Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Maybe it was sheer coincidence, but then again more likely not. The universe knows what it's doing and has a way of putting the lessons you need right in front of your nose or eyes or heart or foot as the case may be, though you generally have to be paying attention to note that it's not just a matter of luck that you took that particular turning, so when today I went out on the deck at precisely that time in the late afternoon when, as day was turning into night, all the soil that had been warming in the sun all day, all the vegetation that had been living in the light all day, gave a vast sigh at the peak of luxury and an invisible perfume of local satisfaction came wafting across the fields and filled the spirit of anyone lucky enough to have entered the theater of the air at just that moment, and today it was me. I just stood there nose up, breathing deep, sensing all the joy that all those plants, all that forest, all those ponds, all those fields, entire mountains and the Lake had been creating all day long and were willing to share with anyone who cared to join in. What food it was for the body roots. My spirit rose through the duff of my habits like a stem pushing up and out of the ground to bring a flower into the air.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Monkeys are puzzled by the human concept of ownership - as manifested in me, in this instance. Always cracks me up, that fuzzy look they get in their eyes as they have a shot at trying to figure out what I’m going on about while all they’re doing is enjoying the onion they were the first to discover, first to pluck from the ground, and that they are now holding in their paw and biting into, ergo they own it, so what’s the problem, dancing man?

Monkey legalities are clear cut, straightforward - no legal niceties in the wild - no liens, lawsuits, adverse possession, bad faith, no secret or hidden possession, no mortgages or deeds and so forth, all unneeded, since trust is not a cornerstone of natural justice, yet the simians are learning creatures, are they not, and therefore naturally involved in evolving beyond mindless brigandage, just as we ourselves once were (doubts of our success notwithstanding), so of course they will have a go now and then at expanding their minds, such as when they have a monkily owned onion in hand, are chewing on it and I pop up out of an opening in that big box over there, jumping up and down in my usual manner, throwing rocks, shouting and gesticulating wildly for some reason, trying to get something across that the monkeys can’t quite grasp, yet-- "That footwalker is so much in earnest, and so redfaced, there must be something to it..." is a thought that seems to zip through their mindspace as they gaze sidelong at me and then finally lope off with their onions, no sense hanging around a rock-throwing nonmonkey...

One might even think they are trying to evolve, given the slight evidence, such as of a conscience, until a gardening season later they steal another of my onions and try once more, fleetingly, to get their minds around this bizarre concept that the hatwearers apparently embrace, that onions far away from them are in their possession, even when in a monkey's grip! Could anything be stranger? Or more different from the keystone of monkey law, to wit: I’ve got the onion in my paw and I’m eating it; could anything be more owned? A philosophy shared, to a much greater extent, by many of our fellow moneyspenders, DC and Wall Street being handy examples.

So, in evolutionary reaction, I have stopped growing onions; but for who knows how long, since this could cause a setback in simian legal evolution. Just imagine the pretty balance there could be to the world one day, if we could get the monkeys and the bankers into the same high court...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Up in the forests
the shock of smoke -
but it's cherry blossoms

Monday, April 16, 2012


In the morning there are trees everywhere, as though they crept up on my consciousness during the night. They shine green in the window, welcome me into the day. Warblers warble in them. Sunlight twinkles through them. Out in the morning, the farmers are at work early, readying their paddies.

Yesterday the farmer who owns the paddy across the road spent most of the day fortifying the paddy wall, using the long hoe made for the purpose, in a rhythmic dance with the earth. All the paddies in their eachness fit together like perfect facets on the vast green gem they make of the mountainside. The farmer's work is thus a matter of beauty, as compared to the manufactured concrete or metal paddy wall units more modern farmers use to achieve the same purpose.

The traditional mud wall has to be tended more often, like any work of art, but the rice no doubt appreciates the attention in some vegetably emotional way we know nothing of, is more contented rice, and so offers more content to the consumer. The farmer as well is no doubt the better for it in body and mind, lives better, sleeps better, has better generations, and is less out of pocket.

