Sunday, March 29, 2009
So Mom, I've finally started that series of 16 small dream/nature studies, of which this is the first. Not quite finished yet. Can you see what it is?
Looking out the city hall widow with my boss--a short, chubby, balding Japanese man with glasses, who looks just like Sogyal Rinpoche,
we conversed in English:
“Today we have a very clear view of Mt. Ishizuchi,” he said.
“Yes, it’s crystal clear.”
“I love that English word.”
“Crystal clear. Like your paintings.”
“Oh you are so nice.”
“But your paintings are also wet, and breathing, and contain the flow of time. They are alive. Have you been to the exhibit in Matsuyama yet?”
“No. not yet. Whose work?”
“Jimmy Onishi. His paintings are the opposite of yours. They are extremely primitive, loud, bright colors, and have a powerful impact. Yours make us silent.”
“Some people say my paintings make a sound,”
“That means they are alive. Your paintings have an identity. And yes, some of them hum.”
He then turned around and went back to his computer.
“Oh, and I just found out…I am staying here another year,” he added.
“Thank God! That’s good news for me!!! But you must be sad…”
“Yes, you know me well! It’s bittersweet. I really want to go back to school. But hey, let's have fun working this year!”
I’d love for him to be a teacher again. Teaching junior high school kids with this guy was incredible! We’d spend an entire class talking about our UFO and spiritual experiences in simple English... the kids loved it, shared their own UFO and ghost stories, and nailed “have you ever”.)
Then my teacher moved into city hall to become my boss and head advisor, sitting behind a computer, no kids around at all.
You see, every three or four years Japanese teachers (and city hall workers) move. Teachers move schools, some move cities, some move up and become vice principals or department officials at city hall. My boss is on for a fourth year now, thank god almighty. He’s an amazing boss. For example, when my sister Jane visited he gave me $100 and said,
“Go get drunk with your sister.” But he was also an amazing teacher.
This Japanese custom of changing people around in the spring is fruitful but also sad.
Finally, the end-of-the-year cherry blossoms arrive, and the collective interior question “who is going to move” is answered by the Superintendant, who chooses everyone’s fate.
His choices are not totally random, of course. For example, If a certain teacher isn’t working well at a school, or a certain school needs more masculine energy, teachers get moved.
“This Japanese custom keeps the teachers and schools fresh and balanced.”
‘Makes sense. Spring Cleaning. But having hundreds of people moving, some against their will, is very stressful for everyone.
Just in time for the all-day drinking and eating under cherry trees!
Hanayoridango!花より団子！ Dumplings more than flowers.
check out this great Jimmy Onishi collaboration!
Do you know where this is? Answer below.
Chiiori, that 300-year-old farmhouse in the mountains. Were you right?
Posted by David at 8:25 PM
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