thekimonogallery: “Mariko Kusumoto was born in Japan where she…



thekimonogallery:

Mariko Kusumoto was born in Japan where she studied art before continuing her education in CA. Today she combines a love of the ocean, creative shapes & found objects to create whimsical themes from her Lexington, MA studio” MFA

The Arrangement: A Victorian Fraser Christmas Tale. Prologue One.

imagineclaireandjamie:

Set in 1850: Victorian Britain.

“Oi! Wretch, you’ve mail,” the quartermaster barked, kicking Claire swiftly in the ribs as she dozed on the workhouse floor. Being ‘well to do’ had labelled her as different from her *new* peers and sleeping amongst them had elicited only negative responses. Therefore, she had made herself at home under some old, forgotten equipment in a far off forgotten corner of their draughty government imposed prison.

The small envelope hit her on the head and she feigned sleep, waiting anxiously for the grumpy old man to disappear. As his footsteps vanished down the corridors of the empty building, she reached out and pulled the letter to her chest praying it was what she thought it might be. Squeezing her eyes shut, she tried to bat away the memories of how she’d come to be sequestered here of all places, fifteen and alone.


Uncle Lamb often left Claire in the capable hands of his man servant, Firouz, when he was called to duty abroad; being only young, she was a burden when travelling long distances. In return he wrote and brought home strange artifacts for her.

Having lost her parents before her first birthday in a tragic horse and cart collision, Claire had been thrust into her uncle’s mad world. Taken from country to country, she often travelled on dirty ships with hostile crew members. But, as she’d reached her teenage years, Lamb had thought it more beneficial for her to have a stable upbringing with a *good* education.

Boarding school had been his first suggestion, but Claire had been nothing but defiant when it came to being abandoned in a grotty old schoolhouse with people she did not care for.

Lamb, very conscious of Claire’s natural stubbornness, had succumbed pretty easily and had removed her before any serious damage could be done. But he still refused to sacrifice her schooling, and so, had hired Firouz to act as caregiver and educator during his absences.

Then, halfway through her fifteenth year, disaster had struck. Lambert Beauchamp had been aboard a ship bound for the America’s, a large passenger freight that had been caught short in a storm. The wreckage had been spotted by a returning ship.

No survivors were recorded, and no bodies retrieved.

It hadn’t taken long for the news to be conveyed to all relatives aboard the capsized vessel.

In mere weeks, Lamb’s Oxford home had been stripped and sold off and Claire had been torn from Firouz and thrust into a workhouse, a ward of the state. With no living relatives to claim either her or her dowry, she’d been left at the mercy of the government as a minor with no rights and no time to grieve for her loss.


Daylight shone through the grimy, tiny, windows of the tall brick building, shining a tainted black-yellow light over Claire as she shook the memory of the horror of her ordeal from her filthy skin. Misery wouldn’t solve her situation, not now. Instead, her only hope lay in the hands of one Brian Fraser.

Running the off-cream envelope through her dirty fingers, she brushed the pad of her thumb over the seal.

“Je suis prest.” it read, and she was, she surmised; ready to be out of this place for good.


Brian stood and watched as the rider cantered off, back on his journey to London no doubt.

“Is this the only way, my own?” Ellen’s voice drifted over the fading sound of hoofprints against the dry ground.

“Aye, mo ghaol. I ken it isna ideal for us, but I canna leave the bairn to rot in a *workhouse*,” he spat the word as if it were poison on his tongue, the stale, retched scent of the last one he’d been in clinging to the roof of his mouth as he shuddered at the recollection.

“Ye’ve a good heart, Brian Dubh…” she whispered, brushing the stray strands of his long black hair from around his ears, “tis why I married ye. But what if yer condemning the weans to a life in an unhappy marriage. Ye ken Jamie weel. He loves ye fiercely and he’d do anything to make ye proud. But he’s like me, aye? What if he falls madly in love wi’ another?”

Brian’s heart sank as he contemplated the risks. “Yer right, mo nighean ruaidh, o’ course ye are. I wish things were different, I wish that Lambert was still here wi’ us so that we didna have to make such bold moves. But he isne. So I have to rescue his niece, *we* have to do all we can to get her safely awa’ from that fate…” Wrapping his arm around Ellen’s waist, he pulled her to his side, drawing strength from her presence alone, “however I can.”

