Dharma in January 2018

Dear Zen friend
1)         February sesshin:       from 02/09 to 02/13.
             March sesshin:           from 03/09 to 03/13
2)   On the day of Spring Cleaning, we found a scroll in the basement. Inside the scroll there was calligraphy of Sawaki Roshi. Sawaki Roshi was the greatest zen master for last 150 years. The scroll was somewhat damaged by stains and molds.
I asked a few people for advice how to handle it. And heard there is industry of paper preservation. Universities have lots of books to be well kept, national and local archives must be carefully treated. Some are valuable, some not. Quality of paper is different on age and even a place of production. Restoration and preservation of these documents requires professional knowledge and skill.
Museum level treatment was recommended at valley Zendo after restoration. To avoid sun ray and moisture is possible. Museum level is a dream, though.
I asked an institution to work for the scroll. It took about 2 months to finish with lots of money. And I was disappointed with its result. The calligraphy did not look much different from 2 months before. What did those guys do?
Later I thought just whitening was possible and simple. For restoration, however, looking aged is valuable. I did not buy a new picturer, but an old picture which looked aged.  Wanted a bright picture, preservation institution is a wrong place.
I sent the picture for a friend to frame. He brought the picture in January. I was surprised at seeing beauty of the framed picture.  Unbelievable! He said the back ground color fit best for the calligraphy.
Most of the time at valley zendo I think about woods and flowers. Document conservation was a totally different world. It was fun to have a glance at a different industry.
Eishin Ikeda
Valley Zendo
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