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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

I made a door where there was none

I made a door where there was none
and I then cut out a window
I lifted up the walls and I vanished
into the forest     that was also made magically

and when I got lost
I made a poem to rescue me
I knew the only way to live
was imaginatively and in song 

when the sea took the land that I formed
I lifted my soul to the clouds
and I looked at the land as it was devoured
when everything was water

I touched the sky     and I made a new world for me
that can't be erased
at least not in this poem
take what is in you and decide

will you stay silent and be drowned?
or will you write your safe path        out to discovery?
this is your life and you must take your mind
and conquer all obstacles

sure there will be hunger and pain and suffering
but if you refuse to give in      and you can write
create a landscape so you can survive disruption 
     and then populate that world     so you can make a story that's told

I make a poem every chance I get
and when I am finally relieved
of my one life      I tell myself    erasure won't remove the tracings
I have made here   here is my story       here is my song

High Valley - I Be U Be (Official Music Video)

accepting my limitations

After packing a few boxes for younger boy I have done nothing else. The clothes packing never got done. Younger boy laughed when I told him to pack. I sometimes wonder if I have ADHD and younger boy has a mum with ADHD.
Tomorrow we see Dr. Lappa for the last appointment. This feels very sad but I know he won't miss us.
We've been just work for him but for us he's been a helpful partner in the business of learning disability.
I had too many expectations for my sons and Dr. Lappa has been good at pruning my neural networks so that I learn to accept some of my limitations. Of course he hasn't been able to completely downsize my expectations but he's helped me see my kid as a kid rather than as just a brain with a neurodevelopmental disorder.
It's important to find folks who guide us especially if we are blind like I sometimes can be (all right it's often rather than sometimes). And impatient as I always am. It's important.
I think I will miss Dr. Lappa more than younger boy will. Dr. Lappa was a chore for younger boy but for me he was the oracle. Now the oracle is leaving me. What the heck will I do? I guess I have to use what he has tried to teach me to be sensible and sensitive and not go for the jugular in child rearing (and really everywhere else as well.)
Dr. Lappa kept younger boy beyond 18 years because I begged. But now younger boy is 19 years old. He is off to the University of Calgary. Younger boy has cut the strings. I'm still not sure this was a good idea. But he wants to fly. I am still on the fir tree bough watching him fearfully to see him take flight.
How will I do stuff if he goes splat? Maybe I can ask Dr. Lappa if I can go see him if stuff happens?
Ratings for Dr. Scot Lappa
Dr. Lappa is a good doctor Wish he could still treat my 18 yrs old daugher.
Was this rating useful? 0 flag | Submitted October 22, 2017
Dr. Lappa is an excellent paediatrician. He is especially useful with taciturn teenagers. He works with a good team as well which is also productive. I miss Alice but she retired. Dr. Lappa is kind, helpful and will help your kids.
Was this rating useful? 0 flag | Submitted March 1, 2017
He is a awsome man he helped my son with his adhd and now my son is happy and healthy
Was this rating useful? 0 flag | Submitted December 19, 2016
Check out Dr. Scot Lappa, I found him on
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Amy ‏ @AMA_Chan123 FollowingFollowing @AMA_Chan123 More Replying to @JulieYAli @spencerbennett1 and 5 others I agree but unfortunately that cuts into profit and shareholders don’t like that. 7:31 PM - 31 Jul 2018

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