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Tsubame (meaning “swallow”) was given her name because on the eve of her birth a strange bird perched on her mother’s window sill.  Her mother, a learned aviculturist, had never seen anything like it. It stayed there all night. When her mother first held her newborn girl she looked up and once again saw the ethereal bird hovering outside. As the days turned into weeks and then months and years this lovely creature remained near Tsubame. Most odd of all was that whenever she tried to point it out to her father he said he couldn’t see it! The mysterious nature of the winged enigma became increasingly evident as aunts, uncles, and everyone else professed to see nothing. Only Tsubame and her mother seemed granted the glorious vision of the gorgeous phantom. As Tsubame grew into a young girl it was obvious she had a special relationship with all birds. She also revealed a striking artistic talent and her favorite subject was, predictably, birds. All kinds of birds were

perfectly rendered by her brush but the one only seen by her and her mother she refused to attempt. By her early 20’s she had become an accomplished artist, “the Audubon of the orient”. She and her mother established the largest aviary in the world in Osaka. It attracted visitors from far and wide. When her mother finally asked why she’d never painted her mystical companion, their shared “secret”, Tsubame softly replied. “I fear that if I rendered beauty such as this on canvas I would lose it’s presence by my side. This is directly from the Infinite Invisible and cannot be translated into form, only experienced.” Her mother never asked again.

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