Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Aging Process

It was a month ago my co-worker Lydia brought me some bird paradise flowers and leaves. I had lots of fun to arrange the birds since I never had this many at same time before. Birds are always challenge to arrange since they are “directional”, to arrange them is to make them talk to each other and communicate with viewers. My first try was not too bad but I was not satisfied.

I thought about it and came out a much better arrangement the next day.

At the time, I thought about to use the leaves but did not have any good idea. They were not interesting enough to me. I kept them in water.

Last Saturday, my ikebana friend Lingling invited me to her house for tea tasting along with another ikebana friend Rita. Lingling is a tea master, Rita and I learned a lot about tea. When Lingling gave us a brief introduction about the tea process, she talked about aging process, that led the topic to sake and wine. It turned out both Lingling and Rita like wine tasting, so they tasted few sake and wines. I am not a drinker, it was very interesting to learn the comments from them after they tasted each one. Both liked an aged wine, especially, they liked the feeling when the wine was in their month and the after taste.

The following Sunday morning I went to San Francisco City College to see Mami School Flower demonstration, I turned off my cell phone and forgot to turn it back on after the demo. A friend tried very hard to reach me and offer me to cut her blooming roses. I was very touched. In Chinese cultural, since I am much younger than her, I should pay my respect to her but not let her do favor to me. I went to cut the roses Monday morning on my way to the office. When thinking about what to go with the roses, I noticed the bird paradise leaves, after the aging process, they became interesting, I arranged them with the roses.

This made me think about the aging process. Most of people who participate ikebana, ceramics, writing, and volunteering are women in the 50 ~ 70 age group. Those are the activities I do, therefore, I had opportunity to know those women in this age group. I am lucky to make friends with them and benefit from their friendship. There are many good common qualities among the women in this age group, especially, I found that they appreciate life, have wisdom and are interesting. They learned from their life experience.

I wish that the human aging process can be separated., slow down the physical aging process to live health and longer, speed up the mental aging process to have the appreciation and wisdom like the elder generation. I am trying my best to learn from them.

Enjoy the arrangements and Happy Monday!

In Friendship through Flowers,
Yirou.

中文版点击这里

3 comments:

BeeLee said...

Interesting article and nice bird paradise flowers arrangement, they are very beautiful !

以柔 said...

Thanks, Bee, to visit. I had been thinking about aging lately, that is why the article.

Lydia said...

The transformation from the first arrangement to the second was amazing. They were both beautiful but communicated different tones. I"ll continue to look around for flowers/plants that might be fun to experiment with. Thanks, Kathy