I had a lovely surprise and treat when I came home this evening: a little parcel in the post from Averil in Madrid. It contained beautiful Japanese material that she got during her trip to Japan this summer.
I thought initially that it was in response to my recent obsession with quilting because of the Tokyo Subway Map; and my subsequent quest for Japanese fabric. Until I noticed she had included a book on the Japanese art of Wrapping using material: “Furoshiki Tsutsumi”. These were no ordinary pieces of Japanese fabric – these were Furoshiki: specially selected and hemmed squares of fabric, with a special purpose in mind: Tsutsumi – the concept of “Gentle Concealment”.
What Averil couldn’t have known, because I’ve never told her (though she’s quite the mind-reader, you know?) is that I’ve been long obsessed with Japanese wrapping and folding and material. Years ago – literally in the last Century – when DH and I were dating, he brought back a book for me from Japan on the whole subject:
I was fascinated by all the “Creative Ideas From Japan” and would pour over this book repeatedly, yearning for the opportunity when I could try one of them out. Not everyone on this side of the globe would appreciate the effort and thought behind a Japanese-themed wrapping style. As it says in the book’s Introduction:
“In Japan, it is said that giving a gift is like wrapping one’s heart”
That chance finally came when we were getting married and I designed our Wedding invitations using one of the methods in the book. I used two types of paper that we got in Daintree on Camden Street in Dublin. I’m delighted to note that they’re still around. We also got Daintree to print the inserts – the actual Wedding Invitation information for our guests – and they supplied the envelopes.
It certainly garnered plenty of comment from my relatives and future in-laws. Some admitted they found it challenging to fold up the invitation again to put it back into the envelope.
So thank you, Averil, for sending me this unexpected treat. It is truly heartening to know that someone has you in their thoughts, even when they’re holidaying on the other side of the world.