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In every landscape, the point of astonishment is the meeting of the sky and the earth, and that is seen from the first hillock as well as from the top of the Alleghanies. The stars at night stoop down over the brownest, homeliest common, with all the spiritual magnificence which they shed on the Campagna, or on the marble deserts of Egypt.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays
I remember meeting you in a dark dream
of April, you or some girl,
the necklace of wishes alive and breathing around your throat
John Ashbery, Hop o' My Thumb
the bamboo leaves rustle
traditional Tanabata children's song
Maybe I'm dreaming. My eyes are open, which means maybe I'm awake dreaming that I'm asleep. Or, or more likely, I'm asleep dreaming that I'm awake wondering if I'm dreaming.
Philippe in Ladyhawke
It is Tanabata in Japan this week. Or at least in some parts of Japan. Usually Tanabata is celebrated on 7 July, or in Sendai and some other parts of Japan on 7 August. The Sendai Tanabata is the largest festival. Tanabata is the star festival. It's the next day in the series 1/1, 3/3, 5/5. Children write wishes and hang them.
The original story about the princess and the cowherd came from China. The separated lovers can meet only once a year. In western culture we have had this idea of lovers separated by a spell or a curse or the will of a god since the Greek myths. In films we have it too. In Ladyhawke Lady Isabeau is a hawk during the day and Captain Navarre is a wolf at night so they can never meet.
The word tanabata 七夕 in Japanese is interesting. It used to be read shichi seki seven + evening.
Meeting and joining once a year reminded me of tenkan, the meeting and turning movement in aikido. I wrote an explanation of tenkan here: Tenkan - advanced. I should expand it into a more detailed article. Meanwhile I liked Diana Frese's memory of some advice from Tohei Sensei or Maruyama Sensei about the meaning of tenkan: see your attacker's point of view. If you move so that you are standing together and facing in the same direction the reasons for conflict are cut away.
The connection is precious. Like Tanabata. The one day of the year.