Zen In Hand

A dear friend of mine passed away recently. She was a potter, and the gifts of her creations fill my home. This poem by Jazz J is as exquisitely crafted as Nadine’s works. I share it with you today to honour both women.

stepsandpauses

March 16, 2018.  This poem emerged while studying Zen poets – mostly male, but one female poet made the syllabus.  Otagaki Rengetsu (1791–1875) became a Japanese Buddhist nun and one of the country’s most respected female artists – combining her poetry, calligraphy, and pottery.  She learned from Kyoto potters and decorated her rough and rugged bowls, cups, and other vessels with her poetry, either painted on or scored into the clay in flowing calligraphy. Orders from tea masters and others kept her very busy.  This collage of found images shows both her pottery and calligraphy styles.

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