Stepping into 2018
This morning, I was inspired by a video showing natural indigo dye makers in Japan. I didn’t even know that the colour came from a single plant! Or that fabrics dyed with real indigo was used as an under armour for the samurai because of its properties against bacteria, odour and flame. Or that the colour would be more beautiful over time. All that information stuck with me because the guy they interviewed looked like he was really into his job. He’s one of the five traditional indigo dye makers left in the region, so I guess he has to be.
Japanese culture is so fascinating. From starting the day with principles of bushidō to fixing broken pieces of ceramic with gold (kintsugi) – every step feels like they’ve been executed with intention.
There is a lot for us to learn from those who are committed to their craft. They’ve spent years perfecting their method,so you can imagine the amount of experience and the depth of knowledge they would have on their expertise. It can be something seemingly mundane like wood carving or cooking, but in a world where fast fashion, fast food, mass production and unethical labour dominates – I’m glad these artisans exist. It’s nice to be reminded of how skilled human hands can be, before technology took over and replaced us with machines.
Malaysia is rich with traditional culture that needs to be preserved but I suppose it’s fading as time passes by. How many of us know the origins of the mak yong? And who knows how to make pavlova but not kuih koci? #guilty #taumakanje
But I digress.
The take home message I got from my musings was this: to take pride in the work that we do. Be it writing, sweeping floors or suturing an episiotomy.
Practice writing till you get your best paragraph. Be the best floor sweeper there ever was. Suture that epi tear so damn good, that mama will be proud to show it off.
If we are not where we want to be yet, rectify. Learn and adapt.
Let’s keep at it until our work is the best that it can ever be done. Until we finally have that masterpiece to our name.
Have an awesome 2018 everybody!