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.


Monday, August 22, 2016

---BREATHE: Edmonton's Green Network Strategy. Help us plan the future of open spaces and parks in Edmonton. Answer our online questionnaire and survey.Julie Ali Shannon Grimes-Buchart The only green space we have in our part of Riverbend is where the developer told buyers a school would go. The only reason it hasn't been usurped (yet) for more unnecessary housing development is that it is too small. The city of Edmonton talks a fine talk but doesn't act on the talk. If I look at Calgary there is a ton of green space in the NW of the city. Its a great city and development is done properly with transportation needs intelligently planned. Meanwhile with the city of Edmonton the LRT sits at the Southgate Mall blocking traffic and even at Heritage where we have five seconds to cross before the lights start flashing. Transportation planning in this city has been abysmal and you can blame Mandel and crew.

City of Edmonton



BREATHE: Edmonton's Green Network Strategy. Help us plan the future of open spaces and parks in Edmonton. Answer our online questionnaire and survey.


Julie Ali Too often the surveys in Alberta serve to provide the pretense of consultation. Decisions are made behind closed doors. And usually we're not ever part of these decisions. Developers, businesses and big corporations rule in Alberta. We are the citizens and our voices are not heard. Survey us to death and we won't be part of any city, province or nation decisions because the only time we count as voices is at election time.



Christine Falk We don't need new green space, we need ongoing care for the spaces we already have. You could hire people who need work and that would improve the community population and not just community places.


Theresa Loblick We have a green space in Twin Brooks that kids play soccer on but you want to put low cost housing on it. Now you want to plan green spaces, how about you leave the ones that exist alone!


Shannon Grimes-Buchart The building of housing on former green space is under way in Larkspur too! Large townhouses now loom over the sidewalk on green space that use to have two soccer fields and were part of an inviting entry into our community. The rationale to keep this parkland fell on multiple deaf civic ears!


Julie Ali Shannon Grimes-Buchart The only green space we have in our part of Riverbend is where the developer told buyers a school would go. The only reason it hasn't been usurped (yet) for more unnecessary housing development is that it is too small. The city of Edmonton talks a fine talk but doesn't act on the talk. If I look at Calgary there is a ton of green space in the NW of the city. Its a great city and development is done properly with transportation needs intelligently planned. Meanwhile with the city of Edmonton the LRT sits at the Southgate Mall blocking traffic and even at Heritage where we have five seconds to cross before the lights start flashing. Transportation planning in this city has been abysmal and you can blame Mandel and crew.


http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/initiatives_innovation/survey.aspx


Complete the online surveys and provide your input on the future of the Green Network.

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