Author Topic:  [Bunkasai Exhibit] Let Your Mind Be Free  (Read 141 times)

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Offline Nyima

[Bunkasai Exhibit] Let Your Mind Be Free
« on: November 20, 2017, 07:33:03 PM »
SATURDAY, 3 NOVEMBER 2001, 1:10 PM

“Flow with whatever may happen, and let your mind be free: Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.”
Zhuangzi, Nan-Hua-Ch'en-Ching

"Good afternoon," Nyima said in her quiet yet substantial, somewhat authoritative voice. A crowd had gathered around the portion of the grounds where she, and several other Kaze students (and a few others), had prepared their display on the art of the 日本庭園 nihon teien, otherwise known outside of Japan as the eponymous Japanese Garden. "We are honoured by your visit to Mahoutokoro. My name is Nyima, and I am the Tengu - a position roughly analogous to Prefect, Musketeer, Snegvoin, Guardião, Tsar, Mlezi, or Senator - for House Kaze. Today my schoolmates and I would like to exhibit one of our most well-known cultural traditions, the Japanese garden.

"The Japanese garden is a man-made, but nature-inspired, feature which I understand has become aesthetically appealing in the rest of the world as well," Nyima began. "The example we have prepared for you today is unusual in that is a mobile, temporary arrangement, which we designed elsewhere and moved onto the grounds here for you to explore. But besides this, it is still a good representation of the common elements of the Japanese garden. Please follow me." She stepped onto the first of several bridges, off the lawn of the school grounds and over the straight edges of the large garden square, which had been neatly adorned with carefully selected river eyes and sakura ishi, cordierite cherry blossom stones.

"All Japanese gardens have representations of both water and stone," Nyima went on as they walked a gently winding path of soft soil, between rolls of vibrant green grass and some large slanted imperial bonsai. "You see here that we have used real water, soil, and stone in our arrangement. In the so-called dry rock gardens, water is represented by white sand, raked to mimic the sinuous motion of the waves. If real water is desired, when Muggles make their gardens, they must rely on gravity and plumbing to make their water flow, but as magicians, we have a little bit more leeway," she wiggled her fingers to either side of the bridge they were crossing, where the gardening group had already set enchanted clouds to hover a metre off the ground, each one releasing a spiralling flow of rain that fell into the valley meant to mimic a naturally eroded riverbed.

It was easy for Nyima to describe and explain the garden to her audience. Her immense enjoyment was undiluted even after she had worked to design and build it and been exposed to it for several days. She hoped that her audience was enjoying the natural serenity of the garden as much as she was.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 01:51:25 PM by Taed »

Offline Sylvia Crowne

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Re: [Bunkasai Exhibit] Let Your Mind Be Free
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2017, 12:30:17 AM »
In order to comprehend the beauty of a Japanese garden, it is necessary to understand - or at least to learn to understand - the beauty of stone. Lafcadio Hearn

          The students of a half a dozen schools poured onto the courtyard, beading up into similar uniformed groups of two, three or four. Brightly colored robe Mahoutokoro student sprinkled themselves among the visitors assisting in finding the next exhibit location and answering questions. Among the crowd alone, young, dark headed girl in a navy blue and cranberry rimed blazer and skirt cut through the meandering clusters. Her head remained buried in the brochure, her dark red glasses framing her hazel eyes only appearing to navigate the identical buildings which formed the symmetrical layout of the castle.

          By the time Sylvia arrived at the location of the Japanese Garden Exhibit, she had already read the programs burb 3 times and mapped out the course to the next two exhibit she wished to attend. Being early she was surprised to find a group already forming in front of a large arcing bridge. A number Mahoutokoro students lined either side of the bridge, surrounded by a crescent shaped group of visiting students. Sylvia slipped into the side of the forming crowd, hoping to get an early peak of the garden.

          Although every single Majoutokoro exhibit was on her to do list, the Japanese gardens were what she was most excited about. Before Sylvia left she was able to quickly read a book on Japanese customs. In it, was a brief chapter on gardens, with intriguing descriptions of elemental representation, manipulation of the conscious and a number of bright vivid moving photos of elegant ponds and sculpted gardens. A over all experience she knew only could understood in person.

         After a large group of students gathered, a slim darker robed young lady stepped forward from among the Majoutokoro students. Sylvia heard her introduce herself as Nyima, a “Tengu” of the Kaze house, which she compared to a long list of versions of a senator. Sylvia was intrigued with the concept that meany other schools would have a similar student structure to Ilvermorny. She started to wondered, if there was differences what were they? Yet Nyima did not dwell on Tengu subject, instead she began the description of the Japanese garden. What little Sylvia read on their gardens matched Nyima description until she mention it was a mobile, temporary arrangement.

