In today’s (really March 7th but hey…) edition of “tasty coffee in scenic places with Daveo” I bring you this glorious handcrafted bevvie experience & view of the Seto-nai-kai (Inland sea) from an olive garden (no, not that one, an actual one) in Setouchi, Okayama, ergo:
Ambient views from various trains’ windows rolling past rice fields, towns and stations in and around Toyama, Japan (mostly) – No narration, action, plot or really context of any kind, just views and the pleasant clackety-clack of trains (with various station announcements if you really wanna know where the train was passing) on a journey in May 2019.
Stocked up / ready for anything (mostly, as long as *anything* only requires shiitake mushrooms)￼.
Really, this delightful gift arrived by courier yesterday from one of the wife’s fans/friends￼ and I am so happy about it￼ – Taguchi-san cultivates these beauties in logs, as well as all sorts of other fruits and mountain vegetables. Yum! ￼
Notes: Getting ready for the wedding, put together a little inspiration set of some cool old formal photos with plans to do this but everything got a little hectic afterwards so we didn’t get a chance… We still will one of these days, maybe even with the baby in tow… I always go for a chance to dress up in something interesting for photo fun times :)
By the way, we visited grandpa’s grave today – he died in 1972 at 49 years old so assuming married in his early 20s, this was right at the end of World War II… I’ll take another look and see if I can get an exact year as I’m figuring out his bio.
“Civilizations east and west have long been on a collision course with wild nature, and now the developed nations in particular have the witless power to destroy not only individual creatures but whole species, whole processes, of the earth. We need a civilization that can live fully and creatively together with wildness.”
Gary Snyder in Etiquette of Freedom / Practice of the Wild
My pal KK made a photo /ephemera collage (which he does from time to time) and is a form we both dig. To share with you – and make sure doesn’t get disappeared in some folder somewhere – sharing here for goodness at shares extra artifacts from DRO420, our wedding and his trip around Japan making pals in April 2019.
Dave riffs about “Elf Care” in tumultuous times along with personal archeology from a cottage in Japan including life update about baby and wife, plus “doing what you can” – in this case making arts and crafts and sort-ganizing.
Shared examples of projects are: books of postboxes and paintings, scrapbooks of travel ephemera, family photos, and virtual learning with certificates, as well as upcoming Jack Kerouac story making workshop.
Finally offers support for artist who need a like, subscribe, comment and support. Fondly, Dave (plus plenty of sanitary face touching :))
I hermit like Obi-wan is his “lost years” / indeed, a Gen X kid with a lot of hobbies and a chronic illness – i know the flow. Got the food delivery service, plenty of books and art supplies and several versions of loungewear/pyjamas.
Keep in mind, here in Japan, we’re a couple months into “all of this“ – schools, events, museums, public places and gatherings have been canceled for many weeks now, and things, at least where I am the outskirts other rather minor provincial capital city,￼ are generally calm / however, a quick glance at Twitter videos plenty of vitriol about the governments response (or lack of, or too much of, or…) especially in terms of testing (not enough of it, especially compared to neighbour South Korea￼) – Of course much debate and sabre-rattling about wither the Olympics – what to do? (seems to me just pushing forward exactly one year would make sense but hey, no one’s been on the phone to me to ask).￼
I have visited a few hospitals in the last six weeks for other reasons and found them to be calm, not busy, extremely tidy and efficient. Also note that Japan’s elderly population means much experience at treating pneumonia which has some similar respiratory components and thus treatments as current conundrum.￼￼￼
Certainly my first priority is taking good care of my adorable pregnant wife, though she requires very little assistance in *anything* aside from reminding her to slow down. With her business as an arborist, she is her own small business/boss and is still doing bits and pieces of work, no longer climbing trees however #ThankGoodness but with all appropriate precautions and out in the gorgeous spring weather here.
￼￼We have a check in with our doctor tomorrow though the “Papa’s Class” series at the birthing clinic has been canceled indefinitely. (This was also serving as my Japanese study session as I try to learn new vocabulary related to pregnancy and childcare but… We shall carry-on￼ – Noting that I have absolutely zero discipline in regards to language study).￼
Canada’s Prime Minister implored Canadians to “come home“ before impending doom etc. and while this is wise advice for many, I live here in Japan now permanently. Plan is to grow old here raising a happy kid, write poetry and letters, make paintings and friends and books and gardens – Come visit, we’ll have tea and hit up a museum.
and… Very excitingly, my “entire life archive” arrives in a container after a ￼trans-pacific journey on Thursday. So, just in case I’m not sharing enough creative artifacts to keep you amused 😉 40+ years of journals, scrapbooks, fanzines, photos, letters, certificates – as well as books and records and funny hats – are all being offloaded into a 300-year-old grain barn for sort-ganizing and sharing.
Anyhow, thinking about each of you wonderful people out there in the world and, as I’ve mentioned before, if you need any advice about staying chill and keeping your mind busy whilst indoors (aside from being watching television problem etc. which I don’t know too much about), I remain your semi-useful uncle in custom-made pyjamas.￼￼￼￼
Your turn, tell me about everything going on in your world, where you’re at, how you’re feeling, what you’re working on, what’s inspiring you, what do you dream about and so on and so on. All of it all of it￼.
I went from being very social and active to often housebound due to a chronic and complex illness, and spent extended stints sequestered at Ayurvedic clinics & various hospitals ￼…
Finding yourself cooped up due to public health situation? ￼Your solution is: digging into projects which maintain your mental acuity and move your fine motor skills but also, very importantly, produce something in the end.
Like: making scrapbooks of life ephemera, organizing letters and photos, writing down your stories, make a podcast, read war and peace (or similar), write a novel (desert solitaire or similar), make some songs, write some poems￼, compile your journals and diaries￼, embark on “personal archaeology” by sort-ganizing your old report cards, certificates and participation ribbons￼ / put them in binders with sheet protectors or make a shadowbox… I can go on and on but I think you get the gist.￼
￼Or this is a great time to take an online course about something you dig (I recently did a Japanese book culture course). Many universities have all sorts of free courses (start at open culture or Internet archive￼)￼ plus you can just learn something new on your own via other folks like you￼, i.e.: how to make Lo-Fi beats, how to play the ukulele, how to paint with oils… IOW, Get started on something interesting which can be a new hobby and produce some neat artifacts,￼rather than just trying to level up on a video game.￼￼
Verily, choose activities with intentions / of course, chill out but consider￼ watching a specific classic epic movie (ask me if you need some tips) ￼rather than sifting through nonsense to binge (and in general minimize mindless, high-twitch screentime)￼.
Look at this as an opportunity to do all those little projects you’ve *always meant to do*.
Also, letter writing is cheap and cheerful and immensely satisfying, especially for others who are routinely shut in (elders, disabled, remotes etc.)￼￼
If you need someone to cheer you along or give you some more ideas are examples, of course I am friendly if a bit slow sometimes￼.
I will note that it’s totally up to you what do you do and all that, I’m just encouraging expansion of your brain through art and culture and creativity – and im speaking from so much experience.
All the hugs, your possibly-favourite uncle￼
Photo: Dr. Trevor Erikson (note: before Dr status)