It has been a while since an update. With the isolation in effect, one would think I would have a lot of time to do so. In some sense that is true, but then there is not much to say because it is all at home stuff, boring to those who are not me 🙂
However, I have been busy, very busy in fact. However first a bit about life in isolation. For an artist, for an introvert, it is really not a big deal. In fact kind of nice because there is no pressure to get out and do stuff with people. LoL!
Osaka has been on voluntary lockdown, let’s call it for over a month now. It is not a heavy lockdown like some places. Some stores are still open, markets, and home center places like that. People have been limiting their travel, but the home centers are still pretty busy. People taking advantage of being at home to do chores. Myself included. A couple of times I was shocked to see how crowded it was there at the home center. Everyone is masked and keeping the social distance thing in effect but it was still fairly busy.
Markets, and places like that all have marks where to stand, many have alcohol at the door, plastic shields up at the checkout, gloves, and masks for the workers. They no longer put the money in your hand, but in a tray, for you to pick up. So everyone is doing things, trying to stay safe, yet have something of a life. Nothing crazy like stateside, where people are losing their minds. Another reason to be thankful not to be there!
My wife has still been working her pet sitting job, walking a dog a couple of times a week. The rest of her pet sitting is on hold as people are not traveling. She did one restaurant interview, but was so paranoid afterward she has done no more. I have been called into work a couple of times to do yardwork for the city group but it is all outside and not really close contact, so I feel ok about it. Riding in the truck there is just two of us and the windows are open we have masks.
The outside music scene is dead! I do not mind too much. Although I do miss the Shakuhachi gatherings and socializing. Oh well. I play at home. I have been playing in my balcony garden. I have done some transformations there to make it comfortable to sit and hangout. I play for the plants and for the hood. It is sort of like do doing Komuso, without any thought of donations. I am not seen so like wearing a Tengai, I am only heard. Just a couple of years ago I would have never done that. I am more comfortable playing in public now. I sort of feel like I am adding some positive Chi to a suffering world. That is what sharing music as a Komuso is about. So I am still functioning, without even leaving home. I am pretty sure the sound travels. As I can hear a lot of things in the area just sitting outside, sometimes even inside sitting, there is not a lot of insulation in Japanese houses. One can hear a lot.
I have been busy with just living …gardening enjoying breathing. I feel like I am a retired person. Working in the front yard. Some new flowers, repotting Bamboo, planting herbs. Which has been really nice to have for teas I have been mixing. Peppermint, orange mint, Tyme, lemongrass, and green tea is a pleasant combo! I have also been making trips to a local Bamboo grove collecting fallen Bamboo for misc things around the house. Fence coverings, meditation bench, shelf coverings for a new bookcase I made, and long wanted. The rear balcony is the veggie garden, tomatoes, peppers, kale, Swiss char, herbs, strawberries, opinion, garlic, lettuce all on a small scale, but tasty and helpful for life support without chemicals.
I repaired and set up a couple of indoor water fountains and found a good location for the family Butsodan, right under my altar. It is simple and not an elaborate one. Which is nice for our taste. So it all came together and fits. Even my wife likes the location and setup.
I did a bit of painting on a kneeling stool I made for Shakuhachi playing. I just finished up a new clay Komuso. It was a month in making, my best effort so far since there was no rush, I could work on details. The ceramic club is closed due to the virus, even though I had planned on vacation from there anyway, it worked out well, in a weird sort of way. Same with my Shakuhachi lesson a forced beak which I had planned on doing anyway.
I still get do my Kyudo practice on my home Makiwara, so no loss there. In fact, I think I am improving. Of course, the real test will be at the dojo, but do now, it is feeling like I am making headway. I filmed myself shooting and there was no big arm drop upon release. That was a big issue, hopefully, I will keep that when the Kyudojo reopens
So, all in all, we are living blessed and I am grateful daily. Many suffer, for us, with a simple life it is not really a change. Other than saving money by me not traveling to band practice, the Dojo, non-paying live houses shows, the temple, and things like that.
Life feels more uncertain than it usually is these days, it is like a Sci-Fi show. I hope to make it through all this, but if not, I like to think I am ready to pass on. I have no real dreams to reach for, at least none that are of real importance. I have had a good run. I will continue to do my best to continue but am ready to face, whatever happens, that is the Chan way of the Shaolin Path.