Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ghost court lady

Kenko Yoshida says that the beginnings and ends of things are much more interesting.(p.379)

it is a useful thing to know, when one is on a quest to be a proper heian court lady, in these degenerate and insensitive times. likewise the whole concept of appreciating that which is broken and ugly and commonplace is so hard when we live surrounded in a world of pixel perfection.

with this in mind, reading my battered copy of lady nijo's diary, and even leafing through the pages of my own diary, i am struck at how the words of a long dead anonymous woman, could touch me so deeply, enough that i oftentimes think of her in familiar terms, almost like i know her personally.

second life exists for us to live our dreams, whatever they may be. and so i dressed my little pixel soul-mannikin in the garb of a court lady, and teleported to the kyoto sanjo (the name sanjo, third avenue, is a title she carried when in disgrace) sim, to become her, in a way.

except she never drowned herself, choosing exile instead. and i killed off my avatar, because i loved the outfit so much...and the only way to wear it was as a ghost...

dressed as a ghost, she roamed, this neo-lady sanjo, in the magnificent ishiko kimono made by yukio ishida (he even included red hakama in the outfit) and also wearing the hakama from the splendid ghost hakama set from selos dae, she haunted an empty room, dancing alone. a poem by ariwara no narihira, the heian superpoet/don juan/hero, came to mind:

tuki ya aranu
Faru ya mukasi no
Faru naranu
wa ga mi Fitotu Fa
moto no mi ni site

Is this not that moon?
And Spring: is as the Spring of old
Is it not?
Only this body of mine
Is as it ever was...

Ariwara no Narihira (KKS XV: 747)

and i felt those ancient words sink in so deeply, though i do not mourn those aspects of my life which have died, and those things which i sense even now are passing from my life at this moment. what i do feel is the certain inescapable onslaught of aging and death approaching, a contrast to the ever youthful pixel creature that is a surrogate container for my soul, the little doll who i incarnate and inhabit in this dreamworld.

and as if in an answer, like the long ago legend of ono no komachi's skull reciting poetry to ariwara no narihira as he rode past her grave, i was drawn to one of komachi's poems:

Fana no iro Fa
uturi ni keri na
itadura ni
waga mi yo ni Furu
nagame sesi ma ni

The colour of this flower
Has already faded away,
While in idle thoughts
My life goes by,
As I watch the long rains fall.

Ono no Komachi (KKS II: 113)

the ghost lady sanjo wears:
ishiko kimono by gauze
hakama from ghost hakama set by trap
aisha hair silver by penumbra
geisha skin 07 by penumbra
miko tiara by rumi

aisha hair black by penumbra
juni-hitoe top by CTK kimono
miko hakama by kami hitoe
uchikake (oiran) by i dont know.

the poems (and their background stories) from the 2001 Waka for Japan 2001 site.

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