Getting ready to head to Japan requires the appropriate toe decor, in this case, a tribute to the end of the Heisei era with a post-imperial period flag of Nihon/Nippon.
I share declarations and healing stories while answering the question: Was there ever a time where you lost creativity? And how did you get it back? Recorded for, and excerpt shared on Katie Beumann’s Real Rebel podcast, Band of Rebels segment 04 released on Feb 22, 2019.
Shared in full here for posterity.
Soliloquy to go: Losing and Finding Creativity for “Real Rebel” podcast (43MB, 29:07, 192k stereo, mp3)
Disappearing, invisibility, loneliness, depression, anxiety, being lost, trying to not be found, trying to find white space to invigorate… Sometimes these weave together, other times (perhaps) each remain exclusive.
Gord Downie, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski and me all try to figure out the nuance in different ways atop Turkish street music, trains from Kerala and Moncton, and various ephemeral music snippets.
Note: Also available in audio-only via all normal podcast channels and elsewhere in this library.
These days – what with the Fibro and CFS/M.E. etc. – slowing me down, I find activities to get me out of the house which requires doing not much but sitting.
While pedicures may not seem like a medical therapy, and they’re certainly not, self-care is important part of my healing journey.
Indeed, when feeling frustrated and early days of the illness, I made a list of things I can do which involves sitting down, but get me out of the house, and leave me with a feeling of satisfaction. These include making scrapbooks, seen matinee movies, sitting in parks under a tree, getting my beard professionally trimmed rather than chopping at it myself, as well as pedicures.
As such, on all my healing journey is, I find pedicure places to massage and soothe my feet, trim up my nails, and leave with some colour on them. This often elicits a strange response from the practitioners as painted toes aren’t as common for men as they are for women certainly, but I find a practice quite enjoyable. In some cases, I paint my toes the colour of a local flag or other traditional local schemes, otherwise I stick to shades of blue and green.
For the record: Indonesia and Thailand definitely have the best pedicure practitioners (is that a thing?), But I’m also eager to try pedicures in Vietnam as many manicurists in the USA, come from Vietnam.
In India especially, they thought my practice of painting toes was very strange, as such i did myself (very poorly yet joyfully nonetheless). In Nepal, they were low on supplies. Once or twice, i enjoyed a pedicure whilst at sea.
I first started this practice at the advice of a lady who took me for a pedicure in Vancouver before going to Jamaica the first time at that time, I had Jamaican flag painted on my big toes (not sure i have a photo…).
Sometimes i take photos of my toes, not all the time, here are some of mah big ole ugly feets. Sometimes i forget and just take snap of the old colour before replacing.
No annotations since i don’t expect anyone will look or care, i mean really, its just photos of my feet.
When the “wheels fell off” and i hit the methaporical and literal wall wth my illness, i attempted to disappear to heal myself. This journey started in Vegas and SLC and Logan (Utah) where i saw my Mom for the last time. Then by various transport schemes which frankly i don’t recall (though there was a stop in Pacific, CA in there), i ended up in Thailand for a barrage of medical test and treatments and then to India where i lived in-patient in an Ayurveda clinic for several weeks, venturing out rarely. The journey continued in India to Auroville and was from then on thwarted by unexpected tragic circumstance.
This notebook was a from brother Bob from a Japanese 100 yen shop. The paper is thin but robust and the journal comes with a string to hold it all together which pleases me as i can bundle the whole assortments of oddments up. By oddments i mean stickers, cards, clippings, tickets, appointment cards, scribblings of poetry, musings, annotations, signatures from strangers, paper scraps of all sort.
When i visit Thailand, i fly into Chiang Mai – a bustling olden city in the north area, rather than Bangkok which is just too much city for countryboy me. Then i head for the city of Phitsanulok, (Pits-NOH-loh) in central Thailand which is a workaday, very “normal” city for medical treatment (Phitsanulok life is detailed elsewhere in a similar fashion.
I travel by train – either a 1960s era Japanese model or a new Chinese-built machine with folding beds for the nighttime journey. Along the way, i write poetry and gaze out the window (poetry series Towns and Trains is – or might be – elsewhere in this archive).
What follows are snaps taken by a Lomo La Sardina (sardine can) camera loaded with expired film snapped from a moving train for no particular reason aside to see what happens and capture the washes of colour fleeting by as i roll, as well as a few folks i encountered along the way and a few places i slept or soaked.
Somebody, kindly lie to me
Tell me I am “going to be OK”
Soon, life will be like driving down Laurel Canyon in 1973
In a Galaxie 500
Top down, radio up
Nothing but possibilities
That I will rest easy… like so many humans do with ease
Someone, kindly lie to me
Whisper I’ve done enough meditating, stretching, giving, therapies, effort
That soon, I will sleep (!) and wake up (!) and every muscle, joint and nerve won’t be on fire
Please, kindly lie to me.
I promise to believe you (for now).