the end of summer I received a short letter from Fukuda sensei
informing his attendance to the 5th Global Memorial in Basho-an.
Alas, he had to cancel it just before the Renku Day. In fact on
the 23rd he called Tateshi and gave him two hokku candidates.
Having no way to know about this, Shigeto san cordially brought
a hokku responding to Tateshi's original request. Well, this is
the kind of situation you need a coordinator!
Having read three verses, I nonchalantly recommended Tateshi san
to use the one with 'Earnest Desires' right in front of Shigeto
san, which could have infuriated him if he were not the kind of
genuine renkujin as he really is. Besides Shigeto san's hokku
was a great greeting verse to us: he sincerely called our past
Global sessions "tanomoshii" meaning spiritually stable
and dependable. I humbly asked Shigeto san to prepare the ageku
using this special word. Shigeto san with his several decades
of renku leading career listened to this coordinator. And I have
to add that Tateshi, President of our group, endorsed this process
wearing his warmest smile all over his face.
When the AIR invites poets to our renku session, each AIR member
uses his/her calibre independently towards the good end. And the
good end is always to create a quality time and a cosy space with
the poetry at its very center. Having witnessed all these processes
including the on-going translation work of each verse, Kinuta
san, the resident haijin of Basho-an, positively remarked: "I
have never seen a renku session like this!" Well, I am proud
of our little group for this uniqueness as a haikai group of Japan.
After all, how can AIR be bound by cut and dry authoritative codes?
The Nijuin Tateshi led here starts mildly with tradition in mind,
but in the latter half there are quite a few nuanced modern links.
I myself feel the renku wave in a series of verses from Sumiko's
Sirius to Yuasa sensei's blossom verse. David's pre-blossom verse
hit a chord in my heart every time I read it. And I know this
magic is made possible by Kinuta's Aegius destroyers, which, by
turn, came into being triggered by Shizuka's jeans. Reading backward
is such a fun and here too renku imitates the life. Ah.....