Friday, October 13, 2017

Handful of memories

Here's a peek at my recent travels--gardens, temples, castles, museums, and infinite Japanese pickles in Tokyo, Kyoto, Gero, and Sado Island. Sumimasen onegaishimasu, it seems I am inflicting a few images from my zillions of photographs on you...

detail, a Chinese-style gate

Baby octopi, Nishiki Market, Kyoto

hidden bridge

Matcha ice cream after octopus balls at the festival grounds
just in front of the marvelous Tokyo National Gallery...



Butterfly on a rain lily at Shouko-ji Temple in Shukunegi
(an old fishing village with a labyrinth of tiny crooked passageways between the houses)
on Sado Island, Japan.

18 comments:

  1. That is one beautiful butterfly! And those octopi on skewers are very pretty, but I doubt I'd eat one. Will any of these impressions find their way into your work, I wonder? I have a vague idea for a novel that will feature, more or less, every place I've ever been. I suppose it will have to be a long novel, which might explain why I keep putting it off! Anyway, welcome back from your travels!

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    1. Thank you, Scott--I chased it down through crowded family shrines. Must say I ate a lot of things that I never knew existed, or existed in the pickled or salt-packed form.

      That sounds like a long, winding novel! I expect that some things will filter in. Or just the liveliness of being out and about in the world will seep into what I'm doing. Poems, maybe?

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    2. Lovely pix, Marly. Thanx for sharing, and welcome back in time for autumn.
      Please note my slightly new address for my blog.
      Scott, I cannot find your blog.

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    3. I am stuck on an iPad at the moment but will pop by when I have my computer....

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    4. Tim, look here for a new/old me: https://sgfbailey.blogspot.com/

      Some hijinks with technology; I did not believe blogger when it said that "delete this blog" meant it would delete the blog.

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    5. Thanks, Scott. I had a similar experience: Blogger outsmarted me by stating the obvious which I misread.

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  2. Neat photos! Was this your first trip to Asia?

    A couple years ago, I somehow wound up looking closely at photos of Japanese plants and animals, and it gave me new insight into Japanese art and the specificity of the colors, contrasts, and shapes they use. I hope the whole trip was a visual feast!

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    1. No, I was in Thailand and Cambodia some years ago--2009, I think. Michael has also volunteered in Vietnam, so he's been several times before. Hate the jet lag, love the mind-bending realities.

      Being there gives you a strong feeling that art comes out of landscape's contours, plants, animals, and the nature of the language, definitely! It's so clear when you look at another culture--makes you want to look at your own more closely, too.

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    2. Indeed--for many years, when I lived in D.C., there was a lovely but certainly not extraordinary row of houses down the street from me, not far from the zoo. Japanese tourists always stopped to admire them and pose for photos in front of them; something about these houses said "United States" to them. I often thought I'd understand the Japanese aesthetic better if I could get some sense of what made that little row of homes so intriguing to them...

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    3. So often even pedestrian things have a fascination when we are in foreign lands...

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  3. What single word best describes that expression on your face? Knowingness, perhaps. Implying there are depths beyond depths. You can surely be satisfied with that.

    My face is columnar, striated with deep vertical lines. The eyelids sag; in the words of my mother "they have lost their nature". Lines and lids suggest suffering, the survivor of a million visits to the supermarket. Quote: That'll do, pig.

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    1. Hah, you sound quite dramatic! Not Babe but some long-suffering classical hero... And at least one person on Facebook described my expression as mischievous, so perhaps not deep!

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  4. Sugoi!

    Ah, this brings back so many wonder-filled memories. I never did make it to Sado Island, but I imagine it must have been a superb feast for the senses.

    Now you've got me hankering for a journey through my old photo albums ...

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    1. Oops, sorry! You flew like a swallow into the Land of Spam.

      Sado was wondrous. Rice-harvesting season, black and white beaches (though sadly full of plastic close up), lovely gardens and temples, orchards with each piece of fruit in a tiny sack. Very rural in feel. No English! Onsen wasn't quite as hot as the one at Gero but fun. We went to a high-class one and a more working-class one. Interesting.

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  5. Thank you for fishing me out of the Land of Spam.

    Speaking of Onsen, the Rotenburo (Onsen outdoors) were my favourites in Western Japan. My English-speaking colleagues could not understand why I happily doffed my clothes and "went native" ... until I explained that the majority of Japanese are near-sighted. (Having grown up in Germany, I really did not mind and had a fabulous time at both the high-class and more working-class baths.) Now that I think about it though, I also am near-sighted ...

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    1. Peculiar. Just now I found you in Spam Land again. But also one posted. Jeff Sypeck also goes to spam somehow.

      Yes, I didn't mind the outdoor rock pools a bit. Who cares? And I'm very nearsighted! People are quite polite about nakedness. I did have a long talk with a woman my age next to a lovely waterfall, and I managed to completely forget we were naked. But most of the time people kept to themselves.

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  6. I am honored to be in Jeff's company!

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    1. You can keep each other company down in the G of S!

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.