Sunday Morning

Yes, and I think we all know that sensation. We have more and more time-saving devices but less and less time, it seems to us. When I was a boy, the sense of luxury had to do with a lot of space, maybe having a big house or a huge car. Now I think luxury has to do with having a lot of time. The ultimate luxury now might be just a blank space in the calendar. And interestingly enough, that’s what we crave, I think, so many of us.

When I moved from New York City to rural Japan — after my year in Kyoto, I essentially moved to a two-room apartment, which is where I still live with my wife and, formerly, our two kids. We don’t have a car or a bicycle or a T.V. I can understand. It’s very simple, but it feels very luxurious. One reason is that when I wake up, it seems as if the whole day stretches in front of me like an enormous meadow, which is never a sensation I had when I was in go-go New York City. I can spend five hours at my desk. And then I can take a walk. And then I can spend one hour reading a book where, as I read, I can feel myself getting deeper and more attentive and more nuanced. It’s like a wonderful conversation.

Then I have a chance to take another walk around the neighborhood and take care of my emails and keep my bosses at bay and then go and play ping pong and then spend the evening with my wife. It seems as if the day has a thousand hours, and that’s exactly what I tend not to experience or feel when I’m — for example, today in Los Angeles — moving from place to place. I suppose it’s a trade-off. I gave up financial security, and I gave up the excitements of the big city. But I thought it was worth it in order to have two things, freedom and time. The biggest luxury I enjoy when I’m in Japan is, as soon as I arrive there, I take off my watch, and I feel I never need to put it on again. I can soon begin to tell the time by how the light is slanting off our walls at sunrise and when the darkness falls — and I suppose back to a more essential human life.

~ Pico Iyer, The Urgency of Slowing Down. An Interview with Krista Tippett (Onbeing, November, 2018)

Nuclear, March 2017 (16,000 RIP)

A young couple prays for the victims of the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake on a tsunami barrier at Arahama Beach in Sendaii, Miyagi Prefecture. The 9.0-magnitude quake triggered a tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan, killing nearly 16,000 people and causing a nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant (Kimimasa Mayama, EPA, Shutterstock, wsj.com March 11, 2018)

It’s been a long day

I was interrupted. People – People. – Phone. – Phone. – Endless. And I am so tired. – :And I would like to sleep under trees – Red ones – Blue ones – Swirling passionate ones – It has been a broken up day – … All fine – but I so damnably tired – I…found I had failed –

~ Alfred Stieglitz · [New York City] ·  June 30, 1917, from My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz

 


Notes:

  • Photo: National Geographic (December 18, 2015) Photographing autumn foliage in Kyoto, Japan. Aurora Simionescu came upon these illuminated paper umbrellas in a stand of bamboo trees at Kodaiji Temple. But capturing this image of the display wasn’t easy. “Illuminated traditional paper umbrellas were scattered throughout the temple grounds as a part of [the autumn illumination] festival,” she explains, “but I especially liked how they broke the monotony of the bamboo forest by adding a splash of color.
  • Related Posts: It’s been a long day

Ma

train-sit-rest-pause

I told Miyazaki I love the “gratuitous motion” in his films; instead of every movement being dictated by the story, sometimes people will just sit for a moment, or they will sigh, or look in a running stream, or do something extra, not to advance the story but only to give the sense of time and place and who they are.

“We have a word for that in Japanese,” he said. “It’s called ma. Emptiness. It’s there intentionally.”

Is that like the “pillow words” that separate phrases in Japanese poetry?

“I don’t think it’s like the pillow word.” He clapped his hands three or four times. “The time in between my clapping is ma. If you just have non-stop action with no breathing space at all, it’s just busyness, But if you take a moment, then the tension building in the film can grow into a wider dimension. If you just have constant tension at 80 degrees all the time you just get numb.”

~ Roger Ebert, from “Hayao Miyazaki Interview,” RogerEbert.com (September 12, 2002)


Credits: Quote – Improve is Easy. Photo by Bruno via Mennyfox55.

Your morning coffee (90 sec)


Your morning coffee. In autumn, on the Seki River in Myoko Japan. Music is Holocene by Bon Iver.

Blue Moon. Heavy boots.

blue-moon

Heat lightning: at the horizon,
July in heavy boots paces the hot floor of the darkness.
A bulb in a wobbly lamp jiggles.
Or is that you, my friend,
approaching across the firefly hills,
swinging a sloshing pail of moonlight?

~ Ted Kooser, July. The Wheeling Year: A Poet’s Field Book


Photo: Blue Moon by Masahiro Hiroiki taken on July 31, 2015 in Nanbu-Cho, Tottori, Japan.

 

Monday Morning Wake Up Call: Brush Teeth. And go.

Embed from Getty Images
Kiboko, a 31 year old Hippopotamus, opens her mouth for tooth cleaning with a new 5-foot (1.5 meter) toothbrush at the Himeji Zoo on June 4, 2015 in Himeji, Japan. Kiboko’s teeth are annually cleaned by zoo keepers and elementary school children as part of tooth cleaning education for children. June 4th is the national cavity prevention awareness day in Japan.


Water Colors

Japan,photography,

Check out Toshio Shibata’s Mesmerizing Photographs of Water in a slide show of 12 photographs.


5:00 PM Bell: Hit the gates!

funny-gif-bunny-island-running-scary


Rabbit Island in Japan (via Themetapicture.com). Read more on Rabbit Island at the Guardian: Rabbit Island: A Japanese Holiday Resort for Bunnies

Sunday Morning: Love Japan


This short film beautifully captures the soul and spirit of Japan. (And we’ll forgive them for wrapping it with Bon Iver’s beautiful Holocene.)

Good Sunday Morning.


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