Saturday, April 13, 2002


Up at dawn this morning, leaning over the loft railing in zombie mode as I gazed out the high upper windows at the just-rising sun piercing the dark lake with eye-watering shafts of light and silhouetting the islands that lay strewn like dark gems across the gray silk surface calm as only the dawn can be calm, the mountainside and opalescent jade mosaic of recently planted rice paddies terracing up the slope, each terrace a polished green facet of the greater light, I was suddenly foreign to this place, an old feeling, but an aspect of myself I'd thought no longer pertained; still, there it was, probably residue from the American dream I had last night; and I saw that actually this was one of those exotic places they use in magazine travel ads in the Occident, with the body of water and terracing rice paddies, or in the classic movies that take place in the far east, or in novels where the intrepid hero lives in an inscrutable culture in a house with high ceilings and ceiling fan and loft on a mountainside above a major body of water with islands on it and emerald terraced fields all around, and it is his island of tranquility, it is where he comes to unwind and plan his next operation that will save the world, it is where the exotic travel ads say (at maybe just about the level of my knees as I stood there) "Come taste the good life," and then fresh from the trip, back in the city they tell their friends in the crowded restaurant what a fantastic exotic unforgettable trip it was, beauty you wouldn't believe, and the culture, and I live here, and went downstairs to shave.

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