Friday, November 16, 2007

(Workin') On the Road Again

A mere two days after coming back to Kyoto, I was on the move again. Ezaki Mitsuru was again in need of people to help fire his kiln. Figuring that working 'round the clock would be a sure fire way to beat jetlag, off we went.

So it was that three weeks to the day after saying, "Mata ne!" to the Atlantic, a week to the day after saying "Hello" to the Pacific, I crossed a bridge which brought the Nihonkai into view, reminding me of Ray Carver and his "so much water so close to home." (I'm going to stick with the term, 'Nihonkai,' not wanting to take sides in the playground spat over Japan Sea and East Sea. Maybe they should just call it, "The Sea that Divides.") The men in blue flared trousers were still hard at work fixing the road damaged in the Spring quake. When I'd come up here in May, there had been only three or four spots which had collapsed into rice fields below. Today new sections were being laid down in huge kilometer-long swaths, and the traffic delays were worse than they'd been 6 months before. Unlike the American solution of a band-aid on an amputation, here it's more of a heart transplant to treat high blood pressure. I think I get it now. The puppets in the Ministry of Construction must see natural disasters as gifts from the kami. Behind them, their construction industry master rub their hands with glee.

Anyway, Ezaki's works that we helped cook are currently on display in Tokyo. Check it out:

On the turntable: "Anthology of American Folk Music"
On the nighttable: W.S. Maugham, "Far Eastern Tales"

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