          "A Mobile arrangement?" Sylvia said without meaning to. Two students in front gave her a glance before refocusing their attention. Sylvia realized that she might be consider rude, if she raised her hand or interrupt Nyima, so pushed the brochure in her bag and got out her notebook and quill. She started to jot down questions. Her father was not going to believe this. Sylvia hoped the thin Majoutokoro student would elaborate on just how the  garden was moved, or ask if there was any questions. Instead the tour began, so Syvlia tried to follow close behind Nyima, hoping for an opportunity to ask her growing list of inquiories.

          Nymia lead the students onto the great arcing bridged. Allowing them to take in the view at its peak before continuing. The view remained Sylvia of the photos she seen in her book, yet more vivid and magical. Then they crossed a lawn and walked along side of a beautifully designed square.  Sylvia glanced down at a row of small dark rocks that appeared to have pale five peddle flowers in them. She stopped, pick up a stone, and examine it. The rock did not have an actual flower in it. Instead it was a perfectly symmetrical pattern of paler rocks within a larger dark one. Although it was not a real flower, it was so beautiful she wondered if it was magically made.  Sylvia sketched it in her notebook, before precisely placing the rock back. She noticed how the pattern of flower-like rocks form a carpet of stone flowers. Wow. 

         By the time Sylvia caught back up with the group, they were making their way along a soft dirt path between rolling hills of perfect grass and strangely slanted small trees at the edge of a pool that fed a stream.  Their guide was in the middle of describing what the garden represents. Sylvia hoped she did not missed much. Sylvia was in the middle of jotting notes and another question, as the path turned leading to another bridge. Nyima paused at the high point stretched out her fingers and wiggled them. A few sudden the students next to Sylvia gave a proclamation of amazement. Sylvia followed their astonished gaze to two small clouds forming just above the water on each side of the bridge. Rain began to hit the smooth surface of the pond forming ripples that lapped the edges. 

        "Wandless magic," she whispered, suddenly remembering that most of the non-European wizards did not have wands. "You moved this who garden with out wands?" Sylvia spurted out with out thinking or remembering just why she was holding her notebook full of questions.  She might not be able to tell her father how the entire garden was moved.

« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 07:55:31 AM by Chaw »

Offline Nyima

Re: [Bunkasai Exhibit] Let Your Mind Be Free
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2018, 05:50:28 PM »
Nyima's most avid learner was one of the little ones wearing a school uniform from Ilvermorny. Almost from the very beginning she let out a surprised and confused exclamation, earning a look from some of the surrounding students. It might have been a breach of respect but Nyima understood the excitement that the youngest of Mahoutokoro's students would be feeling, so she didn't give the girl any rude look or comment as she continued. Besides, the girl seemed to immediately realise she had interrupted, and lowered her head while she retrieved a notebook from her bag, starting to energetically write notes or questions or whatever it might be on the pages. The girl was very absorbed in everything Nyima was showing, which was immensely flattering, even if she did not seem to necessarily have tact or consideration for the do's and do-not's.

One of the other Garden Club members had a sharp intake of breath when the girl picked up one of the sakura ishi to examine it, but Nyima gently held him back and was rewarded by the Ilvermorny girl carefully and precisely returning the rock to its original location. So, she might not have realised she should not interrupt other people's work, but she at least had the good sense to make sure she left things exactly as she found them. As far as Nyima was concerned, that was a particularly redeeming quality and not worth the trouble to tell her "stop picking things up." Dae-Hee obviously did not agree with her but, since Nyima was a Tengu and in charge of the exhibit, he limited his objection to a mild grumble and stepped back out of the way. Meanwhile Nyima continued her tour and explanation.

The Ilvermorny student returned to the group just as a new pair of clouds was forming, mimicing the evaporation and condensation part of the water cycle, and the girl interrupted once again in astonishment. More students were starting to give her dirty looks so Nyima decided she had better directly intervene.

"No, miss," Nyima said pleasantly. "While there are skilled adult witches and wizards who are capable of performing magic wandlessly, we are trained here with the use of wands in nearly all subjects. I believe it is only the indigenous peoples of Africa and the Americas who specialise in wandless magic. Our Garden Club used our wands to levitate and move the completed garden to this portion of the grounds for you." Another pair of clouds formed shortly after the original ones "rained out", and it gave Nyima enough of a clue to add, "I did not create the clouds wandlessly either; it was just a coincidence that they appeared when I waved my hands. The generation of the clouds is a continuous enchantment which we worked on perfecting this semester to mimic the natural water cycle of the earth." She motioned for the young girl to come up toward her. "Here, let me show you another such enchantment. All of you," she clarified, waving the group at large to follow her again.

