Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Red String of Fate brought me a Japanese movie this morning.

This morning I couldn't sleep. I have a very long to-do list and anxiety over that, a lot of things need to be tied up, and moved forward. But, getting up at 5:45 is in and of itself distracting. Waiting for the coffee to brew, I found something online in that way, that way that one does and thinks, this is exactly why I am up so early doing something so weird as watching a Japanese film on my iPad while even the dog has gone back to bed.

I was thinking, initially, I'd post this as a link on Facebook, for my students in the Textile group, but too many things came to mind. I kept thinking of other people who I wished would see this and talk to me about it. Ironically, one of the things that woke me up is that I'd forgotten what I'm to do for dinner tonight, which is to take a pair of students out for sushi to celebrate their move to Portland to go to graduate school. And, Saturday a small band of knitters will be meeting to celebrate World Wide Knit in Public Day.  It seemed like a good fit; post a link to an international film to get people ready for WWKIP, and so much the more fitting that it is a Japanese film. Maybe more people would be inspired to join the knit-in.

However, whatever pragmatic reasons I had for starting to watch "Wool, 100%" they went by the wayside as I got caught up in elements of the story, some of which are told only through images (twins, but one is in Western dress, eating Western breakfast, the other, Eastern dress, eating traditional Japanese breakfast.)

Then, the universal cry of, "Damn, now I have to knit again!"

This really reminded me of my students, all the people I've taught to knit over the years, all the people who've taken up knitting and then put it down, all my unfinished sweaters, all my un-started projects. (Well, my basement looks a tiny bit like the sisters' house, that's all I'm saying.)

I usually have a rule they can't start over. Keep going, that's the law.

The film-maker, Mai Tomangi, is primarily known as an animator, which explains the heavenly drawings, the amazing animated sequence of Knit Again's and the exceptional ways in which the plot moves through multiple time-frames. But, that big fat red wool yarn really holds it's own as a character all in and of itself, that red string of fate.

The red string of fate is probably familiar to anime (Sailor Moon) and Eastern mythology buffs. Basically, if you're to meet someone, it's due to that red string of fate, tied to either your ankle or perhaps your pinky's an old concept that appears as a handy explanation for why sometimes mysterious meetings happen, why someone would appear or reappear in your life unexpectedly.

I often feel certain students are connected to me by red threads of fate, although, this doesn't apply if you feel the red string connects you to your lovers, of course! But rather, to switch to the Western side of metaphysical thought, more like the original Irish concept of a soul friend (Anam chara), which is more like a friend or mentor waiting to happen. The corruption of this is that your soulmate is your "one true love" but that's a more recent romanticization (in Western culture, anyway) from a Noah's ark crazed world of pairing everyone off for mating purposes. (Used to be, you could value a friend more highly - think of how loyal the Knights of the Round Table were to one another! But now we live in a time when marriage is the goal, and the be-all end-all of human relationships, so god forbid your soul-mates are not those you sleep with.)

Nevertheless, I'm often struck by the happenstance in education, wherein, the student finds the professor at the exact moment the professor needs to have that kind of student. It happened to me as a student, a few times, and it's happened to me as a professor. I've witnessed it between other students and their professors, and it has some ripple-effect, as often one person caring for/about the fate of another can have a ripple-effect.

Red threads. Starting over. Beautiful Japanese films from 2006 that come to you early one morning in 2014, just when you needed one. Here's the link again.

No comments: