ame nimo makezu

ame nimo makezu, by kenji miyazawa

not losing to the rain

not losing to the rain
not losing to the wind
not losing to the snow or to the heat of the summer
with a strong body
unfettered by desire
never losing temper
cultivating a quiet joy
every day four bowls of brown rice
miso and some vegetables to eat
in everything
count yourself last and put others before you
watching and listening, and understanding
and never forgetting
in the shade of the woods of the pines of the fields
being in a little thatched hut
if there is a sick child to the east
going and nursing over them
if there is a tired mother to the west
going and shouldering her sheaf of rice
if there is someone near death to the south
going and saying there’s no need to be afraid
if there is a quarrel or a suit to the north
telling them to leave off with such waste
when there’s drought, shedding tears of sympathy
when the summer’s cold, walk in concern and empathy
called a blockhead by everyone
without being praised
without being blamed
such a person
I want to become

(translation from wiki)

umbrella of invisibility

it rained today, so i went for a walk. it’s easier to go for a walk in the rain because i can hide my head under my umbrella. when i got home, i drew this.

i have to erase my mouth because i have many secrets.

for one, my umbrella is actually baby blue, not red.

UPDATE: you can buy this drawing from my SHOP.

8.5 x 11″

(sold)

“it’s gonna be over soon”

“it’s gonna be over soon”

that’s what this guy told me on a street. it was a week ago saturday, early evening. i was walking down the street on my way home from broadway shoe repair. i heard a man’s voice saying, “madam, madam!” from behind.

“am i a madam? mmm, i don’t think so.” so i kept walking.

the voice saying, “madam, madam!” got closer and closer. he was running. i realized the madam was me.

as he got closer, i had a bad feeling. so i said to myself, “kick or punch? kick, yeah kick.” (nod).

he jumped right in front of me and stood there and said, “i know this sounds crazy, but trust me. it’s gonna be over soon.” he was a black guy, looked about 18 years old. dressed normally (baggy pants).

“what?!”

“don’t worry. it’s gonna be over soon. just trust me.”

i shook my head and kept walking past him. but i felt him still standing there, so i turned and looked back. i was right. he was still there. i said: “is this religious thing? then i don’t believe in anything!” it’s true. i don’t believe in anything but me and paul.

his arms were stretched out toward me and he was wiggling his fingers. it looked like he was shooting invisible laser beams at me. i hurried home.

in the elevator, i did my best to erase him from my memory, but in vain. what was “it“?? there are tons of things in the world that i want to be over. i got the feeling he was trying to put a curse on me, especially with the finger wiggling “zapping”.

luckily, i don’t believe in curses either. i prefer to be more positive. here are my top three choices for things i would like to be over soon:

#3 rain
#2 winter
#1 dr. phil

so far, none of them seem to be over. maybe it’s too soon.

drphil.jpg

emergency raincoat

raincoat440.jpg
i found this “emergency raincoat” at the dollar store in kingston. not the one with the fancy red sign but the one humbly located next to subway on princess street.

it’s raining hard today in saskatoon. i’ve noticed that canadians don’t like to use umbrellas. so tough. in japan, i never left home without my umbrella. never!! all japanese have to carry umbrellas every day — it’s required by the japanese constitution.

for people in other countries who don’t like to block the rain with mechanical devices such as an umbrella, this “emergency raincoat” would be an ideal substitute.

the downside of wearing raincoats is that it’s very hard to avoid looking lame. thanks to the recent improvements in fashion industry, there are more and more design-oriented raincoats available in canada. there are raincoats in bold, catchy colours, some with geometical patterns on them. that’s wonderful.

but may i say, they’re missing the whole point of raincoats? a stylish raincoat makes it too obvious that you’ve taken the time to find the perfect raincoat for a rainy day. and it’s clear that the only reason you’re carefree to walk down the street in the rain is because of that raincoat. other people, without raincoats, will say “if it weren’t for your raincoat, you’d be looking like a drowned rat, too!” by being obviously too well prepared, you deserve this sort of criticism.

the key point with raincoats is: keep it subtle. that’s why this emergency raincoat is made of transparent clear plastic. no-one will be able to tell that you’re wearing a raincoat (unless they get really close up). you’ll walk down the street in the rain like it’s just another beautiful sunny day. nonchalant, yet flawless. just like magic!

ladies will say: “who is this gentleman looking real sharp even in this heavy rain? what’s his secret?” gentlemen will say: “what a courageous lady, walking in the rain! i want her to be my wife.”

with this raincoat in your bag or in your pocket, you’re all set. you have no fear of the rain, and you’ll grab everyone’s hearts.

please, be prepared. if you do, you’ll be as proud as this happy man, walking in the rain.

raincoatman.jpg