Tag Archives: dreams

Diary: New Year Dragons with foods, gardens, bevvies, and themes #calm

what follows is a post-dated diary of various activities in and around New Years day copied from various notebooks, memos, and small dispatches covering foods, outings to parks and graves, bevvies, postcards, dreams, schemes, and themes of calm and endeavours

Dec. 31: We ate soba (buckwheat noodles) as per tradition with parents on new years eve. Most folks watch TeeVee (many famous “wide ” variety shows, singing contests). They leave it off for my sensory overload benefit so i retired early – as i my way – so they could watch if desired.

So tired, heading to bath and bed. {all the tabs will not be closed, many emails unreplied, various messages and conversations left dangling, flip the page, carry-on}

So we go on… gn & gy

i made a video: Good night & good year / Reiwa 6 Ahoy

Jan. 1: GM, HNY – We ate mochi (glutinous rice paste) with other tasty items with parents in the morn as is tradition.

Then, off to Korakuen (one of the “three great traditional garden” of Japan, frequently visited by us).

Early start by my standards – we packed several thermoses and flasks of coffee and tea for the journey…

Off onto the Road: Of course, all manner of beverages are readily available from ubiquitous vending machines yet I prefer our house-made treats. Also, provided opportunity to break out a teabag which was included in the card sent by some friends from Canada.

So off we went, waiting at Tsuchida stop for our first bus ride of the new year…

As is our usual routine, we sit in the very back row (like the *bad kids*) because there are big windows and a little bit more room to stash our gear. Ichi-Stan, of course being a frequent traveler, utilizes the hooks for hanging up his rucksack and travelling cap {usually here I would note that the bus features complimentary high-quality wi-fi and power outlets but you know that by now}.

Note: the *usual* tradition is a shrine visit on New Year Day (bet ya there is a posted in this archive (or maybe still.in draft but… anyhow) this year though we took the with a chance to meet up with Ichi’s best pal and roll around the stellar garden – importantly including the first time in years in which the public could be present for the “flying of the cranes” so… off we went. Plus its a “free admission day!”

Flying of Cranes: The garden was packed but crowd well managed by diligently dudes wrangling pedestrians and keeping on the pathways with optimized view points for the flying of the cranes (a symbol of longevity).

The whole crane flying thing was quite amusing (the wranglers entice them to fly) and yeah cool but i couldn’t help but laugh at the crew of ojisans with their massive telephoto lens, standing on top of camera boxes (no fun for you kids!) and rapid firing like artillery weapon kinda killing the buzz but so it goes, hobbies and all that. {Of course, this is coming from the guy who’s over documenting everything including everything but a picture of the cranes.}

Continue reading Diary: New Year Dragons with foods, gardens, bevvies, and themes #calm

#UW53 bus ride for van Gogh and back home deer & records

Breaking into the secret stash hauled back from the BC Invasion / JJBean Railtown roast ~ “dark and smoky” like my soul :) Memories of this brew daily in the Dunlevy days (which i’ll leave at that).

Ya remember?

Anyhow, the three of us set off on a little adventure by bus.

Away we go, like a trio of sunflowers

The first place we arrived to was the wrong place so another bus to get to the place which was rather confusing to find. We were in search of a “digital” Vincent van Gogh exhibit which I had seen in spectacular reviews and pictures in other cities. This one was the “not necessarily deluxe” version but still, what if it was awesome and we missed it…?

The location featured some kind of super fancy food court on the first floor, some exhibit and retail space on the second floor, maybe some office space on the third and fourth floor… If I sound a bit confused it’s because I didn’t quite understand the “magnet” to get folks to come here & it’s not on a usual transport route and the shops were quite specialized but what do I know. I do know it was just confusing.

By the time we got there, the little guy was eager for some ice cream, me up for an iced coffee, and well since we were there just before the 12 o’clock horn signals the rampage for lunch, some lunch before hitting the exhibit.

Was quite incredible as the food court featured all reusable dishes/cutlery and all kinds of specialized gourmet type operations, again I was just confused as never heard of this place before #Shrug so hey, look at this pizza
Do you ever have a feeling you’re being watched? Someone peering over your shoulder?

