The Internet is an amazing thing. Technology is so awesome. I’m sitting here in a bullet train writing on my blog, between emails with my wife and posting asinine comments on Twitter with friends I haven’t seen in person in over 5 years but speak to daily, for free.
This morning I watched a walrus autofellating himself, something 10 years ago probably no human had ever seen, and as of today probably millions have seen.
I just looked out the window of this train going 300 kph and saw a hugely beautiful snow-capped mountain towering above all the others. I really wanted to know what mountain it was, so I popped up Google Earth, hit my GPS button and learned it was Mt. Ibuki. Next I will go to Wikipedia and read about the history of this mountain.
Luddites like to lament that technology isolates us, disconnects us from our friends and our earth, from nature and natural beauty, rots our minds. I find it’s the exact opposite. I’m keeping in touch with kindred souls whom I’ve met through different stages in my life; best friends whom I would have lost all contact with after something as simple as moving, or graduating, had I been born a generation earlier. I can find out the answer to any question moments after it pops into my head, no matter how random it is. I know where I am on this beautiful planet at all times, and what’s around me, and to an extent, even who is around me — at least who is voluntarily broadcasting geotagged information. I am connected to the past and the present, across cultures and languages and distances.
I’ve never felt more comfortable or more at home, and I’m in a place I’ve never even been before. (In the time it’s taken me to write this I’ve passed through two major metropolitan areas.)
Humanity is at the cusp of it’s next paradigm shift, and we are so lucky to be alive to witness and participate in this revolution and evolution of Life As We Know It.
The conductor is here to punch my ticket.
Just a quick note to let you know that my internet has been down for about 24 hours, and that’s why I haven’t posted the final panels of yokai yet. I hope it will come back soon, and as soon as it does, I’ll upload the pictures.
Thanks for waiting so patiently.
My internet is back and I finished uploading the final yokai! Take a look at yesterday’s post to see!
I’m taking a nap in the car on a cool, overcast evening while Hitomi makes a visit to one of her students training at a nursing home. The cicadas and birds are chirping, the smell of rice paddies and humid mountain mist drift through the air, mixed with the sweet burning leaves from nearby farms, giving me strange and relaxing dreams. Somewhere in the distance a Buddhist temple bell rings, echoing through the mountain valley, signalling that it’s 6:00. And then all of a sudden the tranquility is broken by a loud, high pitched woman’s voice making bizarre promises and spewing out meaningless slogans: Ah yes, it’s election season!
For those of you unfamiliar with Japanese politics, there’s one major difference from American elections: in addition to kissing babies, fliers, and general campaigning techniques, every politician has an army of loudspeaker-armed trucks that drive around constantly, polluting the air with inescapable, mind-numbing, and completely distracting aural trash.
The noise kept getting louder and louder until I have to wake up and look around. The election truck has pulled up right behind me and the loudspeaker is calling to the building next to me — the nursing home. This is no ordinary truck; it’s the real deal. The man whose name is painted in emergency black and yellow on the side of the truck steps out and the loudspeaker grows to a deafening level. At a nursing home??
Sure enough, he enters, giving his valuable time to a growing demographic here, hoping to win the votes of Japan’s dementia patients. Ah, politicians.
I said this about winter too, but springtime, like no other season, makes me realize how amazinly beautiful Japan is, and how happy I am to be here.
I’ll probably say it again the summer and then in the fall.
This whole month I’ve been waking up with a bloody nose. This hasn’t happened since I was in grade school. What is going on?
I don’t think I’m getting any fatter, but my belt is definitely shrinking.
My whole life I’ve felt natsukashii for memories I’ve never had. Why? Does this mean I’m insane?