Saturday, April 19, 2008

Winter into Spring

I was in a hotel, around where Gion meets the hills of Kiyomizu. The hotel was a week away from opening, and its long sprawling carpets had seen little contact with human feet. It was a bit odd to be here, in a building complete but for the people it was built for. The owner of the place was a former sommelier from France, Japan born, but now morphed into something unique due to decades away. I listened to him speak of his time abroad, of the organic vineyard he owned, and how each region has its own distinct flavor, and a sip of your own homegrown can be like tasting the soil from which you have sprung. And despite the rapt attention with which we all held him, and despite my own fascination with his words, soft and nearly inaudible due to the fountain in the corner, I could feel the anger welling within me. I kept asking myself why I had been brought here, why was I not up at the dojo, or home with a film. And the anger bubbled up more, cut only by a slight smile at the thought of being a character in "The Shining," sitting at the bar in a big empty hotel, on the brink of losing my shit.

Flashback a week. Miki and I are settled in on the sofa with an Ozu film. His movies usually work on me like a hot bath, melting into the still camerawork, the slow edits, miles away from the frenetic cutting I was raised with, being of the MTV generation. Yet tonight, I found myself fidgeting, my ass unable to find the right connection with sofa, my hands busy looking for something to do.

I then realize how high my stress levels have been, how absolutely at sea I've been due to the demands of my coursework. An afternoon at my drums, for the first time since last summer, brought my full concentration to something else, something non-heady. 'Drifting too far from the shore.' For some reason that line from the old spiritual had been in my head during midterm in Vermont, and now today, it seems prophetic. I'm done. I've gotten a lot out of my course, but to carry on this last month or so, merely to get a license in something I don't really plan to use, feels superfluous. Purely ego driven. And once the decision is made, the air seems a little bluer, my breathing more free...

On the turntable: The Lemonheads, "It's a Shame about Ray"

On the nighttable: Michael Zeilenziger, "Shutting out the Sun"

On the reel table: "Flavor of Green Tea over Rice" (Ozu, 1952)

1 comment:

Ron said...

You WHAT?!

Congratulations! I had no idea things were so serious. I wish the two of you the very best in the years to come.