Loosely Binding

Hanji

The making of Hanji paper ….

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Mulberry bark

Gather,

skin, boil, wash, pound

In winter

cover with the root mucus … of hibiscus manihot.

Blended together … artfully form.

In a warm room … dry slowly … covered with stones.

I am durable … unpreserved I outlast civilizations

Enter my door … I am cool in summer, warm in winter

Impenetrable … the rain that falls can not dim my light

~

Accompanied by cricket sound in a field of stars

I sit in the soft glow of papered lamp light

it’s ancient tradition a beckoning

all my loved ones resting deep in sleep,

and tonight a great nest of grandchildren

dreaming of mountain tadpoles

and the wild strawberries they picked

as their own sun kissed bodies ripened in the sun

In this moment

I wonder at the naturalness of this great love that binds us

I am dazed by this spiraling life my heart forever flies towards

while still maintaining my own self … full, nurturing, self providing

I sit here like an open field arms held wide for it all

Tonight looking out at the shadows cast in response to our light

the dreaming of this family and the vast silence of living surrounds me

I wrap myself round with the wonder of it all

At the strength and resilience this steady cadence our hearts beat

Seemingly fragile

But oh, so strong

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Hanji paper is a traditional paper made in Korea from the inner bark of the paper mulberry. It is durable with archival properties and can be openly displayed in museums without protection. It is a good ventilator but can also keep a room warm so it is used to cover their wooden framed doors. It is also waterproof. It’s translucent qualities lend well to the artistry of shading lamps.

Hanji Paper Artist: Kitty Jun-Im

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