from the chapter “Economy” in Walden

“I too had woven a kind of basket of a delicate texture, but I had not made it worth anyone’s while to buy them. Yet not the less, in my case, did I think it worth my while to weave them, and instead of studying how to make it worth men’s while to buy my baskets, I studied rather how to avoid the necessity of selling them.”

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I miss this place so much I could not look at these pictures for the past months. I finally decided to go though all the pictures from the past six months, and I found the rest of the pictures I took when I went to Okinawa and Zamami.

I have been so busy this summer I can hardly remember anything but working, but looking at the pictures, I realized I was more successful than I first thought when it came to enjoying the time I did have. Between working 50+ hours pr week split into an internship and a part time job, I did find time to travel, eat lots of delicious food and drink my fair share of awamori, nihonshu and beer. In retrospect, I did… enough. I need to learn to stop and enjoy the moment. I was never an expert in that area.

Above; The road down to one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever visited, Furuzamami beach on Zamami island, 1.5 hours with ferry from Naha, the capital of Okinawa, a 4 hour flight south-west from Tokyo. The next time I go there I will get an underwater case for my camera, because the water with all the coral and tropical fish looked absolutely unreal. Spending the day on the beach with local beer was just what I needed.

The village on Zamami island consists of around 500 people, and they have beautiful and funny little gardens outside their houses. I loved the Totoro-themed driveway.

You are allowed to bring dead coral back with you, and I found this beautiful piece washed up on the beach.

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make something every day 58

Been too busy to really get into drawing over the past 6 months. Here are some small sketches that was made in-between work work work. The top left one is finally done, I hope I can scan it and post the entire picture soon. I haven’t been working on anything that took me several days of work for many years. It feels gratifying to not rush, but I am impatient when it comes to making things with my hands and I like seeing results quickly.

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Tokyo, June, 2014

(Tokyo, June, 2014) I am obsessing. Make meaning when there doesn’t seem to be any. I am puttering away, feeling like a little choo-choo train without any breaks. I want to go home.

What a strange year. I am immensely grateful, but I am lost for words. I read a mundane blog post about five things you wish you wouldn’t have done when you are ten years older. One of the points said to not micromanage. It did not say how not to do it. I am wondering if I am hard wired to get my shit perfected down to the very tiny, nitty-gritty details. You do too much, please too many and fail miserably and disappoint your surroundings and yourself.

I spend too much time on the Marunouchi-line. I don’t have any pictures of it because it is so crammed I can not even lift my iPhone to snap a picture. Also, my iPhone is the Japanese model, meaning it is impossible to shut off the shutter sound when I take pictures.

Blame the chikan, those pervs, taking so many up skirt pictures of Japanese school girls that an entire nation of people are condemned to mandatory shutter sounds.

A lot of the things I used to find odd about this county I no longer think about. I have stopped taking pictures of the fancy toilet seats with a ton of options to clean both your front and your behind while taking a dump, excuse my language. I no longer raise my head to gaze at the crazy Harajuku-girls with their multi-colored hair and over the top dresses. And I didn’t even raise an eyebrow when a man, nicely dressed in a fairly fancy suit sat across from me on the Fukutoshin-line, shirt covered in blood and holding his hand over the left part of scalp to stop the extensive bleeding. Neither did anyone else. This city makes you passive, it is hard to explain, but “none of my business” have taken on a life of its own here.

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Little things. Picking up the camera again for the first time in months. Filling up the moleskine. Drawing on something else than cheap copy paper. Bought a new garment for the first time in 6 months. Played around with camera raw settings to emulate classic film exposures. Trying to breathe and make space for myself.

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Life is ridiculous and I have two hundred pictures ready to post. Brace yourselves. Above on the right, a crazy cat-lady have stuck umbrellas half way into the ground in the park near Yotsuya station so the cats have somewhere to stay dry when it is raining.

Random selection of appetizers: On the left, from Suzuden in Yotsuya, one of the oldest family run sake-bars in Tokyo still going strong. On the right, a strange place in Yotsuya I can not remember the name of, but the specialty is chinese food and sausages. A strange and plesant Chinese-German mixture of flavors.

The park near Yotsuya station and the station itself seen from the bridge overpass.

More food; the sausages I mentioned above on the left + relatively cheap set meals at Takashimaya in Shinjuku on the right. Below – Bento-boxes I bought to eat on the train from Sendai to Tokyo. Way too much food, but I could not decide and ended up buying both. On the left a seafood bento with kani, ikura, tobiko and tamago, on the right, a Sendai specialty, the cow-tongue bento. Both delicious, but I could not finish either one.

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A room with a view;

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Stop the carousel, I want off;

I would like to write some kind and warm words about 2013, but to be quite frank, 2013 was one of the biggest assholes I ever met. I am glad to get rid of him, that bastard. I feel I am here on borrowed time. I can not seem to write anything with substance and text is a dish served best cryptic and cold atm. I hold my breath, I turn my cheek. I want to cry. It is a new year, but the world has not stopped spinning. I just need to hold on a little longer. Soon, soon, I will get a break. See you very soon, I just need to make sure 2013 is completely dead and buried.

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A journey away it is still winter;

Needless to say, Tokyo does not look like this even on the coldest winter day, but re-editing pictures from other places, times and spaces is the closest I will get to a white Christmas. The way the snow muffles all sounds and make everything slow down was always something I appreciated, despite the cold.

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Oh Tokyo, you beast;

Oh Tokyo, how many times have you lured me in with promises of “just one drink”, and before you know it you and me end up bar-hopping between izakayas, bars, walking up an down the neon-filled streets with a traveller in hand. It is something that I both love and despise about you. My Japanese has never been better than in the wee hours of the nights when alcohol has washed away all inhibitions when it comes to flawed verb conjugations, and I find myself talking to drag-queens about Japanese politics and current events. Tokyo at night is an entire different beast. All the weirdos who are hidden away during daytime come out to play. All the old uncles treat you for drinks, expecting nothing in return apart from your smile. You will find yourself floating in something that can best be described as Disneyland the size of a humongous city.

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