Monthly Archives: October 2015

All around you


Aozasayama. October 26th. My two hiking buds got into a conversation that went on for a while and I ended up out front, walking a good bit of the way by myself.

It was good. I like them both so much. I kept smiling thinking how easily they must have been talking. And it was a good chance for me to focus on everything all around.


It’s a new amazement every hike–all the things to see.

All the things all around you.



If you have the time / To come along with me

The will to climb / To where you can see

If you have the mind / To set yourself free

You might feel sublime / Know your reality . . .


. . . all around you. / It’s all around you.


Would you dare to press / Your bare feet to mine?

Did you hear the moss confess / That we too are divine?

Can you recognize / A fallen leaf’s equal worth?

Can you fill your eyes / With this lovely Mother Earth?

All around you / Yeah, she’s all around you.


Have you surely surmised / No need to kill the moon?

Fully realized / The sun won’t die so soon?

Have you learned to prize / A shadow on a leaf?

Not to be chastised / By some commander-in-chief?


They’re all around you / Yeah, they’re all around you.


Have you heard them say / That we’re dumber than the dead?

And have you heard them pray / For God to put them at the head?

And have you heard them laugh / At your unwillingness to fight?

The way they speak on your behalf / Keeps you wondering through the night.

They’re all around you / Oh, yes, they’re all around you.


When we look around / Do we see non-duality?

When we walk this ground / Feel it caressing all these trees?

Scrambling up this slope / Striding toward the sky,

Do we know a tree limb’s hope / Don’t need to ask it why?

This infinite energy— / It’s what we really are.

And oh, how amazingly, / You exploded from a star!


Now you’re all around you.

Yeah, you’re all around you.

Oh, yes, you’re all around you.


Persimmon Dreams, the song — Take 1


I’ve been having persimmon dreams for a long time.


This is the first time, though, that I’ve tried singing about them.

But it’s only Take 1. Well, actually, Take 2, in a recording-studio-sort of way.


persimmon dreams

Babies born / People scorn / Emotions worn / Hearts all torn

Something sought / Too much bought / Bad wars fought / Nerves all fraught.

Countless tribes / Racist vibes / Booze imbibed / Alibies 151025_persimmons4_600

I feel the love / Coming through the blue / Uh-huh


I feel the warm / Glow of the orange / Uh-huh 151025_goldenrod_1_600

Learn by rote / Sinking boat / Too remote / Scared to vote.

What’s your share? / Is it fair? / Do you care? / Do you dare?

Ideas bake / All at stake / See what’s fake / Catch no break. 151025_persimmons6_600

I feel the love / Coming through the blue / Uh-huh.


I feel the warm / Glow of the orange / Uh-huh. 151025_persimmon_baby_600

Hard to steer / Tough veneer / Who’s sincere? / Why this fear?

Hard to hold / What’s been sold? / Who was told? / Awful cold.

 Thoughts in reams /  Busted seams / Vanquished dreams / Unheard screams. 151025_yellow_trumpet_600

I feel the love / Coming through the blue / Uh-huh


I feel the warm / Glow of the orange / Uh-huh

I / I … I … I / I’m having persimmon dreams.

I / I … I … I / I’m having persimmon dreams.

I / I … I … I / I’m having persimmon dreams.



First snow


When, after the cool and the rain, you take out the warm blanket—only to toss it aside as the clear blue morning begins to sweep over the horizon . . .


. . . and you go out and see the berries doing their best  to delight . . .


. . . and you find that the rice and the sky are complementing and complimenting each other . . .


. . . and you notice the cherry fish swimming up to the surface . . . wait a minute, I was feeling so happy I got a bit delirious for a second there—that’s not a cherry fish swimming up toward the surface—just look at how those long and narrow fins angle back—that’s a cherry fish plunging down into the coral . . .

151008_chestnut_glow_600. . . and you step into the woods, and the sun slants in through the canopy and sets a chestnut aglow (of course, reminding it of how it has evolved from sea urchins) . . . and then when the shine suddenly rips in a little stronger . . .


