Past Lives & Hobbies

ike_lovely2I Never Know Where I am Going to Find Myself

Last year, a couple of close friends of mine started attending a class in Sogetsu Ikebana. I was immediately intrigued. For years, I had been drawn to Ikebana but had not pursued it. It was an art form derived from a culture that was not my own and the draw was inexplicable so I had shelved the idea of joining a class until I found myself confronted by the idea once again.

I sat listening to the first class mishaps, the excitement of getting arrangements approved, and the intricate measurements used to create the ephemeral art. Then I dove, I dove head first into this idea that maybe I shouldn’t have ignored the tiny impulse that I had felt. A few months later, I was standing behind my own table filled with flowers and branches, in class, beaming from ear to ear.

My first few arrangements were…maybe, lacking would be the best word to use. Branches were missing leaves. Flowers were missing petals. Pots were randomly bought. But I continued. The tiny impulse began to grow and was curious about texture, line, colors, and space. I started taking risks and getting big pay offs because when I looked at my tiny masterpieces, I felt a warm glow from what my hands had made. Then it happened, a few classes into my first semester, I fell in the flow.

“The flow shouldn’t be here,” I thought. The flow is the feeling of losing yourself in a behavior that you have done so frequently that it is mindless. Like forgetting where you are when you are driving home and wondering how you spent the last five miles. The flow. How do I explain feeling the flow in a brand new art form? How do I explain the way my hands move without me thinking of what they are doing? How do I ignore the quiet nudgings within my soul to let some other part of me take over and enjoy the class too?

I suppose it would be one thing to feel these things but it seems a bit more substantial when the feedback from my Sensei validates my experience. When she asks me if I am a fine arts major (I am not). When she asks about my previous Ikebana classes (There have been none). When she mumbles under her breath that she can’t understand how I come up with things, I smile and say, “I don’t know” because it is easier to say that then to say, I found myself again. I found a part of me, from a different lifetime, that loved Ikebana. That is happy and fulfilled at being able to do it again. So I let the other part of me have her time, I steadily work through each workbook so that we can once again earn a flower name.

Passions are sometimes of this lifetime but more often than not, they are carried over from past lives. If you feel drawn to a hobby or activity, if it is healthy and promotes growth, I say, “Go for it!”

You’ll never know what part of you is waiting there, until you do it.