Raku Kichizaemon XV is the fifteenth grand master of the Raku family. He traces his line back 450 years to Chōjirō, founder of Raku, who made the original tea bowls for Sen no Rikyū, originator of Japan’s tea ceremony.
In a corner of his studio, in crumbling sacks is his raw material; clay, stored by his forefathers over 100 years ago.
Kichizaemon, in his turn, lays down clay for his descendants.
Eschewing the labels of “artist” or “potter”, Kichizaemon says he is simply a chawan’ya, a maker of tea bowls.
How’s that for a sovereign professional role-model? A clear and simple understanding of the value he adds, and the vision to plan generations into the future.
Conventional wisdom is a common language of sorts – something that helps us communicate. At the same time, it’s similar to stopping our thought processes. Everyone agrees this is the way things are; nobody questions it. And nobody peers into the depths behind those things to question them.
As a sovereign professional, you spend an inordinate amount of time entering unfamiliar rooms, full of strangers. It’s unavoidable. You need to meet new clients and potential clients. You need to attend conferences, training and those semi-social-semi-business occasions.
You may even feel that life is a little too long, so you burn some surplus life-energy at “Networking Events”.
My own interest in hats has grown in inverse proportion to the growth of my hair. The first autumn rain pelting your near-naked scalp, or the dry, shrinking sensation of hot, summer sun on parts you previously supposed to be thatched will do that to a chap.
The best science-fiction tackles big themes, using its blank canvas to paint familiar things in a new light. Done well, the result is anything but ponderous. You can see it in some of Steven Moffat’s Doctor Who. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is like that. It’s an engaging story that addresses libertarianism, self-determination, freedom and the mechanics of running a revolution. It has a tangy layer of cynicism, too, that leaves me pondering the real meaning of the book’s famous motif of the brass cannon (Heinlein’s original title for the book).
Widely viewed as Robert Heinlein’s crowning glory, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is perfectly considered escapism for the summer holidays.
We cannot afford to receive some gifts. ~ To learn a group’s values, find out what it punishes. ~ No one is the same at the end of a journey. ~ Eloquent and persuasive are not the same as wise and true. ~ The clock always casts a vote.