Monday, October 13, 2008


The misconceptions are ridiculous, and I have always been interested in what it's really like to be a Geisha. Not that I want to be one. It is simply something, that most of us Westeners do not understand because it is so far away from our culture. However, I have never had a fortune to read any books on Geisha. Not for the lack of trying, but because I grew up in this narrow minded country called Lithuania. Stuff like this just is not sold in our bookshops, and if it is, it costs a fortune I can not afford. The first treat I had on gaining any knowledge on Geisha was through the film based on the controversial Arthur Golden's novel Memoirs of a Geisha. I know it's fiction, but it is the closest I ever got of having any insight into Geisha's life.

Today I sat down and had a browse through, to see, just how many books are out there on Geisha's. I wonder why I did not do this before, but it's a bit late now. I didn't come across that many of them, but these four you can see on the left hand side of the post a
are the ones I would love to read.

Yet again I bounce against the wall of my financial depression.

Buying a book should not be a privilege but rather a pleasure. Since we have moved back to Lithuania I haven't purchased a single book, in Lithuanian or English. In fact all the books I have currently at home, were either given to me as a gift or are borrowed from the library. Slightly depressing for such a person like me who's obsessed with holding on to my books after I read them, and re-reading them a few months later. This is not to be, at least not at this point of my life.

Back to Geisha. The obsession and the interest of mine comes from nowhere, no particular reason, except the beauty of it. It startles me, that there were (and thank goodness still are) women who can go through so much effort and pain to master this art of being a Geisha. I do not care about the controversy or the sexual side of the matter. What Geisha's do is not as much of my interest as how do they become Geisha, how can they play some musical instrument, speak beautifully, walk in those big shoes so elegantly and so on.

This all may be, because I myself, am so clumsy. You could hardly ever call me elegant unless I am skating. Few years ago, I would bump into almost all the furniture there was in our house. I don't have it. Funnily most of my teenage years I was aiming to become masculine, but that resulted in more awkwardness and clumsiness. Once I acknowledged that I am a girl and accepted the fact that I at least should try being one it has become much easier.

To look more feminine I attempted to wear high heals and learn to put make up on (this all happened only when I was about 18-19!), however, now all my high heel shoes are put away, they agonise me too much for so little, plus I am quite tall anyway. My make up is put aside, these days I only varnish my nails. My hair is short, mos of these days you'll find me wearing trousers (it is simply too cold in this climate to wear skirts unless it's summer) yet I am more feminine than I ever was. I don't bump into things, I even taught myself to smile elegantly. This is my way of being feminine, a bit Marlene Dietrich style, without the curls or shaved off eyebrows, but it's me and it works. I realised it yesterday while walking down the street.

So all my fascination with Geisha is quite understandable. They are the opposite of everything I am. They will sacrifice not only many hours of their life, but many comforts too, to look absolutely stunning, because it's their job. They can play some musical instrument, sing, dance, speak beautifully, I am glad if I only manage one of these. This doesn't make me any less of a person though, I am not a Geisha after all.

I don't know if this post makes any sense to the reader. I simply after such a long browse through the books' descriptions and reviews, started wanting so much to read about them, yet for now I can't. It's a pity but sooner or later it will change. The stories, all of them, of these women must be amazing. For whatever reason they became Geisha they have to do their job really well just to survive and pay their debts off. It is a very expensive profession to start with, even today, and very hard too. It is not something someone can do till the end of their days either, these women have to master it so well, so they can use their years of youth worth while and give them something to live on for the rest of their life. There is no retirement plan for these beauties and yet it is so amazing and so foreign to me, that I am yearning to know more.

I would love to add that this post simply expresses my point of view towards the subject, it may be completely wrong, but this is how I see it.


Vesper de Vil said...

I love how you've danced with this topic. It's lovely.

Anonymous said...

thought was very good also :)

Lorri said...

I will send you one book on the Geisha.

It's a lovely post.

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