|Friday, December 17th, 2004|
I woke up early this morning and read the dictionary. i had a bunch of words i wanted to look up, mainly nmaes to try to the understand some of the possible connotations of the names of characters in a novel I am writing. Michael means "like God" and Frank means "Liberal, generous, unreserved" after the character of the Germanic invaders of gaul (the Franks).
The book I am working on is That Undiscovered Country, my Cambodia novel which i cannot seem to get the right voice for. i keep rewriting the beginning and never feel satisfied with the narrator....funny, the plot and characters are pretty well worked out.
Last night I was at tadg's bar catching up with some old friends aged 59, 61, 69 and a new friend aged 8o.
Bob waugh is an english teacher ,Scorpio born November12, who came here at 45. he was born in 1924 and was a percussionist inthe NZ symphony orchestra and uses rhythym a lot in his teaching. Great bloke, spoke like a young man. It was a very pleasant night.
|Tuesday, November 9th, 2004|
Well another great week-end in this great city, Kyoto, mother of my soul. I went down to Demachiyanagi for the drumming jam on Friday night with Lazo and Ian Ropke then got to bed late.
Staurday i slept all day then went over to Aaron's place to have dinner and chat and fool about with face paint for the big party up in the woods that night.
After a great dinner cooked by his wife, hiromi, we went down to Tom's bar and hung out there a while then climbed up Shirakawa to the waterfall and partied all night. It was a good party but next time i do not think i will go if they bring a generator and lights because the sound of the river and the drums is what I want to hear, not electronic music with flashing lights.
On Sunday night Joey from texas had a Barbecue at Tom's and we went to that and met Mark Turner, a great guy from oregon who is interested in education.
|Tuesday, November 2nd, 2004|
The weekend was another blur of parties by the river and in bars. The heavy rain put a bit of a damper on things but I had lots of good yarns to my mates and a wild night on friday walking down the Takanogawa river and singing in the rain and remembering the old days when i first got to Kyoto.
They city council has gotten the gardners to cut down all the wild grasses and flowers along the river and it is such a shame. This is the most beautiful season when the Autumn grasses inspire the poets and the hum of dragonflies inspires the children and now it looks like a flat wasteland, like winter already. what a crime! And why? Why?
|Friday, October 29th, 2004|
Behind the catholic church
in the ancient capitol
of the impenetrable island
of dragon flies lies
a shop with whistles
liquids in beakers
and birds on perches
and it is tended
by an old man
after the fist..
Metafisto, they call him
because he's after the fist
beyond the fist
unable to be touched
in the physical realm.
And the old man, tall and bald and bearded in a long black robe
sells and buys souls
souls in bottles, souls in beakers
souls as birds, souls that swim..
the old man sells souls and he buys them too..
so if you want to sell your soul, you'll get a good price for it,
behind the Catholic church
at the Shop of All Souls..
The old man does shoe repairs too
and sells whisky, soma, buckets of brewed human blood and small vials of hope.
Get on down there and sell your soul,
or get it resouled
Trade it in on a new one.
Whatever kind you want,
you'll find it there
because the old man has every type.
There are souls you can eat and souls you can drink
there are even souls you can think with
and swallow whole or chew on
There are souls as birds, souls that fly
souls that lift you up and carry you away
souls that cry
souls that make you feel the sorrow of the world
souls that make you feel the joy of the world
I have had a really busy week. First I caught a cold then I had a to write a bunch of papers for the course I am doing in linguistics. A lot of the material was kind of interesting to read about but writing about it was not much fun. I had to rush to get it in.
I stay home eacvh night and cook dinner (after work) and then get to work on the papers.
It was full moon last night and tonight again too I guess. I will go to the drumming party as usual but the weather report said it was suposed to rain.
i have been fooling around with poetry a bit this week. Everytime I have to write a paper my head gets full of ideas for poems and novels etc etc.
I have been reworking the Faust idea again...here is a bit of it...I will put it in another entry..
|Tuesday, October 26th, 2004|
Wet and wild and cold again today after a lovely weekend. Typhoon after typhoon comes in from the China Sea band drenches the isles of Japan in bucket after bucket of wet cold rain...not too heavy though, like last week.
I had a great week-end at the river again. I went to the drumming and singing jam at the place where the two rivers meet on friday night with Steve and Aaron then stayed there till dawn with Danny again. I slept all day Saturday and went to a butoh performance with Lazo on saturday night then went back to his place and hung out there till late.
On Sunday i made a big chilli salad thai style and marinated chicken in soy sauce, sesame oil, chilli and garlic and took it to the river for the BBQ and hung out there all afternoon with drums again and talking to friends.
Today is the anniversary of my the death of my hero, Nikos Kazantzakis.
|Friday, October 22nd, 2004|
We had a big typhoon during the week and a lot of peaople were killed, about 60, mostly from landslides.
At the moment I am reading a great book called Shantaram about an Australian junkie who becomes a bank robber and is arrested but escapes and runs away to India where he undergoes a number of transformational experiences and starts a clinic in a Bombay slum....It is a really moving book and often makes me cry..of an evening I am content to stay at home and read it.
|Tuesday, October 19th, 2004|
I had a very busy week-end hanging out at the riverside meeting people. I went to a drumming jam at Demachiyanagi on Friday night then on Saturday I went to a picnic in the same place then i rode up to Yoshida with my friend "Be" to see Indian devotional music from Bengal (Baul). It was great. I want to go back to India.
The next morning I went to Yoshida again to do yoga. There was a two hour session with about 25 people. It was great. I went to the river in the afternoon and then that night I met some Kyoto University students from Kanto and China and ate and drank with them.
