<   2009年 03月 ( 5 )   > この月の画像一覧

アート・ビスタ Art Vista

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個性的なお面の数々は、先日、ドラ息子のクラスで作ったもの。お面は実は生徒それぞれの顔の型を取ったものなのです。その1ヶ月半くらい前に、生徒が二人一組になって、一人が床に仰向けに寝そべり、もう一人が石膏が塗られた短冊状のものを相手の顔に貼付けて作りました。水や石膏でびちょびちょになりながら、子どもたちは大喜び。その日はうっかりカメラを忘れていって、悔しい思いをしました。

今回は、お面が乾いた頃を見計らっての仕上げの授業です。思い思いに色をつけたり、ビーズや羽で飾りつけたり。美術の先生(ボランティアのお母さんですが)が、「思いっきり創造的になって、自分の思うようにやってごらん。」と声をかけていました。

ドラ息子は、大好きなカモフラージュ模様。飾りはつけずにいたってシンプル。ところでその左隣りのお面、なかなかいい味出してると思いません?

A number of unique masks. That was an art project in dragon’s class the other day. The masks, as a matter of facts, are cast of each student’s face. About six weeks earlier, the students worked in pairs; one lying on the back on the floor, and the other placing strips of plaster on his/her partner’s face. The kids had so much fun getting messy with water and plaster all over. I regretted that I had forgotten to take my camera that day.

This time, about the time the masks were dry, they finished their work by painting or decorating them with beads, feathers or other materials as they wanted. The art teacher, who was in fact a parent volunteer, kept saying, “Be creative!! You can do whatever you want.”

Dragon painted his favorite camouflage pattern on the mask, very simple without anything on. By the way, don’t you think the one next to his is creating an interesting taste?
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by danceofdragon | 2009-03-27 22:58

雪を求めて Quest for Snow

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ひさしぶりのお天気!「よっしゃ、お出かけだ!」3月最初の週末、数週間ぶりのお出かけ日和に心もワクワク。この日の目的地はハミルトン山です。

私たちのいるサンノゼは、サンタクララ・バレーと呼ばれる盆地の中にあります。その東端には標高約1300mのハミルトン山があって、冬に雪が積もるのが見える唯一の場所です。冬の間ずっと「スキーに行きたい。スノーボードをやりたい。雪の降る東京に住みたい。」とブーブー言っていたドラ息子のために、行ってみることにしました。

途中、サンタクララ・バレーが一望できるところで、素晴しい景色に歓喜の声を上げながら、「待てよ、こう天気がよくては雪がどんどん溶けちゃうぞ。」だんだん焦ってきました。「少しくらいは残ってくれていますように。」最後の20kmくらいは曲がりくねった山道、車酔いするドラゴンが「気持ち悪い。」と言うたびに小休止しながらようやく到着。「おおっ、あるある。」ちらほらでしたが、少し雪が残ってました。さっきまで血の気のなかったドラゴンはどこへやら、車が止まるのも待てない勢いで大興奮。

ハミルトン山頂には、カリフォルニア大学の天文台があります。リック天文台と言われ、世界初の山頂の天文台として、1887年に建てられました。山頂のあちこちに大中小のドームがあって、一番大きい天体望遠鏡は直径3m。最初に作られた直径0.9mの望遠鏡の短いツアーもあって、物知り気分にもなれます。なんとその望遠鏡の下には、創設者である大富豪ジェームス・リック氏の遺体が埋葬されているそうな。

空気は冷たかったけど、確実に春がやってきているのがわかります。ドラゴンの雪玉攻勢をかわしつつ散歩を楽しんだ一日でした。もちろん舞姫もドラゴンからの雪の洗礼を逃れることはできなかった(^_^;)。
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The sky was finally clear. “OK, we are off!!” It was the first weekend in March and we were getting excited to go out for the first time in a few weeks. Destination of the day was Mt. Hamilton.

San Jose is located in Santa Clara Valley. At eastern edge of the valley lies Mt. Hamilton with its peak at 4,360 feet. It is the only place that we can see capped with snow in winter. We decided to go there for my dragon boy who complained all winter that he wanted to go skiing, that he wanted to do snowboarding, and that he wanted to live in Tokyo where it snowed a lot.

While letting out shouts of joy at the spectacular view of the whole valley, we began to worry. “Wait. The snow must be melting in this nice weather. Please, leave some for us!!” During the last sinuous 15 miles or so, we made frequent stops everytime dragon cried, “I’m sick,” then finally we were at the destination. “Oh, yes. Snow!!” Although in patches, there was snow left here and there at the peak. Dragon, who looked so pale until a few minutes ago, was already so overjoyed that he couldn’t even wait for the car to stop.