"Without boring you all much on the details, let me just say that the patterning and design of Japanese gardens has changed from period to period under each dynasty of emperors, based on their aesthetics and preferences. Though all nature-inspired, as I said before, often different aspects of nature or different shapes or lines were highlighted. This portion is based very loosely on the Moss Garden of Saihō-ji, which was built around 1300, but ours has some more magical inspiration." As they crested another bridge, Nyima paused so their group would surround herself and the little Ilvermorny-san, and spreading out perpendicular from one side of the bridge was a valley covered entirely in three shades of teal and green moss. The ground beneath them was rolling and roiling in the fashion of a windy day at sea, and the moss moved around the soil to mimic the look and shape of ocean waves.

Offline Sylvia Crowne

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Re: [Bunkasai Exhibit] Let Your Mind Be Free
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2018, 01:17:35 AM »
        This time it was unmistakable. Heads bearing scowling looks turned to her direction. Sylvia tried to express a wordless apology to the disturbed participants. Most of which were Mahoutokoro students, yet a few were older students form other schools.  Sylvia stared down at the path and her shoes. She messed up again. Like she did outside the dining hall. She never got in trouble at Ilvermorny. Well there was that one time… but it was not her idea. Still, no one was asking questions. No one was even raising their hand. Like they all new how to act. Everyone but her. Maybe she was too young to have gone to this trip, after all. There should have been some Japanese customs class offered by the school. She will ask her Greataunt Millie to organize one for the next field trip, when she got back. If she will be able to go to the next field trip she will study the culture more.  She frowned to herself, before hearing an answer come form Nyima.  Sylvia raised her head, seeing all the other student return their attention.

           When Sylvia heard the correction regarding the cultural use of wandless magic, her cheeks burned. I should have known that. She chastised herself. Although she was upset at herself for speaking out of turn, but she was more upset that she forgot which groups made regular use wandless magic. It was something that was briefly covered by her Wizard of History teacher.  She looked at the cloud, But how did the Nyima make the cloud appear? She kept her question as an inward dialog, not wanting to cause another disruption. Nyima, had so much confidence and grace. It was the confidence and grace she had only seen form upper class man, doing spell work, which they were a master of.  Sylvia could have sworn, she saw Nyima wiggled her fingers just as clouds form.

         Just then the old clouds rained out their last drops. Sylvia watched them dissipate and then reform. Sylvia studied Nyima, who stood watching the clouds too. Not doing any magic, No jesters or saying any words. Sylvia was mistaken then. But how did the clouds form right when Nyima motioned? Sylvia asked herself. Suddenly Sylvia saw Nyima’s face light up with a sudden comprehension. It was then Nyima gave an explanation of the rain cloud, being a just continuous enchantment. A moment of mortification turned to boil when she thought she heard another student snicker. Sylvia’s eyes darted the direction of the instigator, yet failed to identify the corporate. It was an honest mistake. She told herself. She picked up her note book and tried to hide her face behind it. She made a sketch of the bridge and the raining clouds hovering above the pools of water, with an arrow labeled as continuous enchantment.

           Nyima motioned to Sylvia and the group forward her and they continue their tour of the garden. Sylvia took more notes on “Moss Garden of Saihō-j” being over 700 years old. She wanted to ask, how would they know how a 700 year old garden would look like, but didn’t. Instead she looked just around as  they crossed another bridge and gasped at the strange moving land. The beautiful patterns of the moss swirled and rolled giving illusion of waves in the sea. The color of the moss was beautiful. It was only after she saw some student’s bend down to feel the moss, did Sylvia examine it herself. She picked a small sprig of each color and sketched it in her notebook. The teal moss was the most amazing color. She wondered if it was native or was magically colored. She noted the question it in her notebook instead of asking.

         She looked out at the landscape, beautiful magically manipulated and controlled. The ground lightly swayed beneath her feet, rocking her back and forth. She noted it looked a lot different form the forest in her backyard, before she noticed a unsettled feeling in her stomach. She then realized the rolling ground started to make her feel a little sick. She felt like she did, when she was on a boat ride back from Isle Royale during a Lake Superior storm.  She closed her eyes, pushed her notebook against her stomach and retreated back to the stationary bridge. All she needed was to throw-up all over the garden. If she did, surly she would be sent back early.