This summer was a splendid fog of humid waves of action welcoming baby Ichiro amongst *all the world*. Yet, remains tasks to do (esp as i am still getting settled as an immigrant in a new country and logistically removing myself from several other countries, so: make a list, check the items, repeat.
Anyhow, what follows are scenes of “usual days” in late-summer 2020 as we caught up on life after welcoming Ichiro and tending to various life admin tasks. In other words, the bits which don’t fit anywhere else yet i find somehow amusing. Minimally annotated, non-chronologically. Carry on.
Note: I roll slowly (1 action per day and only 1 outing a week usually) so strategic planning and adjusting to my health and the baby’s need were/are key.
Background: I have challenging/delicate eyes (astigmatism, wearing glasses since a baby) and need an awesome ophthalmologist (眼科医 Gankai) eye doctor – was hoping someone with english skills as some the vocab evades me but had a very thorough test and fresh prescription to take to an ace optometrist and/or optician + optical shop / Note: tricky eyes so the “cheap and cheerful” places aren’t right for me.
Continuing on with Ichiro Cards (see vol. 1 of the meta proces documentation if inclined) obsessively custom, handmade of course, to send to folks who sent such lovely gifts from around the world.
The batches change due to supplies (esp paper stock and printer ink) as well as as we fresh-up ideas… In general include special snaps cut with dear Mom’s (heavy metal) pinking shears, attached to custom stamped (inky & franked postal) postcards then enveloped with family photo / am I ruining the surprise?
As such, some started simple…
and got more “maximalist” as we went along:
Some get a few photos to connect other stories (with annotations on reverse), e.g.:
Or catch up with life and things folks might like:
with “bonus snaps/items” which simply amuse metaphorical reasons or have some backstory:
sometimes the assortment doens’t make sense until you receive somehow corresponding items crossing in the mail. In this case, Richard Brautigan is the connective magic.
Sometimes we receive a snap of the delivered mail. In this case, the elegantly placed postal cancellation stamp from the folks at Higashi Okayama post office:
And while i sorta try to take snaps of most of the finished pieces, i invariably forgot most, but here’s a snap of a note which made the journey to California. Thanks JJ:
In general, we are trying to make a little something extra special special for everyone to brighten up their day in evidently strange times. First was to the dear folks who have mailed remarkable gift packages, care boxes and cards from around the world in commemoration of the birth of this dude.
Here’s another on display on a fridge in Vegas, to which we replied:
“… fantastic to see! You know we absolutely love making these and seeing them complete their journey, hopefully bringing a smile to the recipient, especially in times of tumult. We truly appreciated your thoughtful gift.” (thanks C &T!)
Update Sept 26:
Each envelope receives an extra kiss before we send out upon a wormhole journey to points on earth Each one unique (of course) and crafted with affection for recipients… Get so excited thinking of the splendid cards arriving to post boxes elsewhere.
The stamps are chosen with care at the post office. Oddly, the standard international Air Mail rate of ¥110 is challenging to match up so we often over pay in order to get colourful designs rather than boring meters.
Update, Oct. 6:
Another 18 dossiers dropped at post office today (on a stroller walk with lil Ichi-Stan who is neighbourhood famous).
Each dispatch is hand-crafted / unique + that’s “batch 4” for Ichiro-cards, batch 5 already underway (about 23 envelopes) / noting each batch varies by materials available & inspiration sparks (do you want to see them all?)
Note: likely puts over 500 analog mail-outs for the year (including New Year’s cards) > this hobby does get a bit expensive (ink! stamps!) but joy to send a piece of “us” (with Ryoko Olson) is worth every yen. #kokoro
Let’s enjoy international correspondence from global correspondents!
Update, Oct. 13:
Another 18 going out into the world, or was it 23? Either way, another variation on the same idea… inky stamps, franked postage stamps collected around the world, special snaps of Ichi and other treats… scissors, glue, labels, love.
Batch 5, (or is it 6?) of Ichiro cards going out into the world… / hopefully finding hearts which are as grateful as we are. Each made with affection and truly unique. And yes, each is “important“ because the stamp says so.
My renegade pal Sooby (Sohaib) Ahmed is a fine poet in the “romantic” tradition (think Shelley, Keats et al) and often sends along his work for my edification. This one came along just before Ichiro came along so sharing here for the record.
Though S. and i enjoyed wild adventures together in NYC/state, Providence and other environs, our most ridiculous times came the summer 1991 with dozens of Grateful Dead (and related) shows, music festivals, psychedelic parks, and the infamous Taos hi-jack incident.