At the peak of Hamilton, there is an astronomical observatory of University of California. It is called Lick Observatory, constructed in 1887 as the first mountaintop observatory in the world. Domes of various sizes were scattered here and there. The largest telescope had a diameter of 120 inches. A short tour is offered to the first built telescope of 36 inches in diameter. You can feel like becoming a knowledgable person there. Interestingly, the body of the millionaire founder, James Lick, was buried in the ground under the telescope.

Although the air was so chilly, I felt spring was definitely near us. We enjoyed walking around while dodging snow ball attacks from dragon. Of course, my dancing princess could not go without being the subject of his snow play. (^_^;)
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by danceofdragon | 2009-03-23 03:10

心に響く言葉 Inspirational Words

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私のささやかな楽しみは、カントリー雑貨屋さんを見て回ること。よく絵やトールペイントの飾り物に、カリグラフィーの綺麗な字体でいろいろな文句が書かれていて、それを読むのも楽しみです。気の利いた言い回しに出会うと嬉しくなります。

9年も前になりますが、日本からアメリカに引越す時、大学時代の友人が、小さなハートの額縁の絵をプレゼントしてくれました。
”Though distance may separate, hearts remember.”
   「距離は離れても、心と心は思い出でつながっている。」
思いっきり意訳だけど、こんな文句が書かれていて、友人の心遣いに感銘したのを覚えています。

これもずっと前、果樹園のある農家の風景が描かれた絵が気に入って買ってしまいました。下の方に、
”Sow good deeds and memories will grow.”
   「種をまくようにいいことをしていけば、思い出が育つ。」
とあります。風景にぴったりの言葉遣いが素敵です。

先日、義姉が陶器の小物入れをくれました。
“We are sisters by chance and friends by choice.”
   「私たちが姉と妹になったのは偶然、友達になったのは自らの選択。」
とあります。一人っ子の私にとっては格別に嬉しいプレゼントでした。

日本の友人virgoさんのブログにも、息子さんがバレンタイン・カードに、インターネットで検索した引用句を使ったとあります。
”A friend is, as it were, a second self.” -Cicero
うまく訳せませんが「友は第二の自分」(キケロ)ということでしょうか。粋な選択ですね。

どれも短い文章に人間の知恵が詰まっています。インターネットで見てみたら、ほんとだ、わんさかあるではありませんか。ある日偶然にも、ドラ息子が「どうしていい言葉と悪い言葉があるの? 言葉は言葉に過ぎないでしょう。」といった意味のことを聞いてきました。なんと時宜を得た質問だろうと感動しつつ、「言葉には力があるんだよ。言葉一つで人を傷つけたり、嬉しくさせたりできるし、『ペンは剣より強し』っていう諺もあるんだよ。」と精一杯答えてみたけど、理解してくれたかな。

ちなみに見つけた引用句で、今一番のお気に入りは、
“A happy man marries the girl he loves; a happier man loves the girl he marries.”
   「幸せな男は、自分が愛する女と結婚する。もっと幸せな男は、自分が結婚した女を愛する。」
そうだよね、ケーシー! v(^^)

It is my trivial joy to look around in a country goods store. Often I see various phrases written on paintings or tolepainted decors. It is fun to read those in pretty calligraphy. When I find a nifty wording, it makes my day.

Nine years ago when I was leaving Japan to move to the U.S., a friend of mine from college gave me a small drawing with a heart-shaped frame. It read,
“Though distance may separate, hearts remember.”
I remember I was so touched with her kindness.

It was again long time ago when I fell in love with a painting that had a farmland scenery with an orchard. I coudn’t resist and bought it. In a lower part of the painting, there was a phrase;
”Sow good deeds and memories will grow.”
I liked the words nicely matched with the scenery.

The other day, my sister-in-law gave me a small ceramic case, which said,
“We are sisters by chance and friends by choice.”
It was a very special present for me, since I was an only child.

In her blog, virgo-san, a friend in Japan, wrote about her son making Valentine’s Day cards, using a quotation that he had found by searching on the internet.
”A friend is, as it were, a second self.” -Cicero
What a chic choice he made!

In each short sentence, human wisdom is condensed. I looked up on the internet, and yes, was I surprised or not to find whole bunch of them!

