentation on the process of creating my haiga (haiku art). As ever, it was a fun and inspiring retreat, and there was even time to hike through the woods and soak up sunlight by the lagoon.
by the breakfast bell—
sun through cedars
Between studying and writing essays for school, Maya penned some fine haiku of her own, like this one:
all the people
I could be
And at the end of the long weekend, two of my poems, less than an hour old, won prizes in the “kukai” haiku contest. This one, written while lying under a big maple tree with Maya, is a gentle message to myself in this time of transition:
a gust of wind
swirls through the maple—
the art of letting go
Back in 2013, when I returned from Seabeck, I created the “leaf light” piece above based on a forest trail there. Thinking about Maya’s leaving, it is a reminder to have faith in times of loss, change and uncertainty—and to keep walking.
tree by tree
the path unfolds
Makino Studios News
2016 calendar: A wall calendar of art and haiku, featuring twelve of my paintings of landscapes, animals and flowers, is now on sale in stores and online. From ocean waves to oak-covered hills, this mini-calendar provides a monthly dose of Zen wisdom.
New cards: I’ve posted eleven new and updated card designs to the MakinoStudios Etsy shop and they are also available in stores.
Made in Humboldt: More than 50 card designs, plus prints and calendars will be offered at this holiday sale at the Garden Shop of Pierson Building Center in Eureka, CA Nov. 17-Dec. 24.
Holiday Craft Market: Makino Studios will have a booth at this fair in the Arcata Community Center in Arcata, CA on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12-13.
"leaf light" has been published in The Sacred in Contemporary Haiku, edited by Robert Epstein, 2014; and in the 2013 Seabeck anthology, A Warm Welcome (it is also used for the cover art).
I’ve been thinking about cause and effect—and ripples. Even we fuzzy artsy types, who met our college science requirement by taking “Physics for Poets,” know that when you throw a stone in the water, the effect is not linear: the ripples radiate out in concentric circles, farther and farther from the source.
So it goes in the rest of life: while actions certainly have consequences, you can never clearly predict what they will be. A tossed pebble may create a wave that washes a bug up to safety on the far shore. And sometimes the effects radiate out much farther than you think.
This month my friend Amy Uyeki and I have a joint show featuring images combined with haiku and other words. We named the show “Ripples from a Stone” based on the idea that we all influence each other in surprising and unpredictable ways.
In fact, both of our work in this show was inspired by Amy’s grandmother, Shizue Harada. I never met her, yet this Japanese woman, who emigrated to the US in the 1920s in an arranged marriage and only began writing poetry late in life, indirectly launched me on my path as an artist and poet.
For more about this story and details on the show, see this article in the Eureka Times-Standard. And if you’re in Humboldt, we’d love to see you at our reception this Saturday, Nov. 22, 4-6 p.m. at the Adorni Center in Eureka, California.
By putting our work out in the world, we have tossed a stone into the river. Who knows what might come of that?
Makino Studios News
Holiday Open Studios: Visit artists Joyce Jonté, Patricia Sennott and me 11-5 on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6-7 at StewArt Studios in Arcata, CA.
Made in Humboldt: My cards, prints and calendars are on offer at this holiday sale at the Pierson's Garden Shop in Eureka, CA now through Dec. 24.
Holiday Craft Market: Makino Studios will have original paintings, prints, cards and calendars at this fair in the Arcata Community Center in Arcata, CA on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 13-14.
Holiday at Mateel Gallery: A few of my original paintings, plus cards and calendars, will be available at this group exhibit in Garberville, CA Nov. 22 through Dec. 27.
Living Room Retrospective: I am one of nine artists featured in this exhibit at MikkiMoves in Eureka, CA, opening Saturday, Dec. 6. The show runs through January.