The picture I chose for the Title is "Daruma," a Japanese symbol for perseverence. When Daruma is knocked down, this round bottomed figure pops right back up. His expresion is not mean. It's determinied. Two of the three Daruma have their eyes colored in. When a person makes a wish, one eye gets colored in, and when the wish comes true, no matter how long it takes, it's time to paint the other in. It's very comforting to see two of the Daruma with both eyes painted in!
I particularly like this photo because of the impression of plum blossom sprays at the top. It seems that the structure around the Daruma stands at a shrine, though I know nothing about that. I've never been to Japan, and although I pray at a mountain, it is Bohem Piyuk (Mt. Shasta) not Fujiyama. But Granny and Caleen say all the sacred mountains are related and they talk to one another. I notice the Shinto tokens hanging from the roof, tokens which have been prayed over and people buy them for the year's blessing. Although, I've never been to a shrine, I do go to the sacred fire, and the ancient altars at the ceremonial grounds for help and blessing.
The Daruma is a symbol I often choose to represent life, my upbringing and even our generation. Yuri Kochiyama, whom I will always look up to, often quotes Franz Fanon saying it is for each generation to choose their mission, and then for each person to live it or betray it. For our generation, it is a rocky road to try to live it -- so many tugging forces, so many challenges, such a time of crisis.
As I said, this particular Daruma picture pleases me with it's suggestion of nature, the plum which looks so fragile yet is so sturdy -- blooms even when it's snowing --, the blessings, the good luck, and the perseverance. This picture is set in the ancient land of my ancestors, perhaps at a shrine beside their Sacred Mountain, the mountain who talks to the the great Sacred Mountain that Puylolimit, my treasured Granny, introduced me to 20 years ago when I went to Winnemem, led by my ancestor spirits, for the help and care she and her people have given me since.
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