For the first time in months the air was warm enough to go out in just a T-shirt. If I lifted my nose I could smell the perfume of flowers in the wind. Gray starlings, rufous turtle doves, and brown-eared … Continued
At the other end of the year right about now the sultry Japanese summer heat invades homes like a giant, lazy, fat cat, nudging its way through the doors and windows and prostrating itself on the straw mats (tatami ) … Continued
I hadn’t expected to walk in the snow, but already the first flurries batted at the nylon face of my jacket when I stepped out of the train station. I had left my house in a rush, deciding on the … Continued
Damn developers are at it again this time flipping sides so that my bedroom window facing north now sports a new set of blue nylon tarpaulin clad scaffolding just like eight months ago to the south outside my living room … Continued
On my way home on the train this evening I over heard two drunk senior Japanese business men having this conversation. It was interesting for several reasons: First, it seemed to represent the two main faces of how Japanese are … Continued
It is nearly five in the morning and the dawn light is filtering through the curtains. For an hour I have been up, after having been woken by some clowns who decided to have some fireworks fun outside my window. All is tranquil again, though, and the air is ringing with the orchestra of crickets, winding down the finale of the night. The trees are so still I can feel the soil breathe.
It’s been a month of losses. Losses in time, losses in money, losses in confidence, losses in trust, losses in sleep. And recently a great loss for my sense of balance within my own home: the small, deserted lot just outside my living room window, over which I would peacefully gaze every morning as part of my ritual of waking up and feeling at least a little connected to the natural world, was suddenly converted into a two-story apartment building.