Patina, Provenance, Keshiki, and the Velveteen Rabbit

Patina: a surface appearance of something grown beautiful, especially with age or use.

Provenance: origin, source.  the history of ownership of a valued object or work of art or literature.

Keshiki: . . . (Japanese) after you use [something] and make some stain, it is natural thing and we call it “keshiki” (“a scenery naturally made”) that makes the item valuable.

The Veleveteen Rabbit: a children’s novel written by Margery Williams and illustrated by William Nicholson. It chronicles the story of a stuffed rabbit and his quest to become real through the love of his owner.

* * *

We buy things to use, to admire, to give pleasure to our lives, to make our lives more efficient, to wear, to eat, to provide shelter, to take us from one place to another.  Sometimes we hoard, from fear, necessity, greed.  There are things we all have hiding in a cupboard or drawer or under the bed, saved for the rainy day that never comes, for that yet-to-be-determined special occasion.

And then we die.  All that was valuable to us, as individuals, is gone.  Now it is junk for others to cart away.

I have decided to ink my only un-used suzuri, using a highly prized ink stick.  The experience will be mine alone.

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2 thoughts on “Patina, Provenance, Keshiki, and the Velveteen Rabbit

  1. Hi Naomi!

    Just wanted to say that I completely understand your decision to use your inkstone. My mother is one of those persons that stores all kinds of things she considers valuable. I never quite understood it…why would you store them to never use them? To never fully enjoy them? Why tuck them away in a closet, far from everybody including yourself? For me the beauty in those things lie in the way you use them, in how you appreciate them.
    And especially for inkstones I can say that I appreciate the pleasure that comes from using a fine one. It is truly indescribable. How was it? Was it very different from your other suzuris?

    Best Wishes

  2. Hi Ricardo – no, have not used it yet. I made the decision slowly. Still have to decide on which ink stick should be the initial one. I know which one I would like – but I have to make sure I have it! If not, a different choice. And then the right setting – certainly not today when I have been so busy with all sorts of things, including learning some software, updating stuff, etc., for this short course in photography I have, as well as some stuff from work. I think next weekend may be the time. I want to be calm, relaxed, and not feeling like the world is too close to the doorstep! I will write about it! Thanks for your note – nice to hear from you. Cheers!

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