“I do love ye so, a ghràdh,” she returned, her heart swelling in affection for the lengths he was willing to go to in order to protect a lass he’d never even met. “Whatever comes o’ this, I’m sure our Jamie will see the benefit of it. And, I’m sure wee Mistress Beauchamp will be ever grateful.”

The harsh October chill whisked through the Scottish air as Brian and Ellen turned, as one, towards Lallybroch. Deal done, all they could do was wait. Claire would need to turn sixteen before she’d be released for her impending nuptials. Only a few days stood between her and freedom, the Frasers could only hope that she survived those and made it to them unscathed.

Rubbing her aching arm, Claire pulled at the tatty dress she’d been given for her long journey up to the highlands. Winter had well and truly set in. The deal that had been proposed months before had taken longer to secure than she’d have liked and it was mid-November before her freedom had been assured.

Dowry lost to unscrupulous fatcats and lawyers, Claire stood outside the vile workhouse with only a battered suitcase and a few measly possessions to call her own. Luckily, that hadn’t stopped Brian Fraser from coming to her aid, money or no, he’d been determined to do his duty by her.

“Mistress Claire?” came the deep Scots burr, breaking Claire from her thoughts as she twisted on her heel in the direction of the calm voice of her rescuer.

“Y-yes, that’s me,” she replied, her voice nearly lost to the rattle of carriages as they whizzed passed, splattering her already soiled dress with mud and muck from the over-clogged cobbled streets.

“Ach! Good. I have an inn for the night, ye dinna mind I hope. Only it’s a long ride back to Broch Tuarach and I didna ken if ye would wish fer a comfortable bed for the evening afore we start out.”

Blushing, Claire dipped her head and curtsied as best as she was able, conveying her appreciation. The overcrowded workhouse had been such a nightmare that she hadn’t stopped to contemplate whether accepting the marriage proposal of a man she’d never met could land her in an even worse situation than the one she’d actually been living. Now, watching as Brian Fraser offered out his hand to her, his kind eyes soft as he’d allowed her to make the first move, she felt the sweet rush of relief fill her right to the marrow.

“Thank you, sir. Yes, that would be most pleasant.”

“Nay, lass, no ‘sir’,” Brian admonished, a smile gracing his soft features, “we’re to be father and daughter-in-law after all, aye?”

At this reminder, Claire gulped. Fear overtaking comfort she’d allowed herself to feel.

Brian, seeing distress colour her features, took her by the hand and brought her to his chest, as gently as he was able.

“Jamie’s a good lad, Claire lassie. I promise ye he’ll do right by ye, no need to fret. Yer uncle was a good friend, he helped us in so many ways, and I wouldna do his memory a disservice by condemning ye to a bad marriage. I ken that words dinna mean a whole lot to ye at the moment, but I’m asking for yer trust on this, please?”

The lulling lilt of his accent soothed Claire as she rested her head against Brian’s chest, inhaling the soft scent of hay and whisky that clung to him like a fine musk. He smelt as a father should, she thought, fatigue seeping through every inch of her.

Nodding, she grasped her hands together behind his back, accepting his request. Having expended all that energy to obtain her immunity, she had to allow him that one courtesy.

Sparking, the fire crackled, filling the gaps in silence in Lallybroch’s main living room. Sitting around its warmth, basking in the glow, all three Fraser siblings sat with a wee dram each discussing the spring harvest regime.

“Jamie, lad?” Ellen called, hating to disrupt the harmony that she usually revelled in.

Dusting himself off, the youngest Fraser stood, placing his (now empty) tumbler back onto the silver tray by the decanter as he answered his mother’s request.

“Aye, mam?” he responded, kissing her cheek softly as she pulled him from the room.

“If everything has gone t’ plan, yer da should be well on his way by now, ken? We’ve everything prepared here. The bands have been read, so it shouldna take more than a week afore ye can be wed properly, ye and Claire.”

There was a faint tinge of sadness in her tone that worried Jamie. As a strong lad of eighteen, it was uncommon for him to still be without a bride, Janet and William were both married after all. But Brian and Ellen being as they were, they had left their youngest be, certain that his heart would guide him right in the end. Now, with his union sealed to a woman he hadn’t even met, Ellen was feeling supremely guilty for breaking the vow she and Brian had made in reference to their youngest surviving bairn.

“What’s amiss, mam?” he questioned, not wishing to see his mother so torn.

“Do ye begrudge me and yer da for arranging yer wedding like this, son?” she broached, a demure lilt to her usually upbeat voice.

