Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fed up

Food acting as catalyst for a search for better balance.  Party season is revving up, meaning far too many heavy rich meals.  My usual delight in such delicacies has been replaced by the feeling that my usual rhythm has sped up to the point that I can no longer dance.  New patterns in eating mean new patterns in energy,  resulting in lost sleep and daytime lethargy.  This all culminated in a night dining with the Swiss Consul.  It was an unbelievable meal: a series of courses building up to the butter-like texture of Kobe beef, washed down by a escalation of wines, each one more expensive and exquisite than the last, and poured into a far larger glass each time.  To refuse anything led to some playful gastronomical bullying.  This meal was accompanied by talk of Eastern culture and Western art.  The topic would frequently turn to music, then our host would jump up and play said musician on his stereo.   Roger, who was responsible to our being here, was quite astute in his observation that the Counsel was like a 19th Century patron of the arts.  His contribution to art and culture was massive and done with a deft signing of his checkbook.  The night was rich in many ways, but as it went on, I got a sense that I was going under. The waves just wouldn't stop coming.

It took not a little effort to extract ourselves, and when we finally did, we'd missed our train.   This turned out to be lucky, since a half hour later, some poor disenfrancised soul would use its progress to end his life.  As it was, we sat idle in the train behind it, langoring in Shin Osaka for 2 hours.  I looked out the window and fumed, furious at the sight of an ineffectual platform barrier that prevented nothing.  Rather than apply this costly bandaid, it seems far better to use those allocated funds to seek out the social reasons why this seems to happen week after week.    The sight of four (four!) heavily armed cops patrolling a quiet 1 am Kyoto Station further set me off, though not as much as those three JR workers tying up the taxi queue by attending to a handful of folks who'd missed their bus, delaying the far larger majority of us who just wanted to end an already long night.  I raged in the taxi about an inept society as the skies tore open above us.  My own torrent outdone, I quietly biked with an equally sodden Miki, talking about how a rich social life can be uplifting, but such uplift has a way of pulling one away from roots.  While I'm happy to have reclaimed some free time after quitting my course, I've not yet driven deeply the peg to which my current phase of life will be anchored.  Even the lightest of winds has a way of blowing me this way and that.   

On the turntable:  Mingus Big Band, "Gunslinging Bird"

On the reel table:  "8 1/2 Women" (Greenaway, 1999)

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