Friday, September 30, 2005

I know what I did last summer

Here are some bits of travel detritus which sifted thru the cracks of memory.

My English (1967-94) is a dead language. I come across a multitude of things I can't understand. The "double fine zone" roadworks signs inspire a pickup line. "Baby, this must be a construction zone 'cause you double fine!"

In Santa Fe, taking notes on zen, I miswrite, "Carrying wood and chopping water." It almost sounds like a Chinese euphemism for sex.

A hawk sits on the sign saying we are now leaving Iowa.

Across Nebraska, I see a place called Ox Yoke. Throughout the day, I am amazed at how many of the towns and rivers have names familiar from Native America history.

The "Trust Jesus" signs everywhere across the Midwest. (Thanks, but I'll keep my hands on the wheel just the same. I'm no Jedi.)

How my Jersey accent comes back when I'm on the East Coast. It also happened last fall, when I watched all five seasons of The Sopranos in a single month. At the time, any question my English students asked was no doubt answered with something like, "What am I, an asshole?"

Those wonderfully unapologetically non-PC New Englanders. It truly is the last bastion of white culture.

At EC, watching Chieko of Kodo drift across the stage, her parasol hat and long, wind-blown sleeves making her look like a jellyfish moving in slow motion.

Laying in the heat of an August day. Saying to Ben of KJ, "Sleeping in the sun is a spiritual experience."

Floating thru the insanity of Tokyo Station at rush hour with Faith No More's cover of "Easy" on the iPod.

On the ferry, throwing raisins to seagulls, which they'd drop, only to be picked out of the air by lower flying gulls.

Sharing an onsen with a half-dozen men with red and white striped arms. Fishermen at rest.

Two zelkova trees planted the same day at Kodo Village. The one that has been talked under is twice as high as the other, "watered" by syllables.

On the turntable: Natalie Merchant, "Live in Concert"

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