Watercolor, ink, on watercolor paper.
24.5 x 32cm
"Before I went to Court I tried to avoid sadness by writing to those who were in the same state of mind, even to those with whom I was only slightly acquainted, and associating with them I consoled my heart in various ways. Although an unimportant person I had passed my life without feeling any sort of contempt of myself until I went to Court–since then, alas! I have experienced all the bitterness of it. Today I took out romances, but they no longer interested me. I was ashamed to think what those melancholy persons to whom I used to write had thought of me since I went to Court, so I had no courage to write to them again. Those with whom I am now intimate would have to publish my letters broadcast, so how can I write to them my inmost heart?–thus my letters have inadvertently grown few. I had a feeling that association with some of the younger ladies who used to visit me before I went to Court could not continue. Some of them I had to refuse when they came, and in my home all these trifles have made me feel more deeply that I have gone into a world not intended for me. I write only to those from whom I can never part, to whom my heart prompts me to speak. O worthless heart, that feels love only for those with whom it daily associates! I long for Lady Dainagon with whom I spent every night before the Queen, when we told each other all our heart's secrets–is it also my worldly heart that longs for a companion other than Buddha?
Like two wild ducks
Floating with unrestful slumber,
Yet even those nights I would recall–
Feathers wet and cold–
But colder tears!"
~Diary of Murasaki Shikibu
Pen and watercolor illustrator from the redwood forests of California now exploring the cement forest of Tokyo. Forever inspired by Japan.