Covered a lot of ground but so much more. Looking forward to keeping you up-to-date from regular folks’ point of view as #Tokyo2020 gets underway.
Tokyo 2020, for many reasons will be a very unique iteration (understatement!) of the Olympics with very few spectators, loads of precautions and a host city in 4th state of emergency.
Importantly: truly hope events occur w/o public health consequences.
Lots of anxiety / frustration about IOC hubris & government waffling.
(I realize) it’s not unusual for Olympics to get off to a rocky start that’s for sure and once they get going, a lot of the negativity fades and good times prevail.
For record, at +/- 16% vaccination rate in Japan.
In “better news“: Since anybody watching (aside from oligarchs & bureaucrats) will be watching on TV (regardless of all the things going outside of the sports venues), fancy new technology will make sports (including a few new ones *skate, surf, rock*) look really great on TV – might as well get to know crazy tech – cameras, clouds, microphones etc.
Hey that was fun! could talk with Jody Vance for an hour (one tech hiccup when my phone *automagically* connected to wife’s car via bluetooth – ooops :))
We didn’t get to riff about the extra challenges for athletes coming from Delta-heavy countries, the onerous participant waivers athletes have to sign, and IOC chief Bach’s visit to Hiroshima and other gaffes…
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!”
There was a time when I was disappeared, when I was invisible, for reasons unnecessary to explain right now.
So much collapsed, lost, left, leading to confusion, despair and seeking… Far — I mean *all the way*￼￼ — deliberately lost, comfortably lonely, finding ways and means of healing, picking up the pieces, starting again, recycling some bits￼, rebuilding from the foundation, working backwards from the mis-quoted Buddha koans… there were poetry, scrapbooks, letters and tears.
* reinventing to who I already was *￼
But what I came here to say is “it’s all about the cycles“ and as it goes… two years ago I came here to begin a new life. I will live here forever.
When I was a kid, I knew right away I wanted to “go places, make stories, share with others“ I’ve done a lot of the first two, now can do a lot of the three while still doing more of the two and maybe some of the one, but only maybe. And I’m cool with that.
Anyway, since I arrived here:
Massive epic wedding with so many wonderful people (so great!)
Wonderful relationship with in-laws (so incredibly grateful for this)￼
Remarkable baby delivered safely in the midst of public health crisis
One funeral (extended Buddhist social distance style) ￼of a long-lived grandmother shortly after the baby (who shares a name but not kanji with her late husband) ￼arrived￼
Several museums slowly visited, getting to know the buses, ￼street cars, villages and shrines in our local area￼
Many, many bowls of Ramen￼ & teas/coffees (extensively documented for historical research)￼
So much paperwork and registrations, i.e.:
* national health insurance
* pension program
* “my number” card
* foreigner registration card (& renewal)
* updating a handful of passports￼
(all of the above requiring slightly different sized photos)
* koseki tohon (family register)￼
* post office bank account
* international transfer bank
* various library cards
* several hospital cards
* a few mysterious phone numbers
* taxes in multiple countries (such a good boy Dave!)
* various government records in previous countries updated (usually by postal mail since heaven help me if I’m gonna spend four hours on hold)
Several of the same of the above for wife’s name change & Ichiro’s various registrations and citizenship￼(s), often requiring certified translation and notarizations￼
Add in a consulate visit for an affidavit￼
Monthly hospital visits with the neurologist (no, no real progress #mecfs but well… I’m in the system) + frequent “Seitai” treatments / hard to explain but very useful + Several emergency room visit (I’ll spare you the details) + Investigations into LDN/new strategies￼
Hundreds, possibly approaching thousands of postal mail items (postcards, letters, dossiers) ￼sent out into the world
Hundreds, possibly approaching thousands of blog posts (diaries, personal archeology etc.) sent out into the world￼
An extended ramble to far-flung corners of under-known Japanese provinces to visit sensei in fishing ports and wizard hermits in mountains (also museums, hot springs, and roadside attractions)￼
So many various trains￼ and styles of accommodation utilized / several of which are documented in various forms (the trains, not the hotels/guest houses/capsules/ryokan/minshuku/retreats…)￼
Relatives in Nagasaki hospitals and abacus tournaments visited / Plus atomic bomb memorial, and evidence of early Dutch trading settlements, met a noodle-making friend, saw an island that looks like a battleship￼￼
Two Christmases/New Years, one raucous, one subdued
Several, but nowhere near enough, Hot Springs visits > However, wonderful new bathtub installed at our cottage
While on the topic, a couple of double-pane windows, wall repairs and other things to make the house more cozy and efficient￼ (documentation about current construction project omitted to avoid excess redundancy)￼
Exhibit of my paintings of post boxes, sometimes with haiku, and Shibuya and Mac Kobayashi ’s goat farm, plus a magazine and cameos on TV￼
Several Mae Maes (Ryoko Olson’s band) shows (plus a YouTube channel)￼ / i’m the proudest husband when I get to go watch her perform + Love to support her when she is organizing concerts and making postcards, flyers, pins…￼￼
Going with Ryoko to tea ceremonies at lovely sensei’s house or “out and about” to special events (e.g. ceramic town Bizen where we also visited master potter Hosokawa’s studio)￼￼￼ – Learning the tools and the combinations and the processes and the nuance + rocking kimono￼
Started a sort of kind of little shop thing to sell postcards & poems (including paintings and post boxes, lomos from India,…) I mean the part about sharing the stories I mentioned above preamble
Started a project to sell some things which exist only in memories and on paper￼ #ugh
Got some new glasses, gave up some habits, hung out at some barbershops (also wife cut hair), learned some new words￼, organized some archives, turned 50 years old (did a big personal archeology project about that￼ #daveo50), wrote a few poems,￼ tried some new calligraphy techniques, sorted and organized art supplies, tidied up a tool shed and the barn￼￼, listened to a lot of records – some old and some new (to me)￼, books out of boxes and onto shelves, many new books ordered￼￼… #ongoing
Other things & items forgotten (but likely documented elsewhere…)￼
Most importantly though is remarkable wife and adorable baby and wonderful in-laws and kind and thoughtful friends scattered around the world (you).
