Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New State of Mind(fulness)

Living on the Farm, Day 4: So I've been residing at my friend David's house the past 4 days. It's been really great. He lives on top of this hill in Kamakura. He's got maybe a 1/2 acre of land with a little organic/permacultureish farm going. I haven't really gotten to work in the garden yet (did plant some shallots though!) but hopefully when David gets back in a few days he'll start showing me how everything works.

It's so quite up here, and with all the rain it's been super peaceful. I do have to say the commute to and from town can be a little tricky. See we're on this hill, and the only way I know how to get here from town is this long, windy, narrow, overgrown, jungle of a path filled with snakes, bears, spiders and narrow passages. Possibly ninjas.

Walking home has actually been a real treat. I get some exercise, I get to be in nature, and I get some time to decompress away from anything resembling society or technology. That's really great. However when it's late and has been raining like it has the walk home can also be pretty freaking terrifying. Like tonight...

See, if you go back a paragraph and a half you'll see that I mentioned snakes and spiders and possibly large mammals that might want to kill and/or eat me. Oh and ninjas, but we'll get to them in a minute. Now snakes have never really freaked me out. Maybe it's from growing up in a place that was covered in rattlers or seeing my fare share of garter snakes and even handling a few boas. I'm fine with them. Spiders? I mean we're not talking daddy long-legs, not even black widows. I don't even know WHAT these are. I mean their webs are huge and TOUGH. I hit one the other day with my head and I bounced back. ME! I'm 6' (~183cm) and about 155lbs (~70kg I will learn the metric system dammit!). This web probably weighed ounces. OUNCES and I'm the one who was taken down. Add to that the fact that I had a spider about the size of my hand suddenly interested in my head and whatever nutritious delights that lay within. Combine all that with darkness and you can imagine my trepidation about walking home in the rain.

Oh so nature wants to kill me. Big deal, nature will kill any one of us without a second thought. But what about ninjas? See, I don't know why they might kill me or what I may or may not have done to deserve such a death. I started to think about it like how in America you sometimes have to worry about incurring the wrath of gangs. Like wear red or blue through certain parts of South Central, LA (or conversely drive through South Central, LA) and you may get shot. Look at a group of people wearing gang paraphanalia and weilding hand guns and you may get shot. These rules make sense to me and I feel that in 28 years I've become pretty adept at not getting shot/stabbed/jumped in various rough neighborhoods in America. However, that knowledge helps me not in the land of the Ninja.

There's a little Shinto shrine at the bottom of my jungle mountain path that I climb home. I stop and say a little prayer there on my way up. What if that's like their turf? For all I know I've now associated myself with some faction of Ninja and the next time I'm alone at a train station I'm going to be ascended upon by any number of silent assassins. But aren't the shadows a ninja's turf? I mean, they're like, everywhere. So hopefully they'll forgive my gaijin ignorance and stick to murdering each other and random samurai. Or delivering pizza. I honestly have no idea what ninjas do in the 21st Century.

So yeah, that's where I'm at. In a beautiful chill house up on top of a mellow hill overlooking some beautiful houses all the way to the beach. I can see a lighthouse at night. Come visit me. You may have to fight for your life on the way but trust me, you'll be glad you did.