Jamie swallowed back any doubts and shook his head, a small smile pulling at his lips.

“Nay, mam, I dinna,” he began, his mind wandering as he pictured what Claire Beauchamp might actually be like. “I dinna ken what a work-house is, and I think I’m fair lucky that I don’t from what da says. The puir lass needs our help, and I wouldna see her in the hands of the English either.”

Ellen’s eyes shone with tears at hearing his words. A conscientious man by nature, Jamie had always been wise beyond his years but seeing him standing tall, his vibrant red hair clubbed at his neck, made her proud of the man he’d become.

“Yer a fair lad, Jamie.” Reaching her hand out, she laid it gently against the soft arc of his high cheekbones. “How can she no’ fall for ye?” she whispered, more to herself than to him causing him to flush bright red.

“I dinna ken, Mam. Maybe she’ll be put off by a rather large Scots farmer?” he jested, a twinkle in his eye. “After all, I do have a tang of horse about me, aye?”

– — –

Claire dozed lightly as the carriage bumped over the winding roads that lead her and Brian up into the Scottish wilds. Having spent nearly a week on the road, the weary pair were glad to be nearly home.

Home. The very word sent tingles down Claire’s spine. She had spent the last six months locked away in a building filled with the forgotten under the constant supervision of a number cruel guards. In that time, she’d seen women birth babies they had no means to care for, she’d witnessed families torn apart by famine and poverty, and she’d seen death in the most horrific ways. Mangled in the machinery, women often lost limbs as well as their lives.

The foul stench of spilt blood and feces wafted around her as if she’d willed it to be so and she wrapped her arms around her middle to avoid losing the contents of her stomach in the close confines of the carriage.  

“Claire, are ye alright lassie? Ye’ve gone sae green…” Brian interjected on seeing her crumple in front of him.

Nodding, she lay her head against the cool wood of the interior, unwilling to discuss it whilst they were still on the move. The motion combined with the memories was bad enough, but to dredge it up and have to actively talk about it during their rickety journey would not end well.

Letting the subject drop for the time being, Brian turned his attention to the scenery outside as it flashing by in brown and white blurs.

“The roads along here used to be impassable in winter, aye? We’re lucky now that they have men clearing the way for us, else we’d be stuck in Inverness until the worst of the snow passed,” he chatted, animatedly moving his arms in front of his chest as he pointed to the melting icicles hanging from the trees that lined the thin mud path.

Subdued by his tales of his childhood, Claire began to calm. She dropped her arm as she sat up straight again, relaxing her back against the soft cushions that lined the seats. Sitting for so long had its disadvantages and she squirmed, her back aching at the contact.

As well as various injuries from the worn machines in the factories, Claire had been thwacked with the strap more than necessary. In her final weeks in Oxford, with the taste of freedom coating her tongue like the finest of foods, Claire had been less cautious with her words. Her captors had not been the type to let her sass go unpunished and the final straw had been to strip her bare, haul her in front of the entire factory and thrash her to within an inch of her life with their threadbare leather belts.

Now, angry, sore welts lined the fine skin of her back. Lacing over one another, they were a staunch reminder of the bother her sharp tongue could get her in.

Sensing her anguish, Brian reached below and passed her his whisky flask, eager to offer her some relief. He didn’t know the ins and outs of her injuries, but he could guess that she wasn’t unharmed. Not many escaped the close confines of a workhouse without some form of physical abuse.

“Nearly home now, wee Claire. That willna fill yer belly, but it will make ye forget the hunger, aye? I’m sure Mrs. Crook will have something nice to eat once we’re back, too.”

Taking a swig of the spirit, Claire coughed as the sharp liquid hit the back of her throat.

“I want to thank you, Mr. Fraser…” she sighed, her sweaty palms running over the skirts of her dress as she tried to make herself as comfortable as possible, “for everything you’ve done for me.”

“Ach, Claire. Call me Brian, please, lass? Mr. Fraser is as bad as ‘sir’, ken?” He chuckled as he took back his flask and placed it back in his top pocket.

The sun was hanging low on the horizon as the horse and carriage began its ascent towards Lallybroch. Claire sat up straight, eyes focused out of the window on the faint glow of candlelight ahead, heart racing with nervousness as reality squarely hit home.

Silence filled the enclosed space as the intrepid adventurers came to a stop. Refusing to make eye contact, Claire waited for Brian to leave and come back to open her door before making a move to exit, her feet seemingly attached, firmly, to the floor.