Despite all of these hi-jinks, i don’t have a handy snapshot of him so instead a flyleaf of a book i mailed to him from Sri Lanka included as inadequate visual addition.
I wish there were that us There were, there were Like we only did make Like snowflake make So too could and have when It snow so like that, And it was, it has So its, such as, only such as In that way, I’d had Only and as we melt I’ll ask, I wish And, a way Its all the less cold then there Would be getting a wish Being it so selfish The snowflake we chance can be Should I but be so Brave and have Wouldn’t suiting our imagination Say can us both but be Suited also, for it, I wish, its a wish for yourself So its, such as, only such Only and as we melt I’ll ask, I wish And a way Of it, if it, That too heartfelt a what, What a heart-felt for always.
Dress-up time/traveller family photo shoot fun time for Ichiro 101st day with fun Matsushita-san at Photo atelier Homare (岡山・倉敷・写真館）- FB / ありがとう / You’re gonna love what we came up with together… Mixing eras and cultures and styles, riffing on a theme￼.
Today-ish (amongst laundry, salads, coffees, bath and vacuuming…)
* Setting up stereo (need sturdy table) * Making pickles (trying with kojo) * Investigating pre-school (not pictured)
Note: from this photo, rather hard to gauge the *massive* size/heft of this turntable and amp. Next step is reconnect speakers with lower gauge wires trim for appropriate placement tbd / Really need a hi-fi master/buddy to help proper set-up
Note: got behind on the pickle assembly line but in the meantime, got a few more jars into the flow by consuming the exceptionally perfect peanut butter (formerly) contained within
Briefly: Officiated 10 Year Wedding Vows for Sheila & Kemp Edmonds via video link from Tsuchida Cottage to Queen Elizabeth park Vancouver – the family joined me in the tatami room as i did my riff (including my poem “How Shall We Fill This Vessel“.
Memo: I also officiated/celebranted their original wedding event (obv) 10 years before at Main St Heritage Hall, Vancouver.
Books: Walt Whitman, Pablo Neruda & Manyusho (Myriad of Leaves, 8th century Japan, various) & me (in wooden folio hand-carved by Ryoko Olson).
and yes, that is a certificate of officialness / awesomeness
Bonus w/ ALT text:
A gentleman with a mustache, wearing a dark blue kimono holds a carved wooden folio with papers of handwritten poetic texts to officiate a 10 year wedding vow renewal ceremony via videoconference (for a couple in Canada). Behind is a traditional Japanese alcove with persimmon fruit and leaves in the vase and a certificate of authority with a calligraphy scroll hanging. Foreground shows a cushion & straw tatami mat floor.
My painting of a haiku on a postbox is representing Okayama design and culture at an exhibit in Shibuya (Tokyo), ergo:
My *post box painting* is featured in the physical exhibit in Shibuya, while the *painted post box* is featured no less than three times in the magazine, including on one of the introduction pages.
Note: The painting and the post box feature a traditional 5-7-5 syllable Japanese haiku poem in English. Deposit box accepts usual mail daily.
I share space with the remarkable Ohara museum filled with post/impressionist art, a coffee roaster housed in the 90-year-old former post office, a couple of brothers bringing youthful energy into the historic denim industry in the Bikan area of Kurashiki, swordsmith, fibre weavers and so on. Plus unique regional restaurants from Setouchi to Hiruzen to add to wishlist.(The magazine features most text in translation to English for your convenience.)
Additionally,.. t he catalog for the dDesign Travel exhibition sharing unique design and culture from my home Prefecture was released in glorious four-color bleed, mixed-paper goodness.
Features so many interesting artists, museums, artisan businesses & unique accommodations (& curious stats about school uniform + riffs about Momotaro legend) plus, you can do a “stamp rally” meaning collect a stamp from each of the locations featured on the map.
Sponsors include my beloved Uno Bus & Ryobi Group.
Hoping to share more of my poetic postal paintings with these institutions & more. Ideas for collaboration or exhibits? Let’s talk. My thanks to Sempei Mac Kobayashi (in the magazine wearing a black sabbath T-shirt ;)) at the 4th generation Rural Caprine Farm for this chance to contribute to local culture/economy (and, really, life in general).
Really, do you go visit this pleasant hangout (let me know if you have any questions) where you can see more of my paintings amongst other delightful foods and goats.
Grateful to be part of HERE. Let’s enjoy.
mixed-media art library, global diary, project dossier and whole life documentation