Thursday, August 21, 2014

Riding the Crane

Kuan Yin  by Mayumi Oda
 While I was working at the fresh-squeezed orange juice stand, I used to park my car in the Berkeley Garage, then walk through, under the building, to campus. In the winding hallway there was an art gallery, and I was thrilled to see the work of someone entirely new to me named Mayumi Oda. So when I had this bright idea about the magazine, I knew her work in the first issue would be perfect.

Through another winding path of contacts, she called me and was interested in the idea. I drove to her house out by the sea in Marin County, by the Zen Green Gulch Farm, to look at her work.

Treasure Ship by Mayumi Oda
It was a magical  place to visit; Mayumi had inlayed a mosaic mermaid into her bathroom's entire floor. The house was surrounded by garden, and she had etched leaves and flowers into the white plaster of the fireplace surround.

She let me go through the work she had on hand and pick images for Issue One. (The ones in this post were ones I saw in the gallery; these were never in the magazine.)

Green Tara by Mayumi Oda
 And the writing, the poems and stories for the first issue? According to a letter to the readers I wrote in the first issue, I "sent out notices to every form of writer's and artist's newsletter, magazine, and school department,...called every talented person we could think of and wrote even more." To think that I ever had that kind of energy is next to impossible to believe. Then I had to learn something about speccing type, doing paste-up, finding distributors, getting advertisers, but in the end, a bit worse for inexperience, Issue One came out, 33 years ago this month. It just occurs to me that I was then age 33.

1 comment:

lotusgreen said...

And look at the time this published.