Now there is another typhoon coming. This one seems to be really big. It has been raining heavily all day.
|Friday, October 15th, 2004|
It is a cool sunny Autumn day. There is Baul devotional music (from Bengal)on this weekend in Kyoto. I will probably check it out.
Last night my friend "Be" came over and we talked about bio-regions among other things. I am interested in the bio-regions of Australia.
THis morning my friend Aaron was all fired up about George Leonard's ideas in the book "Education is Ecstasy"..Something is in the wind..it has been a very creative week....a week in which a lot of people committed suicide too.....hmmmm
I want to research bio-regions on the net.
|Monday, October 11th, 2004|
I had a great week-end hanging out by the river with my friends drinking beer, barbecueing and swimming and playing round with drums and a didgeridoo.
On Saturday night a bunch of us went to the new bar (Tom's) in North Kyoto and had a few beers. I have a new friend, a guy from Sydney called "Be", who plays music here in Kyoto and is learning Chinese. I used to live in taiwan long ago and I can speak basic Chinese. I started teaching him a basic pattern to use with stative verbs..we were horsing arounbd in the bar asking "ni lei ma?".."ta hen lei!" etc etc..a few of the lads have been to China and everybody seems to know a phrase or two. It was a lot of fun because everybody was getting in to communicating at this basic level....
It does not matter that i only know a hundred words in Chinese. I can teach what I know. Later on I was talking about it with a friend and he said "You can't teach Chinese because you don't know the whole language".
I totally disagree. So long as you know, three sentences, you can teach those three sentences...I really dislike the way education and knowledge are used to put people into a hierarchy of different levels..I know this much, you know that much etc and there is no functional application....
If ten people are sitting together in a circle and they can create the right dynamic, there is no reason why each cannot become the teacher to teach the others what he/she knows...
|Thursday, October 7th, 2004|
Something is wrong with the clock on this computer. I am writing at 3 in the afternoon , not eleven at night....
|Typhoons and dreams and ideals in the hearts of the young
Outside the rain is coming down in buckets, in sheets, the frogs getting washed away, the birds and fish and people and buses and cars and bicycles getting washed away...so many typhoons this year and the hurricanes in Florida...and still some people say global warming and climate change is not a reality.
I keep thinking about Rilke, who was in Russia at the turn of the century before the revoltuion when masses of people were starving. His biographer writes about the Russia Rilke saw was not the real Russia. It was the image of an idealist..that is so beautiful though! The future lies not in reality but in the ideals in the hearts of the young.
|SEIZE THE DAY
I saw this old Robin Williams movie two nights ago. It was called "Seize the day". It was not a great movie but Robin Williams is a great actor. The basic story is this nice mild-mannered New York Jewish guy gets screwed by his wife and his father and his friends and everybody he trusts and finally he is so miserable that he goes to a funeral and breaks down and cries in the synagohue. Two old ladies are watching and talking about how close he must have been to the deceased because he is so upset, but the real reason he is crying is that life is miserable. Or at least, his life is miserable.
I would not recommend this movie as it is not very uplifting but robin Williams did a great job of playing an insecure chain-smoking guy in a cutthroat world. At the end of the movie I read the credits and i was interested to note that it was baes on a book by Saul Bellow. I have never read any of his books but I have a few and I am glad I did not read that one.
The following day (Thursday) I was going to work and reading this Rilke biography and I came across this translation of a couple of lines of his poetry that he put in the Book of Hours. He was writing about how he had longed for inspiration so he could write poetry because poetry was what he lived for but sometimes he joked that he should have been a postman, because inspiration took so long to come. Then it did come and he wrote.....
And now the hour inclines and it touches my heart
with its clear and metallic ring
My senses are shaking; I feel I can start
seizing the pliable day as a thing.
I wonder, did Saul Bellow get the title of his novel from that phrase in Rilke's poem?
|Tuesday, October 5th, 2004|
It was raining heavily when I woke up. Last night I was up late watching movies mostly set in the southern part of the United Sates. I am really interested in that area and I enjoy the accents and the individualism of the people and at times I am appalled by some of the social problems. The movie "Monster Ball" was really good, where the white prison guard gets together with the black widow of one of the inmates he has executed in the chair is good. Really good.
It is afternoon now and the weather has fined up a bit. i am reading a biography of rilke which I started on the holiday in Thailand but had to put down as i had to write some linguistics papers but I am back into it now. I have never enjoyed Rilke's language or poetry, which is surprizing as i speak german and love that language. I love reading about Rilke's life and the plots of the little plays he wrote.
|Friday, October 1st, 2004|
It is a lovely warm day today. The typhoon has passed and everybody is safe. I feel quite happy today. After work i wil drink beer with my friends John and Aaron and we will talk about interesting things.
|Thursday, September 30th, 2004|
There was a terrific storm last night due to the typhoon which is coming up from China. It was a real downpour. I stayed home and worked on an assignment about teaching English for the distance learning course i am doing then about ten thirty I went out to buy a couple of cans of beer..I had just got home when i the phone rang..a phone call! What a surprize!
It was the philosopher,Lazzo, who lives on the other side of town and he told me about this Cuban writer who wrote a magical realist novel in the twenties or thirties, called "Hopscotch" and also another Argentinian guy. There are two guys I have to look up on the net, Cortazar and Carpentier.
I am really into magicalk realism..Gabriel Garcia Marquez..
At work today..new classes..kids seem ok.
|Tuesday, September 28th, 2004|
It is Tuesday afternoon and i am in class with my students. We are creating our live journals today.
Outside the sky is cloudy and it is hot and humid. I hope it does not rain because i want to walk home after school.