Tag Archives: personal musings

Diary: August Days of Obon, Typhoons and Errands

Aug 12-15th-ish: We’re in the midst of Obon Holiday time when people traditionally visit their ancestral towns and villages to pay respects to ancestors and clean the graves and then have festivals with tasty treats and dancing. Oh course, this year…

Helping the ancestors find their way… #obon #japanlife

Fortunately, our ancestors are interred a short walk away, rubber boots & foul weather gear recommended. No evacuation for us and we’ve got peanut butter and miso and hey, the pool is staying topped off with rain water since the tent was broken by fall in bamboo in the typhoon.  “The giant pumpkin sculpture of Naoshima has been recovered from the waves” (yes this is a sign). 

Grateful for usual days in unusual epochs, as such, carry on with diary (& brief annotations of recent out and abouts of no particular significance except the wonder of *it all*).

* Becoming more difficult to tell us apart

* Books and buddies in the tatami room set up for Ichiro

* Nekkid boy statue has a GShock

* Rainwater filling up the pool now that tent broken from typhoon

* Really was bamboo crashing down that broke it i guess / very tall & mighty

* Today’s sharp boots for walking to optometrist for another tweak, ugh

* Fancy vegan vittles CBD Green cafe Okayama / also purchases

* Asahi river – wide, muddy, swollen / flood & landslides forewarned

* New “Bridge” w/ items for reading & writing & music making at Tsuchida Station

* Paging Number 56

Also: virus cases here in new record. Delta > Lambda / What was that the IOC fella said about Armageddon? (Teen Vogue)

* Stoking out my old-school passport #ontrend

If a vax falls w/o a snapshot, did it even… (noting that with all the logistical delays and grumbling about fax distribution in Japan, the experience itself at my “usual” Civic Hospital was some kind of a VIP easy experience. Second one already scheduled, yeah I know this is a boring topic :-) oh came with shoulder massage

First quick lunch in the new/old house

Wishing peace, serenity, safety, and goodness to everyone floating out there in the world, always – but specifically in this moment. Hard to process the catastrophes happening in rapid succession seemingly everywhere but simple steps, frequently and kindly, is the course.

Next up: birthday goodtimes and possibly more about the house project (so much!)

Books by Post – Japan Cottage Musings

+ Books by Post / Japan Cottage Musings catch-up riff +

Wearing stolen hotel pyjamas, Dave riffs about: Larry Harper’s “70” variety collection, various Richard Brautigan items (Rick Lupert’s Van Nuys Tokyo Express, William Hjortsberg’s Jubilee Hitchhiker, and “the world’s mightiest hat” gift from Marty and Willis), then onwards to the legendary Joan Anderson letter from Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac, and Jack Micheline’s poems and ephemera… also riffs about analog and digital creative symbiosis and and namechecks Douglas Coupland and others… plus importantly, Ichiro bathtime, Ryoko’s chainsaws, and the usual postcards. Yowza.

Fondly from Tsuchida Cottage, Okayama, Japan.

Diary: Home is Where the Herbs are at

Dig a hole in good soil and plant the appropriate items, wait, then dig again

Years ago when I was at an Ayurveda Health Home in Pokhara, Nepal (which was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life, especially in this “healing journey”) the kind doctor suggested I use turmeric daily.

When I asked her what was the best form/way to purchase this, she said “grow your own” and I explained it was difficult because I had no home, no prospects of getting one, and was rambling and rather lost so a garden was not really possible.

Now. Three years later, I have a life, a home, a garden, and turmeric which is now made into things daily.

Note: many good things about this plant especially anti-inflammatory properties.

Also, in this photo is gorgeous ginger, again freshly harvested.

Turmeric and Ginger = magic

Diary: Of Baselines, Baby & Laundry

Ichiro and Dave, sharp outfits, out n about, Okayama, Dec. 1, 2020

Just a note: As it goes, my baseline for a “good day” is: laundry, compost, dishes, bath time with baby. Everything else is a bonus. Recently I’ve been below baseline which means I have to be extra gentle on myself and more time in a dark calm room. 

Folding the laundry also serves as a meditation of sorts. Oh, and (as I talk about *all the time*), we have a magical, super-efficient, washer/dryer all in one which uses the bath water… All of this makes the process easier on me.

Stretch-time include: making pickles and writing postcards. (Note both activities have low margin for error and can be done in short times of activity).

Special energy occasions include: making scrapbooks and paintings and poems. I “want” to be doing these things all of the time as my creative brain is going going going but execution is challenging.

What I came to say is: laundry is the *only thing* I stay up with & Bathtime with baby is my very favorite thing / 40°.

Bonus: here’s me and the dude go into my seitai treatment (which provides me a little bit of physical reset). 

Still in ME/CFS crashmode… nevertheless

Eat simple, good, food – check

Still in ME/CFS crashmode… nevertheless, managing to write many letters and postcards (In hopes of bringing sparks happiness to others as well as keeping my brain turning) and do bathtime with Ichiro (the best).

Still, gets a bit frustrating being stuck.

Pardon my saying this out loud, just trying to get it out of my head.

Carry on. End of dispatch.

Annotations and updates about health situation

Starting a journey towards Ayurveda, Kerala, India. I was a wreck at this time (weird eh)

Briefly: Annotations and updates about health situation

So much goodness in my life these days (wife, baby, home) but still there are things which challenge me so very much —mostly the pain and brain fog and constant unrefreshingness and crippling fatigue of my weird illness (ME-CFS) but no one wants to hear about that 🙂

There are two good things, ergo:

1) I’m *doing better* than I was before the 3 extended Ayurveda in-patient stints (India, Nepal, Sri Lanka) which reset my body and cleared out the copious medication as prescribed to me by doctors in Canada/US which almost took me down to bottom of the sea #rough (benzos, opiates, ssris, anti-spasm/etc…)

++ Simplifying life, reducing stress (new life), being in one place all add to this. Keep in mind once “lockdown/quarantine” is over, nothing really changes for me… No big deal, I have hobbies.

2) In the wake of the “current public health viral situation” ™, there’s suddenly a lot more attention on my consortium of illnesses due to the “c19 long haulers“ who are experiencing the same sort of symptoms (brain fog, sensory overstimulation, unrefreshing sleep, muscles/joint ache, etc. etc.) and being told by doctors that “there’s nothing wrong“ so suddenly, there’s a lot more science overlapping to folks like me. As such, virologists and super-computers are suddenly pointing powers towards cracking codes which relate to me (no I’m not selfish).

And suddenly there’s all kinds of “main stream“ news coverage and discussion about this illness *and* emerging tests coming from Montréal of all places to determine *real* biomarkers based on “PEM/post exercise malaise”.

I mention main stream because a lot of the coverage and information about my illnesses (ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia and CSS) get overlapped with other “things” and a lot of crap about it being “in your head“ and you get referred to cognitive behavioral therapy and gradiated exercise therapy both of which do more harm than good and are clearly debunked as useful treatments. And holy wow, so much snake oil and magical treatments and gurus out there… People drain their life trying to find a way out of this deep dark well. I know, I am one of them… hundreds of dollars a month on supplements and B vitamin injections and saunas and trigger point injection therapy and blah blah blah.

I’m writing this because after a great art exhibit at buddy’s goat farm – where I really paced myself and was careful and all of that – I’ve been in bed/crash mode for three days (I do the laundry and dishes and take out the trash and compost so better than other times in my life) since.

Anyhow:

Added a few links and comments in a FB flow to send out to the universe.

(Keep in mind various plant medicines which would be rather fortuitous are simply not available in my current geographical situation).

PS this is not a request for advice, sympathy, empathy or whatever… How are you doing?

PPS my heart is happy *and* sometimes my brain works so two out of three ain’t bad

More: And yes, sending letters and postcards is *therapy* and brings me joy as I can do this in simple little quiet times, spark my brain and bring happiness to others (I think anyway :-)). ++ Bathtime with Ichiro is great for both of us. The hot deep Japanese ofuro baths are a huge help for me

Note to self: The important thing is not to get frustrated when I “crash” as hard as it is / drink tulsi tea, hot bath, fresh air, low stim

Note: I’m sharing all these links because in the last 3 to 6 months there’s been more “actual science and reporting” than in the previous 6+ years since I was diagnosed (May 2013)

Note: It’s walking through a foggy mysterious painful confusing maze / obstacle course every day > sometimes I find a footing and float myself out into the world – Literally or metaphorically – though I don’t much make a distinction anymore. I’m alive, I have a pen and paper and tasty beverages so I’ll take that

PS in reply to some messages, my diet is aces (hooray miso, genmei, fish, pickles) and I have “done the work” with various eliminations and eating systems over the years.

Yes, counseling, lots of it and very helpful at certain times.
(You don’t even have to ask about journals do you?)

There’s an evolving/backfill inspection at my web archive called “healing journey” with more of curious (a lot more in the draft folder including completely parts of my various things at Ayurvedic clinics and hospitals in Thailand

Memo: After frustrations with “one test at a time” I (somehow) went daily to hospital in a anonymous workday city and did 27+ different (sophisticated/specialized) tests especially to illuminate /eliminate other possible diagnoses or identify problems, plus MRI, EEG etc.
Also loads of traditional Thai massage (the kind with a beat you up & stretch you out / not *that kind* …)

Diary: Of Brautigan, Hats, and Hot Springs

Mondays at Tsuchida cottage are rather hectic by my standards… Grocery delivery comes from the co-op, new order form completed, take garbage down to the community collection center, plus the normal routine of taking out the compost, folding laundry, washing dishes, making rice and miso ~ plus trying to stay up on correspondence.

Just feeling a little bit behind because there’s so many things that I wanted to tell you about – really wonderful things, despite the challenges of my illness – including various treasures arriving via post, i.e.:

* The legendary beat culture literary legend “the Joanne Andersen letter“ Neal Cassidy wrote to Jack Kerouac

* A biography about Richard Brautigan that is bigger than a midsize city’s phonebook (quite literally starts with a bang)

* Another poet’s poetic homage to Richard Brautigan, the Tokyo Van Nuys Expressway. Really enjoyable poetry and also great book production quality worth emulating.

* A magnificent hat > handmade in Springville, Utah with the hat band in scribed by a phrase from “in watermelon sugar”, plus another rare book & various ID cards, posters, stickers, letters, momentos and other treasures. This new hat means I’ve now stopped collecting hats, I’ve reached the pinnacle. Thanks Willis and Marty so very much.

* A hand written card by the all-time postcard champion Nick Bantock, author of the Griffin and Sabine series and many other works of epistolary literature, ephemera and fine art. His words were so unbelievably appreciated “You’ve traveled so far to find home, well done“ ~ as his *story* inadvertently intertwined with mine, in a way that his fictional characters deal with one another.

* An ink stamp assortment for postcards including a sort of stamping “jig” and variety pack of delicious papers from Lydia Fiedler / Already used extensively (I would foreshadow about our upcoming festive cards but don’t want to put any more pressure to “get stuff done“, but hint: #TimeTraveler)

* Won an auction for some various treasures from, and also a way to support, the Beat Museum in San Francisco… One stash is going to my brother the commander on Diego Garcia, another to friends in Pacifica for safekeeping until I can be connected to the rare Bukowski & Ginsberg riffs

* A handmade card from a great correspondent in California Jeremiah Jacobs who, besides inky stamps and typewritten words, included specific fragrance in his card. #NextLevel (he’s got a new single out)

* well-chosen books, in English, for Ichiro / we are reading to him in English and Japanese on the regular already, including some of my childhood favorites and others that were gifted to me decades ago in an act of foreshadowing I suppose

* A stash of super cute Canadian style (meaning warm and rugged) baby clothes… All that stuff that you hear about babies growing out of their clothes super quick is well, super true. This goes along with Japan *really actually* having “4 seasons“ and the temperature seems to change right on cue

* Finally, the long-awaited literary collection by my dear sensei Larry Harper / “70” sparked from a riff during a time of recovery for him and distress for me, where we both did our best thinking in Hot Springs and made plans for the future. He’s got three out of three checked and I dug an entirely new foundation and build a completely different life. It all starts with Hot Springs my friends, Hot Springs.

OK, back to the domestic tasks, very grateful to hear whenever cards and letters arrive in your post boxes.

Oh wait… Did I even mention the great exhibit, well by my estimation anyway, of four of my post box paintings at the goat farm? Pleasant conversations, poetry, paintings and post and pals. All of it, all of it. Especially grateful for Mac Kobayashi’s kind words (mostly :-)) and father/mother-in-law‘s assistance.

Right now, Ryoko is at Mae Maes band rehearsal (safe &
all of that) with the increasingly (if that’s even possible) adorable Ichiro Stanley, there’s another stack of letters and dossiers and postcards to go to the post office tomorrow, I’m going to finish these dishes, make the rice, make the miso, make the pickles & vinegar and be grateful for all of it.

Fondly, dvo

PS  Connected with the photographer Steve Rapport who took the “Joe Strummer running a marathon” in London photos you might have seen floating around and he also has David Bowie in 1983… Want to buy prints.

Also, the umeboshi started in June or opened and sampled and very worthy of acclaim

Note: Above is Ichiro with Larry’s book / it’s so cool it doesn’t even have an ISBN #Renegade

PS 12.10 Several of these topics (the books and hats) are riffed in a recent Japan Cottage Musings video dispatch, dig in

Diary: usual days / summer’s end 2020 (ophthalmologist, peanut butter, cats, coins, plans)

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.

Sept. 1, an ophthalmologist visit (more spectacle related items throughout this archive) with Dr. Kobayashi (no relation to the goat farmer).  

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.

Also: for the eye chart, instead of “letters” it was circle shapes with an opening to the up, down, right or, left. Of course the circle shapes and the opening became progressively smaller. got to do it all in japanese to add the brain confusion / needed to be placed in a dark quiet room for the rest of the day to reset my brain / needed a quiet room after. Continue reading Diary: usual days / summer’s end 2020 (ophthalmologist, peanut butter, cats, coins, plans)

Memo: Catching up on Creative Projects #meta

Memorandum
Re: creative projects

Making and finishing and doing *so much* so can’t stay up with sharing… limiting screentime and can’t pause to organize… but so much things (along with baby) coming… you can always catch stuff which doesn’t make it to this channel (and/or sequestered by the machines) at “creative life archive” (note: you are here).

Note: This snap is me at Lafcadio Hearn’s writing desk (international writer who came to Japan and settled in deep countryside… Married a Japanese lady and took Japanese name, wrote in Japanese, had bad eyes so made this desk to help).

Dude is remarkably interesting. Ergo: when the most/only foreigners in Japan were missionaries, diplomats, traders all trying to change Japan, he showed and let Japan change him. His home in Matsue (home of the holy Izumo Taisha) is near (relatively) to where i was first at the mushroom farm (same San-in coast). Ryoko and I visited his house and museum summer of 2018 on our first adventure together. 

PS i saw his white linen suit, battered leather suitcase, hat, cane, pipe and glasses and realized that “yes, I might be him reincarnated”

Related, from Trevor: 

Down the hall
Logan house
Mom’s bedroom was on the left
Morning routine sit on bedside and check-in
At the end of the hall was the computer
Window behind
Dave sat keying in his word flow
Friend watched
Inspired