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The Shape of Flower

February 19, 2018

We (my love and I) watched a beautiful fantasy drama film called "The Shape of Water" last night at a nearby movie theater.  It was a part of the series of "surprise celebrations" of our love, thoughtfully planned by the man of my life since I, as floral designer, worked throughout the week and the day of Valentine's day, and this film was definitely a lovely surprise. 


I was thoroughly enamoured of the magical story line filled with deep emotions between and around the "monstrous" creature and the lonely and loving mute woman Elisa that also offered a touch of effective social commentary.


Personally I love anything that provokes deep thoughts about human conditions. My natural inclination and curiosity are always open to feel the presented conditions of life and think about them well to my own satisfaction. I am not sure exactly where this fascination of mine comes from, and certainly it has not brought me any financial rewards for all the time and energy (and money) spent, pondering and investing on these human matters.  But for me, to simply learn a little more, to gain some new insights I had not entertained before about what it means to be human on this planet earth has been not of luxury but necessity. It is the steady nutrients and anchor to the health of my interior life. 


So today I decided to do a bit of follow up study on the film, as we always do after watching a good film, and I came across with this article which shared what the director Guillermo del Toro had to say about the background of the film. It says, 


"Del Toro set the film during the 1960s Cold War era to counteract today's heightened tensions, specifying, "if I say once upon a time in 1962, it becomes a fairy tale for troubled times. People can lower their guard a little bit more and listen to the story and listen to the characters and talk about the issues, rather than the circumstances of the issues."  I thought it was an intriguingly profound insight.


In Ikebana, we are careful and thoughtful about the shapes, the angles, the curves, and the space of the materials we use in each arrangement. At the same time, we are taught the appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes as an essential element to beauty and life.​  For me, it makes complete sense. It is the intersection of all authentic/natural and thoughtful aspects that shapes a uniquely magnificent creation. That is what art is. That is what life is.


In the film, there was a truth of life beautifully quoted by Elisa that struck my heart, 


"When he looks at me, the way he looks at me. He does not know what I lack or how I am incomplete. He sees me for what I am, as I am."


Isn't this the universal human yearning? To be accepted and embraced for what we are, as we are by others?  Simultaneously, a further analysis tells me, somewhere along the journey, we also learned to reject ourselves in some ways..  and today I am here to tell us:


It's time to embrace and own all of our own glory and incompleteness, and move courageously forward, to honor our gift of life. 


The Shape of Flower



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Floral Design | Chicago | Michiko Kobayashi

Tel: 312-998-8654

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© 2018 by Michiko Kobayashi