Alex Patriquin

Marginalia & found poetry. Short fiction and other projects. Musings  on startups. Photos from NYC and travels.

Things That Give a Clean Feeling

Things That Give a Clean Feeling
An earthen cup. A new metal bowl.
A rush mat.
The play of the light on water as one pours it into a vessel.
A new wooden chest.

Rare Things
A son-in-law who’s praised by his wife’s father. Likewise, a wife who’s loved by her mother-in-law. 

A pair of silver tweezers that can actually pull out hairs properly.

A retainer who doesn’t speak ill of his master.

A person who is without a single quirk. Someone who’s superior in both appearance and character, and who’s remained utterly blameless throughout his long dealings with the world.

You never find an instance of two people living together who continue to be overawed by each other’s excellence and always treat each other with scrupulous care and respect, so such a relationship is obviously a great rarity. 

Copying out a tale or a volume of poems without smearing any ink on the book you’re copying from. If you’re copying it from some beautiful bound book, you try to take immense care, but somehow you always manage to get ink on it.

Two women, let alone a man and a woman, who vow themselves to each other forever, and actually manage to remain on good terms to the end.”
 
from The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon