With a Little Help from My Friends Vol.2
It’s coming close to two years since I arrive in Japan in the heart of the COVID pandemic. It’s been a ride and I feel it’s far from over and I’m just about getting ready to face it all!
Although I’m always disappointed by the rate of progress in my Japanese language skills (learning a new language is difficult! Who woulda a thought?!) I still can enjoy Japanese hospitality, kindness and most of all, the Japanese seasons. Hospitality and kindness I can easily find here in Kanda Lab from the great Senseis and students who are always seemingly available to help.
But I wanted to share some photos and some of the poetry I’ve written since I arrived here in Japan.
It puffs up into existence, from the carving of a ski. It rolls down the slope. Avoiding the onslaught of children's and snow fights. It rolls and rolls, as if it were its cousin water, following the hill to the base. Then with a bump of a tiny pebble the snowball plops up into to the steam floating off the surface of a steaming lake. And lands on the head of a duck, that was trying to melt the ice off its wings.
Gates closed, for Kami to knock echolessly with mischievous taps. With a deep bow and empty coin you might be forgiven, but forget and be chased by glowing amber foxes floating in the air, or angry blowfish rising like lanterns from the darkness of your shadows. As you twist and turn through paths, which turquoise running stream is sacred? Which moss covered bell is inhabited by transparent deer adorned with thorny crowns and which by glistening scale coy? Which Kami wants to play, and which wants to haunt? Knock on another gate, let the paranoia settle in.
The sharply focused colors crossed the span though the space on a reflective sandy canvas.
Light bled its mirror frames in washes of greyish blues and time cracked open in a grinding shearing of rocks.
In the sky the reflective sand washed the foamy waves and coarsened the smooth rocks.
In the reflection centered, she flipped my flipped frame.
Maybe one day I’ll be able to translate these into Japanese, who knows, I’ll keep trying.
Signing off. Alex