Coincidentally, one day my dragon boy asked something like, “Why are there good words and bad words? Words are just words, aren’t they?” So intrigued by his timely question, I tried to answer sincerely. “Words have power. A simple word can hurt somebody’s feeling or make somebody happy. There is a saying, ‘The pen is mightier than the sword.’” I wonder if he understood.

By the way, here is my most favorite that I have found;
“A happy man marries the girl he loves; a happier man loves the girl he marries.”
Isn’t this right, Casey? v(^^)
[PR]

by danceofdragon | 2009-03-15 09:15

カリフォルニアへのパスポート Passport to California

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ドラ息子の話が続きます。学校で発表の課題が1月にありました。自分の家族の中から、カリフォルニア生まれではなく、他の州や国からカリフォルニアにやってきた人を一人選び、旅の様子、持ち込んだ文化や伝統、新しい土地に慣れるまでの苦悩などをまとめてレポートにし、さらにクラスで発表するという課題です。

ドラゴンが選んだのは、ダディのマミィのマミィのダディ、つまりひいひいお祖父さんです。 ドイツで生まれ育ったひいひいお祖父さん、アメリカに渡り最初はニューヨーク、そしてミズーリ州に20年近くいた後、1888年に53歳で家族とサンフランシスコにやってきました。そんな昔の人のそんな軌跡、普通はわかるはずがありません。

でも、ドラゴンには強力な助っ人がいたのです。家系図の達人である伯母さんです。彼女をおいて他に誰がいようか。普段から伯母さんにご先祖様の話を聞かせてもらっていたドラゴン、19世紀の南北戦争に従軍したこのひいひいお祖父さんのことが印象に残っていたみたいです。伯母さんが写真や生誕地であるドイツの町の情報、サンフランシスコのお家の担保証書などを提供してくれ、ドラゴンも世界地図に毛糸を張って準備したり、何度も発表の練習をしました。

発表当日、私は行くつもりなかったのに、朝突然「マミィも手伝いに来て!」との指令が。発表直前は「やりたくない。マミィやって。」とくじけそうになったのですが、勇気を奮い起こし、涙を拭って呼吸を整えて前に出て行ったのです。自分の力で乗り越えたのにはびっくり。蚊の鳴くような声だったけど、先生は超恥ずかしがり屋のドラゴンが皆の前でやり遂げたことに、それはそれは感動して、その週の優秀賞に選んでくれたのでした。

日本から来ている同じクラスのLちゃんは、もちろんお父さんとお母さんについて。皆にかわいい折り紙の箱を配ったようです。ところで、クラスの中で四世代も遡ったのはドラゴンだけ。そりゃ誇らしいだろうと思いきや、「マミィについてやればよかった、そしたらもっと簡単だったのに。」だって。「どひゃぁ〜!」(^_^;)

Another story of my dragon boy. In January, he had an assignment at school. He was supposed to pick a family member who had come to California from other state or country, not a California-born. How did the person travel to California? What culture or tradition did he/she bring in? What was hard to get adjusted to a new life? He had to research on these topics, arrange them to a report and give a presentation in class.

Dragon picked his daddy’s mommy’s mommy’s daddy, that is, his great, great grandpa. He was born and grew up in Germany, then set off for America. First, to New York, then to Missouri where he had lived for about 20 years, and finally to San Francisco with his family at the age of 53 in 1888. It is usually impossible to follow such history of somebody’s life who lived so long ago.

However, dragon had a super helper, his aunt, a geneology specialist. Who else could be more helping! She had talked to dragon about his ancestors on many occcasions. It seemed he had been especially impressed with the great, great, grandpa who served during the Civil War in the 19th century. His aunt provided pictures, information on his birthplace in Germany, a mortgage document of his house in San Francisco, and so on. Meanwhile, dragon was busy with preparation, putting a string of yarn on the world map, practicing presentation many times.

I didn’t plan to go to school until he said in the morning of his presentation day, “Mommy, you have to come and help me!” When his turn came, he almost gave up, saying, “I don’t want to do it. You do it for me.” To my surprise, however, he gathered up his courage, wiped out tears, steadied his breath, and walked to the front. He got over the fear by himself!! Although his voice was faint, his teacher was so amazed with him, a boy of extreme shyness speaking in front of the class. He received “Student of the Week” for that week. 

