A few years ago I encountered a vase with some flowers in it, and it fundamentally changed my mind. I was in a building in San Francisco Japantown. It was quite early; I was waiting to go to a funeral nearby. Someone was waxing the floors with a machine that made a very loud noise. It was annoying. My eye was caught by a window display; I approached it and saw a Japanese flower arrangement sitting quietly behind the glass. Around this arrangement was a perfect silence. The waxing machine became a background murmur.
A few days later I learned that a teacher of this art, Shuji Ikeda, lived quite near me in Oakland. And so began my instruction. I have needed a place to store my work. These arrangements are not classical ikebana of the Ikenobo school; but I have learned much from this study and continue to do so. But to learn more the final advice given by the several teachers and books I've encountered is this: 'Arrange flowers." I've been at it for about 6 years or so. Generally I grow my own. Flowers.
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