Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hmmmm. . .been a while me thinks; this bloggin' business.
My computer is down now. I have it with a friend in Nagasaki; he's pullin' out the photos and such so that I can wipe the thing and start over again. Any computer expertise I possess requires quite a bit of tinkering and fumbling, so when there was a chance that I could lose everything I have stored on that damned machine--fotos and music--I figured I'd better let a pro handle it.

What ever happened to shoeboxes full of photos, cassette tapes, and books?

Funny us folks, on the edge of the full-internet generation. We remember a time without the internet, and yet all of us seem so damned addicted to the thing. I mean, you can't blame the full internet generation-ers, they don't know any better--which implies that we, the edge-internet generation, do know better. Was it better? The philosophical implications of Youtube and the democratic realities of internet porn. Matters for another day.

Today I am more enamoured by the twistings of light through forest canopy that I can recall so easily from my walk around a mountain temple yesterday. The name is escaping me now, but the temple is located near the top of a mountain that straddles the border between my own municipality of Nagaokakyou and Kyoto city proper. The grounds of the temple covered a good portion of the upper stretch of the hillside where it sat, and blended well, through gently tended plots of forest, with the furthest reaches of the mountain.

Great hinoki, Japanese cedars, some that had stood their ground for hundreds of years, soared skywards with fat, straight trunks--the watchful pruning of previous generations. Lower down the empty limbs of several broadleaf varieties stretched out sidways, their buds posed, ready to burst forth with the coming spring warmth--a warmth that seemed so near, despite my frosty puffs of breath.

I tried to slow myself, to match my pace with that of the trees, so that I could feel the speed with which spring would come and begin to understand the undulations of the land that lay unfolded in an arced sweep of dry, brown fields that looked brittle and delicate, like the paper of an old folding fan that one might find at a weekend flea market on the grounds of Toji temple in the southwestern corner of Kyoto city, where trees lay stacked up as ancient pagodas.

Spring will come this year. And next. The earth may warm or cool--and we humans will ask questions and propose research and offer solutions and ignore solutions--but the trees here on the mountain will just sit and wait; tilt themselves a bit to catch a better angle on the sun while the last winds of winter whip through their branches.