this week i took a an ikebana class in a very jetlagged state. the teacher would look at what i was doing and say something like - i see what you mean - and then she'd finish it for me. it was interesting to watch her work. just how familiar her hands are with the materials - the way she knows exactly how to pull on a blade of grass to make it droop but not crease or snap - but also how quickly she made all those decisions; the way you could see her thinking. sometimes she would cover a part with her hand and imagine it gone; asking herself, do we need this? is it better without?
and i noticed that i think anything i'm making - a dinner, a drawing, a flower arrangement - should be natural or authentic. it shouldn't be laboured or polished. and i shouldn't waste any of the materials that went into it. it should just fall off my hand and be perfect already. it doesn't really work. i need to edit and labour sometimes. i need to be deliberate and leave things out. in class all the students worked away while i put one stem in a vase and frowned at it. very funny.
i've been reading lydia davis short stories which are amazing. i bet she edits. or maybe it just falls off her pen and is perfect.
i want this book, illustrated by nathalie du pasquier.