The exhibit frankly was pretty underwhelming, some flatscreen TVs with some not particularly hi-res reproduction of the paintings (keep in mind, I’ve seen the two major collection of van Goghs as well as many one offs so very familiar with the works) / in some cases there was the requisite baritone voice over, filled with sadness & melancholy while slide shows of works slip by at the pace you would watch your cousin in law’s crappy vacation slides to Cabo and unnecessary “special effects” to make the photos of the paintings move very unnaturally.

You’ll have to excuse me I’m not at my best, I really need a rest

Aside from the underwhelming digital and projection works and the maudlin overdubs, there was a cool little reproduction of the bedroom Vincent prepared for Paul Gauguin which later became a painting which includes paintings, which are also paintings. So i stopped for a nap / or at least my usual cheesy pose with a floppy hat and a sunflower tie.

Old Vincent’s letters and the backstory between him and brother Theo and Theo’s widow Joanna Bognár are such an integral part of the way V’s story developed posthumously and I can barely look at the letters without seeing my own life as overblown as that sounds. I mean I see them and I know… how it feels to have your heart burn to only want to create create create, sleeping, eating, none of it is interesting, just a feeling of putting a thing out into the world… ahhhh forget it – blerg

Yeah we hit the gift shop, I bought a handkerchief (of the postman) and a postcard (of the husband and wife farmers nestled in a straw field taking a rest).

I’m not the only one capable of a cheesy pose

As I do – duh – I observed a few oddities like a vending machine selling salad dressing. Look at that luscious shade of seafoam green!

And, behind a net (because the bike shop inexplicably on the second floor of a strangely positioned pavilion and closed on a sunny summer day) was a magnificent Kona long tail Ute displayed with a coffee station on the back wooden bench. Oh the dreams!

While Ichi and Mama had their alone time, I was treated to a half-hour foot massage which was quite exquisite. I love massage yet live in the “East Asian country without Asian stuff like massages and pedicures everywhere” – I mean, a lot of countries which are our geographical neighbors have entirely different routines when it comes to night markets and self care but anyhow, this was quite lovely aside from the noise of the, did I mention, very strange building.

Then back on two buses as we talked about the upcoming routine in which I will pick Stanley up from “mountain preschool” and we will ride street car and then bus back home to the cottage. {There are 3 local bus companies with franchise agreements for serving different areas of the region but the one that comes to our house is by far the best. The bus loop at the Okayama train station is terribly designed and they should be redesigning that instead of the other construction they have going on but no one asks me.}

At last! Home (keeping in mind, the day after the tropical storm with bright sun an incredible humidity) where Papa took a rest and Mama whipped up a wonderful feast of venison from the wild boar trapper along with corn from the wizard in Nagano and blueberry sauce with berries from our garden. She is truly a wonder!

Mac-san showed up (arriving while I was snoozing) I rallied up, made us coffees before dinner with which he was duly impressed / dude has high standards and strong opinions so that’s always pleasant.

Of course our convos covered many many topics as we broke into the JJ Bean coffee, plus fig newtons, Cadbury fruit and nut chocolate and some other almond caramel confections brought back from Canada.

Grammy sent us this chocolate and I resisted the urge to be snacking on it at midnight and instead kept it in the freezer. Behind are some newly hung paintings by John Ferrie

Plus we sampled some curious Lecure from Sons Of Vancouver which is usually used in fancy tiki drinks but we just did a little sipping from Sasquatch cups.

Mac and I went out to the kura and sifted through the stacks of records i keep on meeting to make videos about and properly clean, categorize, inventory and enjoy. Listened to REM “automatic for the people” and Lou Reed (listened to Leonard Cohen, Sunny Day Real Estate and Bocephus King during dinner by the way)

Also I had some “dude time” to talk about a few things that have been weighing on my mind since coming back from BC, his dreams and schemes for the goat farm, and while doing so, sifted through stickers, posters, papers, ephemera from the trip, sent him home with an envelope and I also assembled some mic stands and attached some microphones for some well… Dreams and schemes

I turn off the birthday notifications on the so-called social channels and trying to kind of hang out here when have something to say but still, of course friends remember and my buddy Banghi in Olympia remix’d a photo from a very strange night at Mr. Fredrikson’s house somewhere in Thurston County, burning artifacts to close a chapter. Now, I seem to be existing in the midst of an animated, articulated, quasi-realistic future scape with my phwa phwa hair and beverage intact. Thanks for that surprise.