Seeing candlelight flicker to Brian’s immediate left, Claire made it her mission to keep her gaze rigidly affixed to the floor.

“Come now, lass,” Brian cooed, his warm palm resting on her knee as if he were talking to an agitated animal rather than to a wee slip of a girl. “It’s no’ sae bad as all that. Come inside, there’s bannocks and honey.”

At the mention of food, Claire’s belly rumbled loudly, the echo of it resounding around the small space as she admitted defeat and allowed Brian to lead her from the carriage and out into the Scottish night.

“I ken yer uncle didna get chance to bring ye to meet us. Which, under the circumstances, was unfortunate. But he loved the big house.”

Blinking back tears, Claire glanced up, finally. “Y-yes, he did. He told me many stories about its fabulous architecture and its history,” she responded, unable to hold back the fond recollections of Lambert Beauchamp and his excitable recounts of his adventures.

She missed him terribly.

“Good evening, Claire,” a tall red-headed woman interjected, disturbing Claire’s thought as she took her place by Brian’s side, a lovely smile tugging at her pinked lips. “I’m Ellen Fraser. It’s so nice to finally meet yer acquaintance.”

Holding her hands behind her back, Claire couldn’t help but feel a tiny kinship with the Fraser matriarch. Even with only an introduction, Ellen Fraser felt like the mother Claire so desperately needed.

Slowly but surely, the Fraser brood began to step out of the shadows of the main doorway, assessing their newest family member as they looked her up and down.

“Hallo, Claire. I’m William, and this is Janet…”

William Fraser truly was a giant amongst men, and Claire’s eyes widened as she took in his massive stature.

“Ach, awa’ wi’ ye, Willie. I am Janet, Claire, but ye can call me Jenny, aye? Everyone else does,” Jenny quipped, patting Claire on the shoulder as she shoved her eldest brother aside as if he weighed nothing.

Overwhelmed, Claire simply nodded along, grateful that they had left her intended until last.

Jamie, tapping his fingers lightly against the thick wood of the doorframe, had remained hidden in the entranceway. He had watched from the window of the sitting room as his mother had rushed out to greet his father, intrigued by what would emerge from the family carriage but unwilling to spook the poor thing before she’d even stepped foot on Broch Tuarach soil.

Shifting his weight, he pondered his next move. He was half determined to meet his affianced, intrigued as he was by the prospect. But he also half longed for the sanctuary of his rooms, away from the pressure of marrying a complete stranger.

His heart picked up pace as he peeked his head around the door, watching as his mam held the candle she had aloft, lighting Claire’s face. A yellow glow surrounded her, illuminating her features as her eyes darted to and fro, from one Fraser to another.

“Ah Dhia…” he muttered, his lungs contracting as she blinked her large blue eyes, her eyelashes casting a beautiful shadow over her stained cheeks.

She was dazzling. Her delicate face tilted away from the luminous blaze of the wee flame, shining an orange hue along her graceful neck.

“Blessed Mary and Bride,” he muttered, moving outside into the courtyard as if compelled to do so by an unknown force.

“Och,” Brian exclaimed, his shoulders relaxing as he saw Jamie emerge, eyes glazed and mouth open, “laddie, come aye? Introduce yerself…”

Suddenly an eerie stillness swept through the quiet highland evening as all eyes rested on Jamie, his expression turning coy as he came forward, an alluring blush covering his cheeks.

Claire, her heart thudding loudly, shuffled her feet, her thin broken shoes disturbing the damp ground and sending small puffs of wet dust floating around her ankles in dark flurries.

He was *ravishing*. A subtle mix of statuesque grace and enticing handsomeness.

“Claire,” he began, forgetting his manners for the smallest of seconds, “I-I mean, Mistress Beauchamp,” he corrected, dipping his head in a courtly bow, “it’s a pleasure to meet ye. I’m James Fraser…”

His words pulsed through her and she felt alive, her whole body ignited with courage as she advanced towards him. Above all else, Jamie Fraser was beguiling. The word floated into her subconscious as she unconsciously reached her hand up to move a stray curl from his brow.

Hovering her fingers just above his ear, Claire suddenly came to, her brain finally catching up to her body as she went to pull back and then just –stilled.

Taking her hand under his, Jamie pulled her palm to rest over his heart and held her there, his touch light and gentle.

