From “The Abundance of Less Lessons in Simple Living from Rural Japan by Andy Couturier

From “The Abundance of Less Lessons in Simple Living from Rural Japan" by Andy Couturier

Pages 264-265



“Sooo..” I begin to ask him, a bit apprehensive, not wanting to be insulting, “Gufu-san, why write all this stuff down?”


Unperturbed, he replies simply, “To make a record. If you don’t record things, you start to lose your sense of the place. It’s also interesting when you talk to other people, or when I want to look up something later. But it’s mostly just to make a record, even if I don’t use the information.”

“Yes, but how do you decide which things to write down?”

“Whatever is possible to write down, I write. How much the bus cost. How much the movie was, or how much the hotel was.”

“But why?” I ask.

“I didn’t have any purpose in doing it.”

No purpose? Perhaps I’ve been too attached to all my own actions being done for a reason. Utilitarianism is so deep in my culture I don’t even notice it. Listening to Gufu it occurs to me that it may not be so good to be always reaching ahead in time. Sitting here with my friend in a farmhouse in the mountains of Japan, I find my way of seeing the world start to deepen and change. All these little, unlooked-at details create the fabric of memory. By writing them down, we are refusing to let the experiences of our lives get subsumed in the tsunami of time, the onrush of the next, and the next, and the next. I think of so many travelers (myself included) zipping from one location to the next, taking photos of scenery or a building. Have I been missing the beautiful in the obvious?

Gufu is showing me--not that he’s trying to show me anything--that the whole world can come alive with these tiny details, ephemera, you might call them. But not just a generalized “world,” but a specific world, an India of a particular time, and, as it happens, an India that is disappearing every day.


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

and told myself this will sort itself out

and I turned away from the noise 
and the messes of politics

I watched the sun wipe down the roads
and the bricks of light shatter the snow

I puttered inside the house
and I drove my dad about

I ignored the users of the party we have in power
and told myself this will sort itself out

I watched the snow melt
and thought this is how power ends

nothing lasts forever
especially when there are no jobs created

these users will be decimated in time
and so why would I waste my life following them?

in the distance the glaciers crumble
climate change will alter them as well

the work of our lives is not to spend the days
looking at users and tyrants       oh no life is not about these


we're to do more important work
such as communicate our interior worlds    and create universes

out of words          don't be drawn into the quicksand of politics
instead dance and sing       for we're here only for a short time before

the door opens and we're gone
don't waste your time on scoundrels   they're going to fall

like dominoes once the jobs don't arrive
and the fools who elected them will know   eventually

as for myself  I leave social media to do it's work of dissection
and I learn to write a poem every day      far more gratifying work

than the restless theatrics of politics
and told myself this will sort itself out

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv6tuzHUuuk

The Bangles - Walk Like an Egyptian (Official Video Version)


reading list

I have read a bit of the sociology book of younger boy which lead me to a new obsession which I am satisfying by requesting new books on sociology.



I have to buy some things at the store tomorrow but other than this trip out I will be reading like mad so that I will be able to go to the stacks and pick up the next round of books which will have to be picked up before November 27 which is next week.

I will pick up the books soon and then hopefully get through as much as I can.





Unscripted, BookLife, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship

by DeMarco, M. J.
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The Illusion of Money, BookWhy Chasing Money Is Stopping You From Receiving It

by Cease, Kyle
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Talking to Strangers, Large PrintWhat We Should Know About the People We Don't Know

by Gladwell, Malcolm
Large Print - 2019 | Large print edition, First edition.
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Guns, Germs, and Steel, BookThe Fates of Human Societies

by Diamond, Jared M.
Book - 2017 | Twentieth anniversary edition.
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The Human Swarm, BookHow Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall

by Moffett, Mark W.
Book - 2019 | First edition.
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Bitch Doctrine, BookEssays for Dissenting Adults

by Penny, Laurie
Book - 2017 | First U.S. edition.
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Predictive Analytics, BookThe Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die

by Siegel, Eric
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Too Big to Know, BookRethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room

by Weinberger, David
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Economics Unmasked, BookFrom Power and Greed to Compassion and the Common Good

by Smith, Philip B.
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From Scratch, Audiobook CDA Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home

by Locke, Tembi
Audiobook CD - 2019 | Unabridged.
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The Stoic Challenge, BookA Philosopher's Guide to Becoming Tougher, Calmer, and More Resilient

by Irvine, William Braxton
Book - 2019 | First edition.
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