So there it goes, 53, now to be worn by Teddy Blueger of Latvia for the Canucks.

Addendum: the morning of August 17 here in Japan is obviously still August 16 in North America so spent some time on the phone catching up with some friends and opened a few well-timed letters from Rancho Mirage, California and Austin, Texas. Thank you friend so very much.

“The present is an unfinished poem…”

Memo: august recording tinkering (maybe) schemes

Just saying out loud: my birthday dream for August (aside for a blood flow brain scan on 8月4日) is to finally get some hang out time in kura and tinker with multi-track recording set-up to make spoken-songs with drums/percussion, ukulele, found soundscapes, & vocal layers.

An artifact from DIY punk rock days

Just tinkering for some poetic spoken word ambient experiments mixed with soundscapes of gathered around the world and put on cassettes but… If I connect the wires and the microphones properly, I can record my wife doing “American songbook classics” eventually… we’ll see, might just lay flat.

Cartagena to Carolinas (notes from a dream) + ramen vending, octopus slides #diary

It’s March, and I’m so tired. But I was tired and February too so I guess nothing’s changed :) but hey, April is going to be a beauty

This is not a postcard, it’s a cassette tape but hey, it might be traveling from Cartagena to the Carolinas or maybe just to Japan ++ there is a minor chance that the typed liner notes don’t match the actual contents (i started this project before holidays and ended up with a bunch of scattered sheets of different tracklists so I hope I matched the right one up)

Went out for medical treatment today (seitai), had a lovely chat with 2 elder ladies also waiting in tatami mat room clinic, also scribbled some postcards.

Wife and kiddo went for lunch and afterwards, we all went to the park. I sat on the bench.

Now resting in bed.

Noting postcards are mostly for folks who are having a rough time with health challenges themselves. I know how much it means to me when I get a note in the post wormhole so I try to always remember to share a piece of magic paper with a specific thrifty sticker on it with others

I think postal mail c/should be made as though they were generational artifacts. This is not required, just a thought I like to think.

So much fun dropping off letters with the kiddo. Chance to talk about where the letters/cards are going, who the recipient is, and why you’re sending. Geography, communications, empathy, friendship… All in one lesson <3

[Update} Gosh, craziest dreams last night… So vivid and all over the place.

Hit up seitai again and holy smokes… That fccked up vertebrae (lumbar number two) is finally starting to move after a couple years of working around it and today my entire nervous system is buzzing with electricity. Going from my left second toe tracing lines up through my shoulder blade into the back of my skull

Completely wild, I’m trying to lay still but feel like I got jumper cables attached

Just needed to tell someone in case I levitate and float up to outer space

I guess thoughts of passing of a friend combined with seitai treatment, changing of seasons, + medications all cooked up a perfect stew of mental chaos (plus lingering anxiety of leaving in Japan for a trip)

Scenes in Cartegena & Carolinas, various cargo transport airplanes, clues hidden in a smuggled menus, hitchhiking in Spain & meeting up with a band who were partying hard before doing a show at 4 AM at a festival a long way away. Nothing I haven’t done before but still… collaged

Ergo: *finally* getting some L2 nerve compression released after decades of doctors saying “oh it’s nothing, here’s some painkillers” Neural synapses reconnecting is a completely psychedelic & exhausting experience. However i am unable to explain this to my doctor (esp in Japanese)

A picture of the cottage and the tool shed and carport snapped to explain where the solar panels will go but for now… it’s just a picture of the cottage, the tool shed and the car port

Other dis-intermediated maybe semi-related but probably not notes:

Indeed, we’re not “standing on the shoulders of giants” were “leaning against normal sized humans” - like *us* who have just done other things similar before us… Reminds me of cultures passing from shiitake log to shiitake log as they’re leaned up against each other in the woods

(life in Japan is a constant barrage of “wait what? Seriously, they can do that?”)

