Thursday 11 March 2010

The Real World

Home. After a week in Tokyo I am home. My return was delayed by a late fall of snow on Tuesday night. My friends asked me to stay an extra night rather than driving through a worsening blizzard on dark, icy roads, and I thank them for their kindness and hospitality. The snow had turned to rain by yesterday, and the grey sludge that had made Tokyo's roads so dangerous the night before had washed away without a trace. The congested traffic thinned gradually as I headed out of the city, north into the country. The houses became sparser, replaced by fallow fields not yet sown for spring and an ever increasing number of trees. There was still snow on the ground when I got home, though a drizzle of rain was making it thin. Mika came out to greet me as I pulled into the driveway. The kitchen was warm from the wood stove and by the time the kids came home from school it was snowing lightly again. Home.

This morning the sun rose through the snow covered trees in front of the house. As I went out onto the front veranda to feed the cats, I startled a family of pheasants that had been scratching in our compost heap and they scattered noisily into the bamboo. When I returned to the kitchen the children were busily preparing for school while Mika readied breakfast. We all sat down and enjoyed our morning meal together before they hurried off to join their friends. When Mika returned from taking Sean to preschool we had a cup of drip filter coffee and chatted while I signed wooden boxes. We made a delivery of beer cups and tea bowls to a gallery in Utsunomiya during the day and by the time we returned home it was quite warm out side. We sat on the bench in front of the house and enjoyed the sun for a while.

The exhibition went very well this year, better for me than last year, and I thank my friends and clients for making it so successful. I am, however, glad to be home, away from the constant buzz of the city, the crowded subways, the grey concrete and black tarmac. I am happy to sit in the sun and listen to the wind in the trees, rather than stand in the windowless, artificial light of the department store and the drone of piped music. To know that what I see is what there is, not just an elegant facade. On breaks from the department store I would walk to Ebiya across the bridge and find calm in that little oasis. In the evenings my friends made me welcome in their home. It helped me through the exhibition. But the city and all its artifice distresses me, and I am glad to be here, in the real world. Home.


  1. nice one! glad the show was a success too it enables us the break to sit in the sun...

  2. Your prose is as lyrical as your vessels. It is delightful reading your blog and seeing your beautiful work.