Archive for April 2011
It’s snowing. Spring has arrived in Toronto.
This is my favorite time of year; the one in which it is common to have several seasons in one day. On leaving the house this morning the streets were wet and clouds flew across the sky producing flashes of sunlight and blue sky. A cold wind followed me to the subway platform and was waiting for me a few stops later, now carrying snow.
By mid-afternoon the sun shone again and the temperature was well below freezing.
I spent the spring of 2010 in Japan. For five short weeks I travelled the Kansai (Osaka) region on trains and on foot. The plan was simple, collect material for blogs and essays to be written later in the year. I filled notebooks with observations of life in central Japan and tried out a few in mail to a friend who encouraged the whole endeavour.
Through the summer I worked on un-posted material, testing style, selecting and editing photos. In early autumn I returned to work and creative things slowed down a little, however, a year later I was ready to publish.
At five in the morning I received a text message from Naoko stating that had been an earthquake and she was okay. Given the frequent nature of earthquakes in our part of the country I knew this was something unusual. Just how unusual, I could not have begun to imagine. Everything changed.
With the new, frightening and still unfolding reality of life in Japan, my witty observations of cherry blossoms and department store sake counters suddenly seemed to belong to a bygone era; they will remain a memory of a happy time and cool spring days. Almost a month later I am still struggling to find words for Japan post-March 11, 2011.