The trip is almost half done! Feels like ages but it goes quickly too. I wake up–it’s a latish dawn here. I see the neighboring roofs and the mountains mostly to the north covered in snow. I gymp down the long flight of steep stairs (thrilled I can manage) dressed for a bus station in hat and scarf to make coffee…gymp back up.
Walk 6 minutes to train station past chicken coop and a rooster who looks exactly like Rodney the Rooster in Isabel’s flock at home. At the station–kids’ artwork and free/lost umbrellas for taking. The little local train arrives with plush seats and a few ladies dozing over their cell phones. Our station Ikisan is represented by a painted horse. The next station–by a painted–lumpy butte? Big hill? Then “town” or just the edge of the city–it looks like Queens (of course not but it has that same feeling on a raw gray day–we’re not hip or central but glad to have some life although our children will leave) with a great Yen store that puts the average Dollar store to shame. Buy two BIG mugs–one blue, one orange–so as to be able to drink a more substantial cup. They say: TASTY COFFEE CO SINCE 1920…just one of those mysterious messages.
Iz and I have a somewhat different studio practice here than at home. At home, we have a fully stocked studio–here we are basically working off the kitchen with limited supplies and a fixed goal. So we work on our renga, and do a bit of translating.
Here is our Basho–
to winter’s rain
Interesting to us too, because we hope it is warming up.
From the down the block shrine.