. . . and the chestnut remembers that long before its ancestors dwelled on an ocean floor, they were exploded from a star—they were stars . . .

151012_sparrows_blue_600. . . and then, when you notice that the sight of all those fields of cut rice have driven the sparrows mad, and they gather, get into formation, and glance off to the east, in an expression of gratitude . . .


. . . you might, too . . . for this is the sort of day that you might discover that your little buddy, Fuji-kun, has gotten out of bed with his little cap on. Of course, it’s a tad bit colder where he sleeps.




Kita 3 cho-me – 6


(Persimmon) Dreams come true. I’d been thinking about staining this ceiling for a looooong time. Since way before there were even any house plans for a cedar ceiling.

Two days ago, though, there was some confusion. The kakishibu (persimmon extract) had come from Kyoto with instructions to cut in half with water. I didn’t know it needed to be cut—and that got me worrying. Once you stain the wood, you can’t really un-stain it.


Yesterday, though, I got started. I cut the extract in half, and began with the hallway. I hadn’t been putting it on for thirty seconds before I remembered how nice it looked.

Managed to get a bit of the living room done, too, before I just couldn’t see well enough to continue. When I looked up at what I’d done, I couldn’t see any difference between it and what I hadn’t gotten to yet. Until I took a picture.


Sometimes when I’m out hiking, I feel like I can get the camera to “exaggerate” a bit—but this time, with this shot, I felt like the camera was actually seeing what I couldn’t. Maybe it does that more than I thought.


Rained that night and the next morning . . .


. . . but regardless, the high part of the ceiling waited. Would the ladder be tall enough?


Well, I managed part of the high part without a ladder.

And the ladder did get me high enough when I needed it to. Just barely.

No, Mom, I didn’t fall. And now I’m down and safe and sound on solid ground.

At the moment, I’m thinking the one coat will do it, but we’ll see how it looks in various light. At the moment, I’m in love with the way it looks.



Kita 3 cho-me – 5


Looking forward to evenings on the veranda.


A mile out from where I live now. A mile more to go to the new place. That’s Ryuso peeking out from behind that other peak.


Looking out on the garden. Sato-san, please be careful. One, we like you, and two . . .


. . . we may not be able to find anyone else in Shizuoka who can fit grooved ceiling planks in between tapering beams as beautifully as you can.

151002_kita3chome_evening sky_600

Actually, I have a day job. During the week, can only go see how things are going in the evening.This from the scaffolding.


From the garden. Now we’re all felted up. Notice the more-or-less matching pillars, one in the living room, one at the edge of the veranda. Basically these are cedar trees, as they are in the round, merely stripped of their bark. Thus, the wood, at the surface, has a bit different texture than cut lumber, a sheen.

Below, the arch. This is either going to be the front entrance, or where they attach the rudder. I’ll check.


Honeysuckle gig


On behalf of that nameless Shizuoka duo (whose songs we occasionally record), we here at Persimmon Dreams Recording Studios would like to express our gratitude to Honeysuckle Tea Shop, the “Diner’s Club,” and Patty Suzuki for a wonderful evening on September 27th.

The duo enjoyed performing immensely, and although we’ll let the critics discuss how “tight” their sound  was (if there were critics present), there is one thing we’d like to say here.

When the performance was over, one member of the audience said to the ukulele player, “You look so happy. You look so happy you make me feel happy.” We suggest to you that no matter how clunky the playing and off-key the singing may have been, there is great and infinite meaning in this.

The duo played four of their original songs. If you’d like to listen to the first three, just click on the arrows. The links to the first two songs will take you back to the photos and stories to which they were originally linked.

Thank you, Patty!

“All You Mean to Me”      Link


“All That’s Real”      Link


“A Girl in the Neighborhood” (“The Cha-Cha Song”)


“Listen True”

(This is new. No recording yet.)