24 September 2015


Watazumido Doso Roshi
was a unique character as the short clip below shows.

He's so Zen he says he had to give up Zen, when clearly, he's so Zen!

Here is a long clip of just his music. Playing such a big piece of bamboo is quite an achievement breath-wise.

As far as conventional shakuhachi goes, I like Mitsuhashi Kifu. His version of Tsuru No Sugomori (nesting cranes) is my favourite of the many versions I have heard. This piece really demonstrates the versatility of the instrument to me. There is a recording of this song by him at youtube but I much prefer the longer verison on the album: The Art of The Shakuhachi Volume I.

I listen to a lot of shakuhachi music these days and it has helped my playing on the hotchiku a lot. I still enjoy playing the western flute heaps. It's a very good instrument to play inside, seeming suited to square corners and the acoustics of hard surfaces. The hotchiku quite wants to be outside. It finds the echo of natural spaces. It likes to be beneath the sky, mingling with the birds and trees. I like to wander and play it. It is way more subtle than the western flute for this and so far all kinds of people respond very nicely to hearing it. I can't say anything but birds seem to really express curiosity on hearing the sound.

In either case, I find the best time to play is at dawn or dusk, although the evening is very good too, perhaps because then I have the time.

For a while I thought I had encountered the limits of my instrument. It is not madake bamboo and the utaguchi is decidedly crooked, but this is actually probably good practice. And amidst my terrible technique, the thing that does allow me to push the boundaries of my sound is simultaneously listening to the instrument and the silence it wants to fit into.

Whither weather whether what

Light rain in the morning,
Spring showers do not last.

No poem, nor haiku, not the I Ching, just a description of the weather today, because this a post about random things.


Once I used to like to finish my trip to market with a danish as a treat. Baked custard. Mmmmmm. Not that my love for baked custard has diminished, but now I buy mushrooms instead. Shitake, shimeji and king brown. Fried in butter with salt and pepper.


Beautiful tea. The instructions on how to brew gyokuro may be useful. It's so expensive that I was already going multiple brews, but the cold infusion is a revelation, definitely my favourite part of the experience now.

Knight Rider.

A few weeks ago I was reminiscing about how Saturday nights used to mean something. Like going to my cousin's house in my pyjamas and watching the latest episode of Knight Rider. So I watched an episode on youtube. As a result, I can only say thank goodness David Hasselhoff went on to make Baywatch or he would not now be known as one of the finest actors of his generation.

Doctor Who.

The Magician's Appretice. Oh my God. What on earth is going on? Make sense already. I just don't understand.

13 September 2015


The language of flowers
I do not speak.
No: I only listen
to their silence.

I have been getting lots of my calligraphy framed recently and this one worked particularly well!

Walking home through Civic, this is a sculpture I saw for the first time: they are casuarina fruits, or seed pods I suppose, under casuarina trees.

08 September 2015

03 September 2015

Your evening sky
is my name.

This is A2 and it took me six goes to get to this one.

It is only the first line of a poem.

I thought it was the whole poem but the rest of it came to me in a dream that night.

Your evening sky is my name.
The vast and sweet symbols
which surround me
Are my only solace
And companions.

02 September 2015


The bud holds
Its secret tight
But not for long.

"Between the golden sun
And the dreaming moon
Lies my doom
And sweet it is
So sweet."