“…and I hope ye and I will grow to be fond of one another, ye ken?” he finished, humour lacing his tone as he stood tall in front of her.

“Please,” she replied, finally finding her voice, “call me Claire, Jamie.”

Twitching her fingers against his thin shirt, she focused on the fast rhythm of his heart as she counted its soothing beat.

He was as scared as she was. She could feel it.

“Thank you….” she burst out, taking a deep breath before continuing, “for, –well–, y-you know.” Losing her nerve, Claire let her chin fall to her chest.

Seeing her unease, Jamie leaned his forehead against hers, growing bolder by the second.

“Dinna fash, lassie,” he whispered, completely forgetting his audience, “there’s two of us now.”

…TBC.

guljerry:im-the-punk-who:tikkunolamorgtfo:anyroads: shewhoworship…



guljerry:

im-the-punk-who:

tikkunolamorgtfo:

anyroads:

shewhoworshipscarlin:

Yma Sumac, descendant of Atahualpa, the last Inca Emperor, 1950s.

No no no but have you fucking heard her fucking FIVE OCTAVE RANGE??? I need to know that every single human and non-human on this planet is aware of Yma Sumac.

That’s all her. That’s all her voice. I… WHAT

OMG

Okay I also found this video of her harmonizing with a flute that’s fucking magical

Last video = mind blown

arabellainthsky:A Flutter of Wings – Chapter 50 ❤️ Show Chapter | …

arabellainthsky:

A Flutter of Wings - Chapter 50 ❤️

A Port in the Storm. Master Post.

mybeautifuldecay:

Just a master list, to keep all of the chapters in one place. Hopefully it’ll be easier to find everything now. Uber thanks to @londonerbecky for sorting this out for me, legend. 

Prologue: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/138159244122/a-port-in-the-storm-prologue

Part 1: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/137056483302/a-port-in-the-storm

Part 2: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/137432977792/a-port-in-the-storm-part-2

Part 3: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/137889441132/a-port-in-the-storm-part-3

Part 4: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/138343840852/a-port-in-the-storm-part-4

Part 5: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/138607690716/a-port-in-the-storm-part-5

Part 6: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/138805194744/a-port-in-the-storm-part-6

Part 7: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/139052638232/a-port-in-the-storm-part-7

Part 8: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/139235161205/a-port-in-the-storm-part-8

Part 9: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/139488158334/a-port-in-the-storm-part-9

Part 10: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/139664714459/a-port-in-the-storm-part-10

Part 11: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/140033140157/a-port-in-the-storm-part-11

Part 12: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/140091000864/a-port-in-the-storm-part-12

Part 13: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/140335489507/a-port-in-the-storm-part-13

Part 14: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/140506723932/a-port-in-the-storm-part-14

Part 15: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/140745578972/a-port-in-the-storm-part-15

Part 16: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/140912335444/a-port-in-the-storm-part-16

Part 17: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/141336568687/a-port-in-the-storm-part-17

Part 18: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/141563385097/a-port-in-the-storm-part-18

Part 19: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/141737822082/a-port-in-the-storm-part-19

Part 20: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/142016268037/a-port-in-the-storm-part-20

Part 21: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/142124254722/a-port-in-the-storm-part-21

Part 22: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/142515822213/a-port-in-the-storm-part-22

Part 23: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/142740991860/a-port-in-the-storm-part-23

Part 24: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/142861444781/a-port-in-the-storm-part-24

Part 25: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/143225207664/a-port-in-the-storm-part-25

Epilogue:

Outtake 1: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/140147798367/a-port-in-the-storm-outtake-1

Outtake 2: http://mybeautifuldecay.tumblr.com/post/140856280072/a-port-in-the-storm-outtake-2

AO3 Account: http://archiveofourown.org/users/MyBeautifulDecay

mia-japanese-korean:Bruges, Yoshida Tōshi, 1955, Minneapolis…



mia-japanese-korean:

Bruges, Yoshida Tōshi, 1955, Minneapolis Institute of Art: Japanese and Korean Art


white swans swimming on blue water with brown wall at left and short brown wall at right; green vertical lines of foliage at top; suggestions of rooftops in ULQ; some embossing; lightly abstracted image
Size: 14 15/16 × 9 7/8 in. (37.94 × 25.08 cm) (image) 16 1/8 × 11 in. (40.96 × 27.94 cm) (sheet)
Medium: Woodblock print; ink and color on paper

https://collections.artsmia.org/art/117614/

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