“Formations” (Kitsune-iro)

It seems to me that mountains have personalities. Not as we would understand human personalities; because we cannot conceive of non-human personalities (except perhaps our anthropomorphisation of our beloved pets) but something akin to this. Looking from the vast twilight in this pacific hue, it’s almost possible to sense the introverted nature of Mt. Fuji - her quiet chambers deep below ground betray no indication of her character and certainly us ants only wonder. Steaming, smouldering columns and channels of red would suggest a more bombastic character like the extroverted Etna basking in the Mezzogiorno. Passively we share a moment with the volcanic soil from this remote perch in neighbouring Tokyo where we stand. Fuji-san broods deep, forcing molten rock through permeable fractures like deep anxieties with unforeseeable outcomes.

Lula Japan

Never ask questions
Always give up
Never know who you are
To love and never love again
I miss my friends

I miss my friends
To love and never love again

Then the engines started to shout and heave, bearing us all up and the man next to me with his hands outstretched grips the seat ahead gives a sigh and I try to make out the name on his watch, I think it began with a K. And on the ascent I think of an old friend

Together we walked for hours, for days, and never stop. She was in love for the first time and me old for the first time, and so it was. Every spare day you and I chose a route to an alien arm of the city and walk purposefully, talking unseriously. .

When Sen Rikyu taught the art of the Japanese tea ceremony, perhaps around 1550, the theories of the culture were fresh from the influences of Zen Buddhism and Japanese nobility. The noon tea gathering of one host and five guests is considered the most formal. If you are lucky enough to be one of these guests then you will arrive a little before show time in the waiting room, stow your outside clothes and don fresh tabi socks. .

On the return I missed my flight, my first time ever doing such a thing, and it was just like back then. With nothing to do until the next flight the following day, instead of hurriedly stitching together some social calls, I set off walking believing that if I bothered no one it would be like my mistake had never happened. Maybe two years have gone past now and the city has changed, which if you’ve ever experienced it will emphasise sensations of being old. Sometimes I wished my old friend was with me but a a few more steps down the road would relieve me of these feelings of nostalgia.

After a hot water, roasted barley tea or Sakurayu is served you’ll be greeted by your host with a silent bow and invited inside for the main event. When the last guest has taken their place, the host enters the tea room and welcomes each guest, and then answers questions posed by the first guest about the carefully arranged items in the room.

Every morn and eve
When I sweep the
Dewy Path
All is calm and still.
Though it seems a guest is there
No one comes to lift the latch.
Many though there be,
Who with words or even hands
Know the Way of Tea.
Few there are or none at all,
Who can serve it from the heart

- Sen No Rikyū