Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Heading east on Imadegawa, I look up at the Higashiyama hills and think, "Okuribi is coming soon.  Daimonji sure can use a shave. "

Later in the day, heading east on Oike, I see that a group of someones have already accomplished the task.  The hill is now bald, with the slight bluish hue of a monk newly shorn, ready to take on his austerities. 

An hour further on, I've dropped the car with Miki down at Shichijo, and I'm walking upriver home.  Another hot day, so I cool myself with a scone and iced coffee at efish cafe.  Sitting beside the window with Ivan Morris' translation of Sarashina Nikki.  (To my mind, history exists in shadow, and the reading of it creates a cooling effect.)  I look down from time to time at the water moving steady and low.  Yet on one occasion I look up, to see smoke rising gently from the mountain, rising from the dried locks of the previous year. 

On the turntable:  Traffic,  "Welcome to the Canteen"
On the nighttable:  Lady Sarashina, "As I Crossed the Bridge of Dreams"

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