14" X 18" © virginia huber, 2004.

Friends who don't share a language learn to choose the most important word in a sentence, conveying the rest of the sentence with body language and facial expressions. Machiko Kitayama and I can sense each other quite well AND we both have electronic dictionaries, so we did fine. When I saw my host pulling out her electronic dictionary, I'd pull mine out and prepare to receive. Also, the reverse happened.



16" X 20" © virginia huber, 2004.

I was warned away by American friends from partaking in the traditional evening bath. I was told the bath water would be scalding and deep and that I might faint. The first evening, Machiko asked me if I would like to take a bath and gave me some help with the mechanics of it. She showed me that there was a spigot which could cool things down a little and then left the room. The bath was very hot and unnervingly deep and I did get a little light headed. I turned a lot pinker than I am normally, but I slept well.


16" X 20" © virginia huber, 2004.

Many soft comforters and pillows to choose from were pulled from a closet in a room prepared with care just for me. The softness of the bed clothes and the firm tatami mat on the floor were comforting. Still I hadn't slept on the floor since I was a little girl. I remember being able to bounce up and off of the mattress when I was seven or eight years old. It took some doing this time around.



14" X 18" © virginia huber, 2004.

When I am painting in the studio and certain other moments, I feel the radiance of life. My spirit when I am making art is as effervescent as a rainbow. Yet, to look at me, I am an American grandmother with an American weight problem. I'm not fat so much as, how should I put it - solid. In Saitama, I met a Japanese dancer who danced the qualities I no longer embody but feel inside my heart. I stood away from her and watched her delicate modest moves.

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