I’m of the mind to believe in everything and nothing, and keep my mind open, except when it needs to be closed and taking the things that serve me well and to let go of the things it don’t except when i’m wrong… In other words: going with the flow and seeing where the current takes me.
Anyway, this is to say that I have a wonderful friend who, on a few significant occasions, pulled Tarot cards for me, and read them diligently and insightfully, sharing the messages – which I then processed, and keep them in a scrapbook where I found them to be shockingly prescient at times, and at others, well maybe less so regardless, very grateful for her kindness and wisdom.
In this case, I believe was my birthday in a really hard year, I felt very lost, scared and alone and in great danger / turns out i was all of those.
Coffee is brewing here at Tsuchida cottage as we kick off our three day anniversary fun times… We’re going to write letters, make videos, have chats with friends, do some kimono dress up photo fun time, play music, more coffee, more kisses etc.
But to kick things off yesterday, we took a new step in our relationship, something big & important: we merged our art and office supplies. It’s serious now, really serious.￼
There’s a system, there are shelves, they are multiple printers, several paper cutters, probably a dozen scissors, at least 20 rolls of different kinds of tape and glue sticks and what not, supplies for framing art, making silkscreens, oil paints, acrylic, watercolors, oil pastels, soft pastels, well over 200 different pens, slightly fewer pencils ++ Several boxes of postcards, drawers of various letter sets, Dozens of notebooks and memo pads and journals on standby waiting their turn, dossiers of oversized art, several kinds of printer photo paper including several batches of blank postcards.
Yes, this is love, and this is what it looks like today.￼
Note: new/used iMac just arrived yesterday but doesn’t have a mouse and keyboard yet + there are five or six external drives waiting to be sort-ganized.
Wearing a smoking jacket at Tsuchida Cottage, Dave riffs on recent activities including: planting vegetable garden, playing piano, buying baby clothes, and sort-ganizing archives including digging out loads of books. As such, shows books by Douglas Coupland, Nick Bantock, Gary Snyder, Ethan Hubbard, and reads from Jack Kerouac’s American Haikus, plus riffs about Tintin, fire lookouts and mailing postcards.
Round-up from the kura barn/mixed-media-creative-studio-in-process…
Next up, going to attempt to carry up a big shelf cabinet – then, hopefully can squeeze in another bookcase and start unloading the huge stash of records and books into something more manageable. [Update: done]
In the meanwhile, here’s a few odds and ends of items which maybe didn’t get floated out there, just to, well… float em out, round em up for your amusement along the way. Progress and all. Annotations in-line with evidence.
Update: each of these majestic suitcases now carries a specific subset of collections, ergo:
one has dossiers and scraps and supplies for making more scrapbooks
another, completed large form scrap books; another has all smaller sized journals, notebooks, diaries etc
next contains “paper point collages“ from various presentations and talks over the years
yet another contains little valuable trinkets from here and there and you
then there are a couple of classic typewriters in cases
a big blue bin filled with percussion odds and ends
another blue bin filled with collections of collections (pins, patches, playing cards, glasses, cameras,…)
another big stack of letter writing supplies with stationery, postcards, paper sets etc.
another satchel bulging with empty notebooks awaiting their turn for scribbles…
And this is just one shelf of many many shelves – below the shelf is boxes of photos, letters, childhood artifacts and the like.
