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.


Friday, March 27, 2020

Dianne Wyntjes Flag of Canada @dianwyntjes · 6h Replying to @DuaneBratt As elected officials & members of governance boards, conflicts of interest are real or perceived conflicts where one may derive personal benefit from their actions or decisions. It’s a conflict & going to a citizen’s home as an elected official is inappropriate & poor judgement.

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Over the years I have made critical comments about government. I have also had elected officials and staffers contact me about those comments. I view that as fair game. I am in the public domain, and they have a right to defend themselves.
12:15 PM · Mar 27, 2020Twitter Web App
Replying to
However, these were more discussions (sometimes heated) over policy differences and interpretations. I was never explicitly threatened, or implicitly threatened.....Although getting a phone call from a Minister or senior staffer can be intimidating.
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More importantly they were private discussions at my office, over the phone. Never at my house and/or in front of my family (or anybody).
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What Shandro did was completely different. Very inappropriate. And as a Minister of the Crown he needs to resign.
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Certainly not defending minister shandro as I was not present to see the confrontation. But there is a distinction between critical comments which i suspect were respectful coming from you. These attacks on the Minister and his wife have been slanderous, dangerous and personal.
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I don't think they were slanderous. They asked legitimate questions about the conflict of interest of owning such a corporation considering that your spouse is the minister of health. Citizens do hold MLAs accountable. We live in a democracy. Perhaps the way they asked is problem
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I hope we see this story on the news. A lot of what has been going on is not reported on and most Albertans don’t know the level of dishonesty and unethical behaviour that is going on.
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Replying to
As elected officials & members of governance boards, conflicts of interest are real or perceived conflicts where one may derive personal benefit from their actions or decisions. It’s a conflict & going to a citizen’s home as an elected official is inappropriate & poor judgement.

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