I can imagine the rationalizing arguments for the new ways: how they save time, even though they cost way more than mud and must at some point be discarded and replaced. Commerce, as a science, knows nothing of the spirit or its journey through time, a journey that is impossible when time is money.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Tuesday morning came wrapped in a fog like the one in which Japan got started way back before history, and who knew what was going to happen this time. It was far thicker than the standard fogs you see on all the folding screens, that obscures less important details of famous events; it was a MythoFog of the kind that was there when Amaterasu Omikami and her troublemaking brother got to stirring up the ocean, resulting in Japan, among other things.

The morning's similar potential was not lost on me when I set out from the house on my Mythic Motorcycle and began to roll downmountain into eternity or the morning train, whichever pertained, wending my way through what might lead to a whole other country and culture or who knows what in this day and age, nobody really bothers to intuit that stuff anymore, all the mythothings that can get started on a godly whim...

We have conventional non-mythic fogs up here all the time, living closer to and sometimes inside the clouds as we do, but when we head on down to the flatlands we soon enter clear air, morning fogs hereabouts generally being temporary affairs that evaporate soon after sunrise. This fog, though, had a lot more going on, it seemed to get more mythic as I plunged down the road into the fog of meaning, which wasn't damp like the usual fog, even though it was cold like the hand of history on your neck, with more frisson than those fogs they attempt in the horror movies or that Dickens and Bronte wrote of to such great effect, so in my head there was a Victorian quality blended with some Japanese godplay in a complexity that is hard to describe...

In brief, the portent was major. As I slowly rolled down through the deep gray and blessedly monkeyless silence (they know what's going on), curving left and right, back and forth, all the way down, something in me kept expecting some kind of mythic event. It would have been a lot harder if I didn't know the road, but even so I had to go slowly in case a Japanese deity appeared... Can you imagine the scandal of a collision with a foreigner on a motorcycle, that would be one for the holy books...

Finally I got to the station where I was not surprised to find that it too was in the fog - in fact right at the bottom of the fog - and it too was silent-- no train sounds, no announcements of delays or cancellations-- Was I really here, this was my hand before my face was it not, no sound of other people walking and talking, no godsilks rustling, there seemed to be no one around, sometimes I'd hear what could be a footstep, but who really knows in the early phase of a myth, so I locked up my bike as usual, got out my ticket, felt my way through the mist blanket to the ticketwicket, wicketed my ticket and there was no one on the other side, all was silent, wrapped in the muted strivings of the gods...

I climbed the stairs to the platform, which disappeared before me; I walked on as usual, in faith that there was a platform there, I too became invisible like the mountains in front, the whole range of mountains right there in front was invisible, and the Lake in back, the big Lake just there on the other side of the invisible platform was invisible too... We were all invisible now, a state it is well to take seriously...

In the myth of the moment I went and occupied my conventional waiting spot there at the heart of The Fog of infinite hearts, seeing nothing, hearing nothing, and there I waited in what once was time for what once was a train, but there was no train... Still no train... Then some other hopeful commuters appeared like miracles out of the fog, spiriting past me to their trainwaiting spots; we waited in our collective invisibility.

After about half an hour an announcement came vaporing out of the soup that the express train - which doesn't stop at our humble rural station - was about to come through, the one that, 10 minutes before my usual train, comes roarblasting past at 80 miles an hour only inches from the platform, quite a stimulus on a normal morning...

But I couldn't hear anything, standing there right beside the track, maybe the muffled bleat of one of the goats that lives on the property down there beside the Lake or a goddess was doing something, then came a rumbling like a giant slow pushcart grinding along a hard road and the morning express came pushing into our part of The Fog, rolling through at about grandma bicycle speed, interior all lit up in the foggy dim, the folks in the cars like passengers in an airliner going through clouds, staring out the windows with big eyes at seeing ghostly commuter figures there in the air on what must please god be a platform, waiting for a train... or maybe they were rapturing their way to heaven... Imminent myths can do that to a collective mind in transport...

