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……to create a scroll for Bonnie and Charlie’s Tatami Room.  Now this is no small assignment as the scroll, being site specific, was to be the only ‘adornment’ in the room and had to convey:

A sense of peace……..

harmonious with it’s surroundings…..

bringing nature in…………

while remaining timeless.

Bonnie reminded me that they had to wait quite a long time to receive it but for me I knew that the ‘moment’ had to  come together….perfectly blending everything I wished to convey… I waited…..

Before I began the work, there was  a trip to San Francisco to get the perfect blank scroll… easy thing to do considering the specific size.  Once in my possession I set forth….remember that each stroke had to be done deliberately, without hesitation or correction. Seeing it again I had a beautiful memory of creating it and it gave me great joy…….

Listening to Bonnie describing how she ‘feels the water…hears the birds and senses the breezes, always seeing something new in the scroll’ I knew I had accomplished my task.


……..even seeing the Chinese rock in the lower left corner gave me such great pleasure.


Bonnie gives me a few pointers on meditation…


The following wonderful descriptions have been  contributed by Bonnie. ‘This display bench or tokonomo is usually held up by a post at it’s corner by the oldest piece of wood in the house.  The display would be changed weekly with a simple floral arrangement.’  However, Bonnie uses it to display some of her favorite pieces, including some driftwood she found at the beach that looks like a dragon.

Just reading that last sentence will give you a glimpse into Bonnie’s joie de vivre!  She and Charlie are the most in synch couple enjoying all that life on this beautiful blue planet has to offer and doing the most amazing things.  Bonnie is a classically trained violinist and has been appointed Concert Master for the Joshua Tree Orchestra and Charlie, aside from being the amazing writer that he is, has the most wonderful sense of humor proving that it takes great intellect to be clever! I first met Bonnie when she studied Chinese Brush painting with me and then she and Charlie went with us on our art tour of China ‘Journey of the Imagination’.

Now here’s the Tokonomo.


Here’s Bonnie’s Zen garden featuring 8 stones in clusters of 3 and 5.  Bonnie collected them as she learned the art of the stone with an organization called Aiseki Kai.  They display viewing stones at the Huntington Library and Gardens every year the day after New Year’s Day.  (Impressed????…..I thought so!!!)


Each season Bonnie enjoys rearranging the rocks and raking the sand into different positions.  She uses a small brush and her fingers.


A view from the edge of the tatami mats.


A small display of carvings of the 7 most famous Chinese poet/philosophers, one of whom is a woman.


Bonnie said she and Charlie fell in love with this pottery and bought it directly from the potter.  The handle is bamboo.  They use it every Sunday to keep their waffles hot.  Now that’s funny!107

My very first ‘adult’ car was an Alfa Romeo so when I found out that these two are over the top ‘Alfa nuts’ (Bonnie’s term) I loved them all the more.  They’re in all the Alfa clubs and go hither and yon to gather and gab or whatever they do.  Leaving tomorrow for Big Sur they will probably be connected in some way to this A.R. world!


Dapper Charlie with their 1991 Alfa Spider.  Bonnie said this was her daily driver to work for 17 years so she never minded the commute.  Who would!  They took the car all the way to Banff in Canada and when they got to the border to return to the States the border patrol took one look at the tiny car and waved them through without a search.


O.K., my foodie friends, I haven’t forgotten about you. We are about to enter ‘Teru Sushi’ in Studio City ( ) sublime home of all things wondrous from the sea.  But first, a conversation with the beautiful Koi.


Can you find the turtle?


The sushi master himself greets us….


Giant bottles of Sapporo and another type of Japanese beer.  The Sapporo is light and sweet.  The other is darker and more bitter.


Foodie alert!

A spicy tuna hand roll.  Tuna is ono, as in “Oh no! How can I eat this?” (Told you they are clever!!!) This was soooooooooooo delicious…possibly my favorite.


Must have tea…must have Cha or GREEN tea! Bonnie said ‘it’s a little bitter and dry to clean the palette and noted that the Japanese tea ceremony is called cha-no-yu.  Bet you didn’t know that.


A teru Sushi special roll.


Scallop hand rolls, known as atakegai. Maybe this was my favorite……although at this point it was hard to say or know as I was regaled with the most fascinating and hysterical stories ever!!!


Beautiful Spanish mackerel or aiji that melts in your mouth like butter.


Yellowtail sushi.


Uni or sea urchin.  Bonnie said that Charlie always has this last….. for ‘dessert’.


Time to say goodbye.  Arigato goziemashita Bonnie and Charlie for a sublime meal and unforgettable day!


I’ve been listening to Howard Hanson’s Symphony No. 2 “ROMANTIC”, Op. 30 composed for beloved Dr. Joseph Maddy founder of Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.

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