The vision of Ecstasy
Or the Ecstasy of vision,
Can they be so easily separated,
Need they be divided thus?
Where is vision, there is Ecstasy.
Where Ecstasy, vision reigns.
This is that is that this is.
Such is the Ecstasy of my vision
And the vision of my Ecstasy.
What fancy this,
More than words that rhyme
This is the truth that climbs.
Colouring books. I do not really understand. If people want to relax they should learn to meditate. Despite what people say, meditating is probably easier than colouring in. Staying in the lines is no joke.
Sashimi. This is one of my favourite meals, because it is so easy to prepare. It involves slicing raw fish. I could do with a lesson in this, no doubt, but my skills suffice to make my morsels bite sized. Of course, there is not really any very tasty fish in Canberra, because here, the sea is not.
There is something about the television show The Last Man on Earth which I really like. Yes, Season 1 seemed better than Season 2, but the show is kind of an allegory for desire. Whenever the protagonist gets what he wants, it makes him totally miserable.
I do not usually like horror, but I am giving Ash vs Evil Dead a go. I never saw the movies, but this seems like just the right side of ludicrous, even with all the gore.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was a great film. It was set in the 60's (the 1960's if you happen to be reading this in 2328) so the men knew how to dress, in a proper suit with a vest, the ladies kept their clothes on and the enemy was easy to pick. If not the communists, then definitely the Nazis. This movie was practically family entertainment. The good thing about this adventure was the lack of technology, no satellites or stupid mobile phones; so the pace was sedate, even when the fate of the world hung in the balance.
Here are the teapots I bought in Japan. It was no joke lugging stuff all over the country, but it was a sort of challenge. The small pots are super cute and good for Gyokuro. My favourite one has the orange swirl. It has a beautiful shape and handle. I also bought four teacups. As I really like gold, those cups appealed to me. They are quite squat and wide. There is something about the green ones that called to me too, maybe the incised pattern and glaze demonstrate certain skills, although they are also inimitably ugly in one sense.
I bought my favourite teapot and the special ugly cups in the same shop. Here is the guy wrapping the cups. The teapot came from the glass cabinet you can see. I liked this shop a lot because it was tiny and jampacked with pottery of all sorts. Also, the owner was sitting on a raised tatami-floored alcove at the back chatting with a buddy and he just came down to serve me. That seems like a very relaxed and respectable way to run a business. It was somewhere in a backstreet of Ueno/Asakusa.
Anyhow, now I have some new favourite cups which were made by a local artist: Linburn Handmade. They are the perfect size, very simple and the right contrast of textures. I bought them at the Bus Depot Market on the weekend. Here they are next to my incense bowl, although it was not an incense bowl when I made it. It was fun to talk to the artist and support a local.
Speaking of incense, I am not ready to confess how many boxes of it I bought in Japan. I tried to stop, honest, but I just couldn't seem to. Leaving that aside, I feel like i could easily develop a problem called having too many teapots and teacups, so I am at least starting to give away the teacups I no longer want as my taste evolves.
While I was looking for the photo of the shop in Japan, I found some others.
Mmmm, brushpens. So many brushpens. I think this is in Sekkaido, the six story art store. Swoon.
This is a backstreet somewhere in Kyoto. I have this variety of succulent on my balcony, but here it has been grown over rock next to a tanuki. More or less ubiquitous in Japan, tanuki is a symbol of luck, according to the lore I can make sense of. It was wonderful to see all over Japan how people took pride in beautifying the tiny space in front of their houses.
Vegetarians, look away now. This is some ramen in Kyoto.
This pine tree in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo, is pruned in classic cloud style. I would really like to prune some pines like this one day.
Here is a gentleman in the Nishikyo Ward, right on the outskirts of Kyoto, making good use of space by growing bonsai on his garage roof. This was really close to the Suzumushi-dera Temple, which is another story.
This is next to the Katsura River, Kyoto. My guess is it is some sort of fisherman's charm as it was on a boat shack.
Like me, this dragonfly was also resting by the Katsura River.
Here is a praying mantis I met in a national park near Oita, island of Kyushu.
This butterfly is a little closer to home, as in, my backyard. Normally butteflies rest with their wings closed, but I promised to make it famous.
A lovely bit of gentle rain tonight to start the summer as the calendar marks it.
I played flute and shakuhachi with the rain for an hour, walked bare foot on the grass in the back yard and then went for a short run where I composed this poem.
The song of the rain
Is no easy song to play.
It is the earth,
Pregnant with one million scents
Waiting to flower.
And still, it is the song of the One.
The song of the rain
Is no song to play,
But only, to be.