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“Every day I count wasted in which there has been no dancing.”–Friedrich ‘Shake What Your Momma  Gave You’  Nietzsche

I’m staying with my wife and my daughters in a a little town called Yui.  It’s famous for it’s Sakura ebi shrimp and the fact that it is shown on NHK television when the waves from a approaching typhoon crash across the interprectural highway.   It is a good trip.  In the mornings I’ve been able to get away and hike among the farms.  I’m living the slug life, yo.  

Have you ever watched a Studio Ghibli movie and watched a cartoon slug wander down a plant. They are slimier in real life.

I can tell it’s a good trip because when my daughters play with their cousins, they vehemently tell me to go away.

We are also here to enjoy the matsuri or festivals.   This weekend, at night this sleepy little town is transformed into a festival of lights.  My shaky little iPhone pics won’t do justice to it.

My daughter, Sakura, especially enjoys 盆通り, or bondori.   This is basically a festival dance.   Anyone can come dance around the yagura, a large beautifully lit central platform where the musicians and drummers play.   

Yagura

The central platform around which bondori dancers dance. There’s something primal in a maypole kind of way about this kind of festival dance.

There are different dances but it usually involves stylized hand and arm movements and very little moving of the hips.   What I love about this festival is how many different types of people come.   It’s cool to watch tough guys twirl their hands delicately in the air.   (Not that there is anything wrong with that.)   It’s kind of amazing that people have been coming to dance together for hundreds of years.

Last night I saw an old couple dancing.   The woman was pushing his wheelchair in the general directions that the other dancers were moving.  The man’s had moved like eagles above his wheelchair. 

That’s how I want to live–grasping every minute that I can to dance in some way.    It’s why I woke up this morning and walked to the hills and farms above the local zen temple.   It’s why I swim through lameness totry to keep on writing.  Join me.  Keep dancing. 

Yui

Above the zen temple–from the hills where you can really see far.

 

 

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