L-chan, his classmate from Japan, of course, talked about her mommy and daddy. She handed out a cute origami box to everybody. It turned out dragon was the only student in the class who went back as far as four generations. “He must be very proud of himself.” Well, my excitement didn’t last long. He said, “I should have done about mommy. It would have been much easier.” That knocked me out!! (^_^;)

*ひいひいお祖父さんのお墓についての過去の投稿
*Past posting on great, great grandpa’s grave
http://dradance.exblog.jp/8312057/
[PR]

by danceofdragon | 2009-03-06 23:58

お料理番組ではありません Not a Cooking Show

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二人の男性がエプロンをつけて、何やらおいしそうなもの作ってる?、、、いえいえ、実はこれは陶芸教室の一風景なのです。先生は義兄、生徒はドラ息子。義兄は陶芸家、地元のお祭りやアート・ギャラリーに出品したりしています。前からドラゴンに陶芸を教えてもらえないかなと思っていました。 ちょうど義兄夫婦とドラゴンの冬休みが重なり、チャンス到来、二人で日帰りでストックトンに行ってきました。

義兄夫婦の家は、ガレージの約半分が陶芸工房になっていて、窯やロクロ、粘土、道具、過去の作品などが無造作に置いてあります。手始めに手びねりを教えてくれました。棒状にした粘土を輪にして重ねていきます。そういえば、東京のプリスクールで毎週陶芸の時間があったことを懐かしく思い出しました。何なのかさっぱりわからなかったけど、創造的な作品をもって帰ってきたものです。一度は粘土まみれになって遊ばせてくれたっけ。思いっきり楽しんだドラゴンです。

なんとか形になったところで、次はロクロです。期待に胸を膨らませつつ、緊張気味のドラ息子、伯父さんに手本を見せてもらって、いざ挑戦! まずはロクロの真ん中に置いた粘土を両手で包み込み、完全な円形にしないといけません。それから端を持ちあげて器にしていきます。なかなか思うようにいかずに悪戦苦闘、ふにゃふにゃになったり、形がいびつになったり。 そりゃ最初から伯父さんのように上手にできるわけがありません。「難しい」を連発しながら神妙に続け、ロクロで作った作品は3個、初めての割りには上出来です。先生がいいからね。

義姉と一部始終を見ていた私は、陶芸ってなかなか奥が深いものだなぁと感心したり、大地と一体化するような感覚になるのかなと思ったり。作品は、乾いたら義兄が窯で焼いてくれることになっています。次は色塗り。また乾くのを待って本焼きです。完成まで先は長いけど、なかなかできない貴重な体験にご満足のドラゴン、最後には「僕もロクロが欲しい〜!」だって(^_^;)。
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Two men in apron making something tasty?? Well, actually, this is a scene from a pottery class that my brother-in-law, a ceramist, taught my dragon boy. He places his works at local festivals and art galleries. I had long wanted to ask him to teach dragon pottery and finally there came a chance. My brother-in-law and his wife happened to have the same week off from work as dragon from school. Dragon and I, just two of us, went on a day trip to Stockton.

About half of their garage was turned into a pottery workshop where a kiln, a potter’s wheel, clay, tools, past projects were offhandedly placed. As a starter, my brother-in-law taught dragon how to hand form. They kneaded pieces of clay into sticks, put one on top of another, arranging each into a loop shape. As I watched, fond memories came back to me. At the preschool in Tokyo where dragon attended, they had a weekly pottery class. He often came home with his very creative-looking work although I had no idea what they were. One time they had free play with clay and he had so much fun, getting covered with clay all over.

Once the hand forming produced something that had a shape, the teacher and the student moved on to the potter’s wheel. As dragon watched his uncle show how to use the wheel, dragon looked a bit nervous while getting filled with anticipation at the same time. Now it was his turn!! First, he had to cover a piece of clay placed at the center with his hands and make a perfectly round piece. Then it was time to pull up the edge into a bowl. He had a hard time getting a desired shape. One came close to collapsing. One turned out in an odd shape. Well, he couldn’t be expected to do like his uncle. Repeately saying, “This is hard,” dragon was seriously engaged and finished three pieces which looked good for being a first timer. I think this was because of the good teacher.

While watching the whole lesson, along with my sister-in-law, I was amazed with the profoundness of the world of pottery. I also wondered it may give you the feeling of being unified with the earth. The works of dragon are supposed to be fired in the kiln once they are dry. Next step will be painting, then after dry they will be fired again, which will be a long process. Dragon looked satisfied with this precious experience. He said at last, “I want a potter’s wheel, too.” (^_^;)
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by danceofdragon | 2009-03-02 11:59