26 April 2017 ● 1 min read ● 1 image

"Murasaki Kanjo"「紫感情」
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

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About Erica

Erica Ward

I'm an artist in Tokyo, Japan

Pen and watercolor illustrator from the redwood forests of California now exploring the cement forest of Tokyo. Forever inspired by Japan.

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