Our own train finally came pushcarting out of the generative fog - it was crowded by now - stopped before us, opened its doors, took us into its light, closed its doors and rolled on slowly through vapors that diminished like the past as we grew older nearing the big city and buildings became visible; turned out that a well-developed civilization is still out there...

Need I point out that what was about to happen, mythwise, is still about to happen, fog or no fog, so be ready...

Sunday, April 08, 2012


Much ado about everything under the sun and moon, been taking the Trio of Brio for chunks of time so they can get some gardening experience etc.
Also as time and events allow I am gradually assembling a Pure Land Mountain Kindle Book, working title Monkeys & Onions, getting closer to what might seem a reasonable size and resonant compilation, during a time of rich firewood cutting bucking and splitting, when home.
The Trio helps with that too; surprisingly hardworking, they love heavy extended physical tasks like splitting firewood, also stacking same. In between which starting the garden, digging, planted spinach, radishes, lettuce, radicchio, some first tomatoes, some zukes, more chard, shallots, strawberries, herbs dill fennel basil thyme, mints etc. - no flowers done yet - snap peas, soon some tromboncino and foreign variety of zuke for which I had to battle the govt seed folks but prevailed.
Nearly stepped on the first frog he was so invisible.
Deer got into the garden somehow; have to figure that one out.
Our well is now producing ultrafine water, liquid diamond to a thirsty man.
Finally put up (above the Monsanto page) my ongoing Fukushima page, atop the Archive section in the sidebar; latest link there is possibly imminent Tokyo evacuation due to reactor No. 4 (no way for that not to sound sensationalistic).
Haven’t been on the blog for nearly a week except in thought, been meaning to post but time is a laser, just had to post this zipblip about it all in a few spare moments early this morning after planting some tomatoes carrying some wood and now about to go pick up the Trio for an afternoon of garden labor--
So much to write about, so vast the sea of happening and all I got is that keyboard up in the loft up in the house...
Which reminds me those rain gutters need cleaning, rainy season coming on, better do that -- Soon as I can --
And the woodstove clean the woodstove...

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


Just out this blustery morning checking the bean plants, now about 30cm high and beginning to reach about, so into the soil beside each of them I inserted a selected mountain bamboo tip about a foot tall, after trimming off the multiple little branches down to an inch or so, providing a nice little sequence of easygrabbies up which the little bean plants can climb and hold against the wind to do their beanie max, but after 1 week I can see that they don’t care, they don’t give a damn, beans have no gratitude. But I knew that.

For some reason, the new beans ignore this valuable gift and just go scrabbling along, blown this way and that, looking for what, I don't know, an escalator? Is this a characteristic of modern young beans or has it always been like this? An even more disturbing thought is that maybe they’re like me when I was their age, all the obviously advantageous wisdoms and facilities around me and I ignored them for pennycandy fluffstuff I don’t even remember. Are there teen beans?

Gardeners can’t help but plummet down the rabbit hole of such thoughts when they behold the natural world from up close, first-hand, dirt-knuckled. They look at other gardens, as I do, in my local wanderings, here and there noting the little tricks gardeners use, like one I saw several days ago, of tying a tangly handful of upside down broomstraw to a stake above a bean plant for the beans to grab onto and climb.

Naturally I was impressed by that and will try it, just like when I saw a farmer use some cut mountain bamboo tips with the branches trimmed back to a few inches stuck in the ground above his bean plants so they could climb easily what a great idea, so at once I cut some of the mountain bamboo that grows so prolifically around my house it’s a pain - plus I love free stuff - so I stuck it in the soil above my bean plants and they just bent right past it, ignored it cold, like they ignored my dangling strings, my jerrybuilt trellises, my rough braided twine...

Those farmers and I are using the same beans; I should see what they use for discipline.