There was only one Obon this past weekend and it was close by, a great situation as I did not have to drive all over town. But, wouldn't you know it? I did drive all over town. After doing some unplanned yard work. What happens is that something bothers me on a low level for a while. Then, for no particular reason, I loose my mind and can't take it anymore. I grab a saw, or a rake, or pruners, whatever will help solve the issue and get to work. This is what happened Saturday morning when I innocently went out to put some trash into the receptacle. I ended up doing three hours of hard work in the already hot sun.
Rather than kicking back and relaxing until Obon time, I decided to head south to East L.A. I am on the mailing list for the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College. An exhibition was having its closing reception along with a panel discussion. The exhibition was "A Decolonial Atlas & Yreina D. Cervántez." I knew Yreina decades ago and haven't seen her for maybe the last of those several decades. So at 11:30 AM, I decided to take a shower and try to get to the museum by the panel discussion start time of 12:30 PM. Against all odds, I actually made. Did the discussion start at the appointed time? Don't be silly. Did it start 10, 15 minutes late? You're being too conservative. Somewhere around 1:00 they got going. That was fine, I wasn't planning on going to the Obon until dance time anyway. It was a good presentation by the show's curator, Pilar Tompkins Rivas, and the four artists included in the presentation: Yreina D. Cervántez, Carolina Caycedo, Raul Baltazar and Morton Robinson. The event has better attendance than many such presentations. I have to say that towards the end I got a bit antsy. This state could not be attributed to the artist, rather to the fact that during Pilar's welcoming statement, she mentioned that also happening on campus would be performances by Chinese groups starting at 2:00. I wanted to see what I could of that and we were well past that starting time. I stuck it out just the same, but then rocketed over to the campus theatre and caught a couple of acts.
I should have headed straight home after that, but there was a Daiso store that I've never been to in the lot of the mall I had parked in. I had to have a walk through there. Then, since heading north from East L.A. College meant I had to drive through Monterey Park and seeing that I was low on Shou Wu Chih, it would have been silly not to have stopped at Wing Hop Fung. So I did and thus got home quite late.
Here is where the Obon being close to home is an asset. It was the Pasadena Buddhist Temple, about a three - five minute car drive. I had just enough time to get there for part of the taiko performance, then the beginning of the dancing. The other asset of closeness is that I don't feel pressured to spend a lot of time there. I can show up, have my chili rice, do a dance or two, then head back home. Whereas if I spend an hour or more getting to the festivities, I'm going to need to hangout so as not to feel like an idiot. Consequently, I went to the Pasadena Obon both Saturday and Sunday.
|The artists, left to right: Raul Baltazar, Yreina D. Cervántez,|
Carolina Caycedo and Marton Robinson.
Now across the quad to the campus theatre.
|Guzheng and Pipa.|
Dancing in good costumes.