Making great progress and today’s task is hauling up a sturdy shelving cabinet to start offloading records and books / hopefully can get the stereo set up although there’s a little bit of a problem with a broken speaker connector part. ~ Could really use a few elves to enjoy the process with > making sure to keep my pace slow to not “crash” > It’s all quite exciting (oh by the way, yesterday all the clothes and costumes etc. mostly got sorted, folded, stashed)
As I opened up dozens of boxes today to kind of do a “rough sort“ and see what I’m dealing with, so many thoughts and emotions flooding back – However, work to do with intent of pulling out a few artifacts for upcoming Jack Kerouac workshop (oh yeah, don’t cancel don’t cancel everything proceed normally etc. etc.)…
Anyhow, I collect collections and, in various cigar boxes, shoeboxes, and satchels of different kinds I have assortments of:
playing cards (despite the fact that I don’t know how to shuffle or any card games)
pins of all sorts
lighters and coasters from all around the world
belt buckles and belts (many of these used on old suitcases)
felt pennants and other classic Vancouver odds and ends including expo 86 artifacts￼
dozens of amusing hats – also scarves and hats and more hats
cassette tapes (primarily ones from garage band from decades ago
CDs (commercial as well as from people who said “dude you got to hear my band“ and gave me said CD)
plenty of vinyl (oh my!) / Many of which I never had a chance to listen to as I ordered them and they were drop shipped to various friends and brothers’ house￼
suitcases filled with hitchhiking signs, presentation “paper point“ collages, and dozens of scrapbooks, journals, diaries, notebooks, sketches… dozens
Overall, I have about six-eight of my old-timey suitcases, two typewriters, all sorts of fun outfits (we’ll see what still fits after I do a lot of laundry as most is a bit musty) and then dossiers of travel ephemera from various trips as well as the already constructed “static montage” story boards that I create for various trips. In other words, have enough projects to keep me going for a while.
Plus loads of art supplies and office supplies and stationery supplies. ￼Also a stereo and a bunch of recording gear and another 2/3 of the boxes I haven’t opened yet.
And then of course there is art, both originals and prints and posters… Took the time to unroll some posters and start to flatten them out, then re-organized all the framed art into big boxes with similar pieces as we start to hang up stuff all over the house and barn etc. etc. (we don’t have near enough wall space but that’s another story, we can swap out exhibits if you know what I mean).
Day one of unboxing in the barn produced 21 hats and 13 scarves (categorizing the Arab head scarves as scarves rather than hats for the record – though, I suppose I could categorize the scarf-holding “ring” as a hat which would bring 22 for this batch)… Anyway, hang em up outside to give some fresh air.
Each of course has an origin story￼ / And yes, there are more in the barn, not to be confused with the dozen or so which are already in the house.￼ See any ones you like?
Update… Day 2: Well, scarves jumped out to an early lead but were quickly overtaken by cardigans, which were bypassed by super fun T-shirts and then hockey/soccer jerseys.
But overall the clear winner is scrapbooks, like so many of these. Can’t really look at them because too much memories to process all at once.
And bocce balls, ice skates, hockey helmet and sticks, and unused longboard have all surfaced.
Big day (Thursday March 19) here at Tsuchida cottage as my life archives completes a long journey by a ship and truck from a storage locker in Victoria, Canada to port in Vancouver to port in Kobe and here by truck.
40+ years of scrap books, journals, diaries, book reports, certificates, art projects, school report cards, letters, photos and of course dozens of my paintings, all my various artifacts from talks/spiels/prezos, hitchhiking signs, “important papers”, art supplies, recording equipment, plus boxes of books and crates of records, and of course dozens of amusing hats.￼￼￼
The email thread with the company is about 70 communiqués, quite a bit of paperwork for customs clearance etc. etc. If all goes well, everything will be offloaded and instantly “sort-ganized” into a magnificent olden “kura” grain barn.
The kura barn recently got a good organization and clean-up and it’s going to turn into something very special… A mixed media art studio/archive… It’s gonna work out great!
Need to get a little bit more electricity/light in there and there’s only a little bit of dry rot in a few places but generally dry and solid. Going to be a great place for listening/recording music, reading books and making projects.
You may well especially enjoy the mighty wood beams and construction of this￼ structure.
Recently my entire life archive of projects, scrap books, journals, paintings, various art, artifacts, scarves and hats and of course records and books books books arrived to my barn in Japan after a transpacific journey from Canada.
Spending a few hours a day opening up boxes to sort out all the treasures and, came across a nice stash of old friends today.
Besides all the Jack, and there are more than this, plenty of Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, Richard Brautigan, JD Salinger, Leo Tolstoy, the complete collection of Tintin and well… So much so much so much.￼￼
Anyway, the Jack collection will make for a good show and tell at my “On the Road” sc/roll workshop in Kobe on April 29 #FingersCrossed￼ [update: cancelled]
Note: the little Japanese bound one on top right is the treasure of American Haikus… preview:
So much more to share but noting tis a challenge keeping up sort-ganizing momentum whilst also documenting and savouring.