september shifu

early september mama nature encroaching on wake robin. not much autumn showing, but the light show is beginning.
this is all that's left of the milkweed paper i made years and years ago, in the days of frequent job changes and unemployment. it was made in winter, from field retted milkweed fiber. i remember stripping the fiber in my kitchen, cooking, then taking it out and preparing it in a blender, adding tororo aoi, and making the thinnest sheets. these are strong despite being thin. and so i sacrificed a poorly formed one to the shifu goddess.
and made several short lengths of spun paper.
this little ball of paper was spun from a variously thick and thin sheet, and the resulting thread is quite irregular. 
i am growing weary of struggling with unevenness, however, and may take a more deliberate approach to my thread making. it looks like i may travel to toronto's japanese paper place to hear hiroko karuno speak about her work. this is for me an amazing opportunity, and i am quietly excited. 
oh, and my student's book: he said guess who i gave my book to? and i, thinking only that he was unhappy with it, said you didn't keep it? and he said no, i gave it to my brother in law. (who is a soldier, heading back to afghanistan) why? i asked. so he can use it to write while he's there and he'll have a special book to bring back to the family. that's perfect, i said. this soldier is my student's hero. how beautiful is this?