Just on this day we’d gone to a park with an octopus slide, a medical treatment in a tatami room, a 7-11 for ¥900 lunch/world tour of food, stopped at a bakery that looked like was airdropped in from provincial France… while listening to Wes Anderson’s Isle of dogs soundtrack.

Today saw an oddly placed ramen & gyoza vending machine. no idea how it works nor why *here*
From the van window. We called the van Agnes. Shall I post a zoomed in shot? OK.
No, I do not know how this works and I would investigate but the placement is very strange and inconvenient. So we go on

Memo: strange dreams (despite all the goodness)

wall of kura barn somehow the contrast makes sense

strange dreams (despite all the goodness)

So many weird dreams last night. Did nice “loving kindness“ meditation before sleep and tried to let all the natural disasters & human conundrums float into night sky but maybe it’s all getting to me a little bit.

Themes of not being able to catch up and do enough on “anything“.

Wishing peace and calm to all sentiment beings as possible.

So much wonderfulness in my life but sometimes well, the serotonin and dopamine or whatever just get a little out of whack… So much I want to do but I have to remember to roll it slow.

Everything is trucking along and yeah, reflecting on how much has happened in this last year under unusual circumstances.
I better just pick up the ukulele…


Ed says, “Seems to me u just might be overthinking the situation a little. Or, u just might be holding yourself to a higher standard than others expect from you. You’ve been doing great, accomplished one hell of a lot in a short period of time. Lighten up on yourself. Enjoy, just enjoy what you’ve got. Deep breath. Love ya.”

Kim says, ” This is my constant struggle! You’re doing a great job, just knowing you’re out there in the world really helps to keep me calm & inspired!” 

Journal: I think it crawls more like a vine…

“I think it crawls more like a vine – Meandering here in there, occasionally finding a place to connect again, seeking light, moving horizontal, not always vertical” (maybe me, maybe someone else)

Douglas Coupland “Everything is Everywhere” exhibit at Vancouver Art Gallery

Is it a weakness that when I feel blue, I want to stretch to a corner of the world I know nothing about to soak in new inspirations, find a new spark, glean inspiration from the soil, wisdom from the sweater and elders whether they be shamans or sheepherders? Is this cowardice our salvation? My dreams are alive locations but in reality, i’m hardly strong enough for a bus trip across town.

I’ve always felt invincible going to new countries with no language, knowledge, currency, friends plans etc. but now I resort to dreams – and postcards and scribbles – my brain, once a mighty tool of writing anything from expository essays to the finest press releases to true unadulterated freeverse poetry now allows me a running dialogue which I share unashamedly with you.

In the past days, my dreams were filled with pondering ideas including: 45 day Amtrak USA pass to slowly roll and visit friends I haven’t seen in sometime; Scotland’s remote & sparse Outer Hebrides (bring a sweater but steel cut oats are abundant), Thai healing retreat (not one that is very new agey, very expensive, requires hours of silent meditation, has Friday night pub crawls but just massage several times a day, healing energy, soaking and coconuts and soups and drinks, also mangoes and papayas; Romanian hotsprings – apparently there are thousands but I’m not sure if there undeveloped, remote, resorts, or what the deal is, however, I am intrigued about Transylvania; or back to japan in Okayama where plenty of hot springs, easy access to the leanly populated Shikoku island plus the magical Kurashiki galleries laden with impressionist art just down the road.

All of these are simply conjecture and imagination.

I am incapable of great journeys by myself without significant jeopardy. So I dream. I dream of rest and peace and days in which my muscles joints and bones don’t ache like I’ve been pounded into submission all night. I dream of long night sleep without medication, I dream of waking up one day and feeling refreshed and I live I dream of being able to read a book without my eyes getting boggled and my head turning migrained.

Blerg: I am truly bored of telling you about all these things but, you signed up for the ride and you’re welcome to get off at any time. This might mean you won’t get a postcard.