Ciao a tutti! I hope your day is a lovely one and you're following your bliss...This last Sunday was blessed with late summer sunshine and I found myself down by the river in Kyoto with a couple of chums and a few choice bottles of plonk (the Cotes de Bourg stood out for me). The scene reminded me of a piece I wrote for the magazine 'Cafe Independent' when I first came to this lovely city a handful of years ago, and this be it...
BREATHE IN THE DEEP pulsing presence of the water, see lush greens, banks of clovers, the sweet sakura and happy, crazy weeds galore. Sitting here on the sides of the Kamo River in mid-afternoon I can feel the heat surround my skin, like wearing something of exquisite silk. Lolling back in the grass and looking like a wise old tramp, folks pass by and look at me and smile, like I seem to be telling them something, or that my face today is the face of Everyman.
The river's a brilliant stream of humanity - couples two-to-a-bike whizz past in directions north and south along the river; every family of man and beast drifts along; and even the holy men from up in the hills come down to the water and sit in meditative states under the cherry trees, then venturing into the shallows, sensing the sussurating pad of the water at their heels.
Yes! The Kamo River is one you can walk the length of, climbing steadily up into the hills above Kyoto and cross by wading at any point; a humane river in every respect, veritable kaleidoscope of people cruising, smoozing, reading, sleeping, or simply tuning into the precious vibe of the happy river. There are guys crashed out in the grass with the flashing steel smile of the harmonica in their mouths, or holding a brass trombone, cello, juggling balls, or the supine length of a girl. Inhibitions seem to peel away as girl and boy kiss and stroke each other in the dizzying heat.
Oh! Enchanting summer! There's magic in it, there must be. Long and handsome, I'm held like a spell; instantly delirious, thank God it's not serious! The nymphs and angels of my watercolours, strident pinks and oranges, vermillions, scintillions, reds and golds, are the same girls who walk through my days. Yes, there's always something for the imagination, self-teasing, desire, the incorrigible eye of the poet, call it what you will.
You just want to lie back and wish the scene as it is will never end. A thousand sweet kudos and blessings on you, Kamo River.
I wonder where your private utopia is? Have a splendid day!
See you in two minutes...!
(Picture is of a watercolour and china ink original by Oli Kinghorn called, 'To Paint is To Love Again; for what the painter sees and loves he is duty-bound to share', 120cm x 60cm)
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