mjj (flemmings) wrote,
mjj
flemmings

The persistence of memory, part the whatever

The Buddhist injunction to live in the moment ('the past is gone, the future is not yet') probably doesn't include the justification that if your attention is always on the past, you cut out the possibility of having more memories to live in because you won't notice them while they're happening. Works for me, though. OTOH the memories I have are rarely of specific events, and more of vague impressions seen out the corner of the eye or randomly stuck in the brain circuits. (There's a half-block on Manning that specifically belongs to a January day in 2003 plotting Goujun and His Brothers, and unless I'm specifically thinking of something else, Goujun and his brothers ambush me there every time.)

As an instance of the first, this morning was overcast and the air was lukewarm and saturated. Like being in a fuzzy grey watercolour: and I realized that that was what Tokyo looked and felt like like much the time. Tokyo clouds don't have edges, except in the heat of August o-Bon (specifically o-Bon when there are half the usual number of cars on the road.) The rest of the time they're either-- well, what's happening now that the sun is coming out: pale indeterminate whitish areas amid the pale indeterminate bluish areas. Or when grey, it's an undifferentiated bathwater colour quite different from our usual northern ridges. But once quitted, the unnoticed Tokyo background cannot be recalled, except when Toronto does a facsimile of it.

(You notice that Hasui doesn't seem to draw this terribly Tokyo sky ever? Artistic considerations-- blue and cloud are so much more aesthetic; but perhaps Tokyo skies were different in the 30s? Generally, when it's grey in shin-hanga, it's raining or snowing.)

Also note that there are a few cicada left. On my walk last night I heard none, for the first time in two weeks, and the silence was as much a harbinger of autumn as the maple keys and dried leaves that begin to fill the street gutters.
Tags: hasui, japan, religion, rl_13
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