Sunday, November 29, 2009

Airing Dirty Zen Laundry

So I did my kesa repairs and after a thorough once over I figured it was safe to wash the kesa. I decided to follow the instructions as per Kesa-Kudoku in Gudo Wafu Nishijima Roshi & Chodo Mike Cross translation.

I boiled water and filled the bath tub (cleaned it prior to use) and filled it with the hot water and ashes. submerged the kesa and washed it. I let it sit for a couple of hours. I took the dog out after the first hour and let everyone know to STAY OUT of the main bathroom and use the other. I had set my make shift inscence holder on the side of the tub along with some ground up inscence and such. I say make shift as i used clumping cat litter - unused ;) - to instead of sand as all we have round here is gravel(mud) or clay. and with 4 cats we have an abundance of cat litter!

After giving the pooch a good run Icome back to 2 nervous faces and one 8 month old with a happy, shit eating grin. My wife then informed me that my 3.5 year old girl forgot and opened the door to the off-limits bath in order to brush her teeth and her ever-present speed "scooching" side kick, her brother followed along. He spied the bowl of incense and clumping cat litter sand and dumped the entire contents on top of the Kesa soup.

Now for those in the know that shit is just clay crumbs..when wet, it returns to a clay clump.. great for cat piss, a monumental pain in the ass to get out of cloth or off the floor... if ya have cats... and use this stuff you will know what i mean.

Anwho a few extra hours of cleaning and its drying in front of the fire. Excluding scattering petals...I will follow through the rest of procedure. Fun Sunday activities for sure and a great lesson or 3.

Thats it. My dirty laundry now airing :)

So on sewing I've started cutting out material for another rakusu and getting back in to "the groove" what ever that may be.



Greg said...

Hee will certainly challenge your expectations of what "should " be, won't they?

Dosho said...


You've mentioned before that you had to repair your kesa. What needed fixing if I may ask?

Shohei said...

Kids are a damn fine teacher and a very honest reflection of you.. no holds bared! It was 2 seconds of Arrrg then a good laugh at myself. I wanted to "take my time..." lol Solution...make it REALLY dirty /me bows to son!

as for the repairs
Well the on joro was starting to come off (thanking the puppy and my poor sewing) and some lines of stitches were to far apart and so snag easily on the iron or a rough surfaces... like my winter skin :D.
Another part of practice..."Like boots or hearts, Oh when they start
They really fall apart"


Shohei said...

oh for the record, the quoted is lyrics from The Tragically hip, Boots or Hearts

Mike Cross said...

Hi Shohei,

Doing my best to ensure that the Nishijima/Cross translation might be an authentic one, I suppose I wasn't entirely free of the "what's in it for me?" attitude.

And so, all these years later, I have to suffer reading like this about the disastrous unintended consequences of my tainted efforts.

This must be what they call "dependent origination."

Ashvaghosha wrote (17.31)
"Everything is dependent on everything" -- for better or (as evidently in our own mistake-littered, cat-littered cases) for worse.

All the best,


Harry said...

Hiya Shohei,

After you sew two panels together with the first line of stiches, and then fold the bottom piece down, how do you form the yo and do the next line of stitches?

You've gotta fold the bottom of the yo flap under to make a hem and sew it, right? So do you use pins to hold it all down or what?

I tried it this way, but my effort makes for a slightly saggy yo.



Shohei said...

Ah! Thank you for reading and for the Ashvaghosha translation Mike! :)

Tainted efforts or not I assure you its all my doing in this case!! I take full responsibility for my and my always leaning in to clutch some end!

Hi Harry!
Short answer:
Fold on the line (see below) and iron the be-jesus out of it and then walk the pins to it.

loooong answer
Okay If i were attaching say small pannel to larger in the first set of panels - the middle set. i put them together lined them up by the pre measured and marked lines then
pin them together. Stitching along with the single threaded back stitch as Taigu as shown on his blog and the sewing videos, sewing along removing the pins. Once done fold the larger panel under. now you have your yo flap plus 1 or 2cms for ya to fold under the yo. **Important that his stuff is all marked out while flat fyi. measuring very carefully and sticking with the measure (as little fudging as possible - lol speaking from experience) and non stop ironing.

Please feel free to email me or what ever, if you need anything. Im honored to be able to be of any service!

Deep bows to you both!

Harry said...

Thanks, Dude.

This is good to know.

Bet you never thought that someday you'd be teaching a grown man how to sew! :-)

I think I'm fairly on track then: more ironing on a harder surface may do the trick (I had been ironing on a soft, quilted blanket).

Will let you know how it goes.

Thanks again,


Shohei said...

Hi Hanrei!

HA! I guess not! I couldn't still can't get a button back on a shirt too well!
As for the quilted material - glad you thought of that.

Also ironed on a quilted surface for a bit when making my rakusu. I cannot blame all my follies on the quilt but it made everything more difficult. I tried using the blue flannel bed sheet material, now a part of the kesa, to iron on and even that proved too soft.

I use a well folded and ironed high thread count bed sheet (to my wife's chagrin) on a short wooden play table. and seems to be suitable today!

pics when ya can :D!