Okay okay okay.
I'm going to try, REALLY try to keep a better journal from now on. Really. I'm going to give it a good go.
At the moment, the moment being 3pm on christmas day, with a hot cup of coffee in my hand and a pile of books and instruments piled on a couch waiting for me to explore their potential, I'm in Nikko working at a lodge. The lodge itself is incredible, its very homey and in the woods, with a fireplace and couches and guitars EVERYWHERE. SO many guitars! I'm sleeping in a room in the basement with a few bunkbeds, but I'm the only one in the room. There is only a space heater and an electric blanket, and we cant run the kerosene heater at night so it gets painfully cold. Its actually colder in the basement than it is outside. Last night, I could see my breath while I was reading in my room, and the temperature outside was -4 C. Everything was frozen this morning. I've cooked vegan food, breakfasts, cleaned bedrooms and bathrooms, swept driveways in the cold, read, written poetry, played some of my new songs, had long conversations on life and religion and music with the buddhist/yogi monk who owns the lodge, made friends, and done yoga, and I've only been here 3 days. I'm doing this as part of WWOOF, and I'm staying until sunday and working. It's wonderful. I've learned all kinds of new cooking techniques and recipies, and am amonst really interesting kind people. Most of the time it's just me and Zenryu, the monk, doing yoga and cooking and cleaning and carrying firewood. Tonight we're planning to go to the onsen (hot springs) in the forest up the road from here. I really love it here; this place, the work, the life.
Over the past few months I have been a hermit out of creative energy, stress, and piles of work. I have been teaching, going to class, doing some traveling, writing music, writing prose fiction, writing poetry, reading everything I can get my hands on (the pile next to me now consists of Borges, Unamuno, Marcel, an old well-loved fantasy novel, the Way of the White Clouds, and Frege). I have been reading Leibniz and Heminway, Pound and Heine, the other usual poets, George RR Martin, Doris Lessing, EE Cummings, and all manner of other random things. I've been having a genral craving for learning that is stretching on over the months. I've also been writing and experimenting a lot more with my own music recently, growing and expanding creatively in ways that I never imagined I would. My band plays weekly or bi-weekly as of recently, often getting payed for the gigs, so that has been keeping me busy as well. I spent a week hanging out with a Swiss guy who is DRIVING around the world- he's on the last leg of a two year journey, driving through Japan and into Russia and then back home. We had a lot of fun around Tokyo and now he's on his way to Hokkaido. There are some pictures of us on his website, which is overall just an extremely interesting enterprise. www.panmundo.com
In other news, I'm planning to be a total goofball on New Years, and stumble to a bunch of different shrines in the city with Rio and some of my Muslim friends (who will be the only sober people around) and a few bottles of champagne, drinking in the streets and wandering about all night until Emmie and I line up and wait for the New Years day sales the next morning. At some point there will be some traditional mochi eating, as well.