December 25th, 2011

hasui hirakawa morning

Sniff, Memory

One of those Buddhist self-help books I've been reading all year posed the question 'What is the color of happiness? The sound? The smell? The taste?' Not so easy to answer all of those, but the smell of happiness I knew at once: woodsmoke. My spirits lift automatically whenever I encounter it, which isn't often, air pollution rules being as they are in this town. One reason I stayed as long as I did in Japan, I'm convinced, is because down the street from my dorm was a lumber yard, and the thriftless Japanese don't do whatever we do with scrap lumber-- they burn it. There's woodsmoke in Heiwadai all through the evening, and most afternoons as well.
Collapse )