Headline, June 03 2019/ ''' '' TRASHY WORLD TRACKS '' '''


JAPAN : ONLY MEIKO KAWAKAMI COULD produce work of such utter class and brilliance. This post is dedicated to the students.

IN JAPAN - WHERE PATRIARCHY AND THE pressure to conform function almost like religion, what does it mean to face a crisis?

How do they rob of us of our desire and anger, and how is that our imagination and creative forces are depleted? When we are at the point, what kind of resistance and art work can flourish?

ON MARCH 21 WHEN THE JAPANESE government still thought the nation would be hosting the Olympics this summer, - large crowds of people - many wearing face masks, but some not - headed outside to enjoy other's company under the cherry blossoms that filled the landscape.

My thoughts, premonitions, hope and doubts concerning all of this led to the creation of this story:

''GOLDEN SLUMBERS'' : All of us were at the wedding. And by all of us, I mean all of us. Like when you say, ''Hey! How are you? And all of us are doing fine.'' That all of us.

It was the sort of clear day that burns off every misery. The entire venue was buried in flowers, the tables covered with catered delights. In the garden and in the buildings, heaps of roses bloomed like thunderheads at the height of summer.

I started sweating at the thought of the heat. It was far too warm for a May afternoon. The groom was a well-known painter and something of a household name; the bride was a tanka poet at the outset of her career. In fact, everybody on the guest list was an artist of some kind. Myself included.

The groom was 75, the bride 21. When I was a little younger, we could have had all kinds of thoughts and opinions about the age gap, how it highlighted the exploitation of women, how it grosses us out. But these days nobody is inclined to say anything. And not just about this kind of thing.

The stuff we used to get worked about, the moment we could fixate on and tell our selves we couldn't overlook, don't happen any more. In the spring of 2020, isn't it enough to be alive?  Nobody wants to ponder the hard questions.

Maybe we weren't cut out for it. We did our best to one-up the people outside our sphere, but in the end it got us nowhere. Why get upset when you can just smile? That's where all of us were at. And the truth is, we were raised that way.

It's great to speak your mind, but there are more important things in life. Being a little apathetic all the time is more attractive than being totally checked out some of the time.

How did we ever forget the most important thing? It only worked if all of us showed up - all of us, like I said before.

Which is why I was stunned when the girl seated next to me suddenly voice her disgust
''Doesn't anyone get tired of this trash?''
''What trash?'' I asked.

The plan for the day was that all of us artists would share our work with the rest of the party. No plate free, no presents. This was what the couple asked for in her invitation, for us to show our love and celebrate their union with our art. Trends these days.

''Someday I'm gonna leave this trashy place and find a world that isn't trash.'' She had a voice like dark blue ink. Eyes sharp as a knife passing through tofu. The ball of yarn spun in her lap.

As I observed the motion of her hands, adding the yarn to the knitting in quick intervals, I felt my spirits flag. To make the feeling go away, I thought of asking her what exactly was she making. But I got the sense I wouldn't understand so I decided not to bother.

''Hey,'' I said to her, pointing to the people gathered by the stage upfront. ''How about putting that down for now? Get up there and say something. Talk like a normal person.''

The girl stared at me. Really stared, for so long I almost felt like I had become the cold chicken on her plate. She shook her head and sighed, then snorted, not having any of it.

The temperature started to rise. The mass of roses grew and grew.
Nature closed in. Someone was laughing. I could hear music. Sleepiness and solace filled our bodies.

I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open. I had to ask myself, was I really at a wedding? Not a funeral? It was becoming hard to tell.

What exactly was the difference between the two? Obviously, it was whether the star of the event was dead or not. Standing beside the groom, smiling to show her perfect teeth, the bride looked alive, but how could any of us say for sure? Maybe I could ask the knitting girl.

Struggling to keep my heavy eyelids open, I turned to her. But she was gone. Though it didn't really matter. Just as it made little difference whether my eyes were open or closed, or whether here I was sitting in my chair or a piece of chicken on a plate. None of it mattered, not anymore.

It started to rain, Catching the light everything sparkled. The wedding, and the afternoon that all of us had spent together, fell into a gentle, golden slumber.

We tossed our art onto the grass and reached for the folded sheet that had been laid out nearby.  Working in unison while minding our neighbors, we raised our arms and gently spread the sheet wide, a cloud that could do us no harm.

Nobody bothered with umbrellas. We could all get soaked together. Or if we didn't want to get wet, all of us could huddle under the unstained whiteness of the sheet.

With respectful dedication to Sam Brett and David Boyd for the translation from Japanese to English and then Grandparents, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society :  wssciw.blogspot.com &Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011:

''' Heaven - Hearth '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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