Monday, December 17, 2018

Shoshana Spies a Shopper

The Shopper

Or the chopper, but what's in a name? My brother's wife, Shoshana, saw this piece of large-scale landscape art just outside of Enter Six and grabbed a photo before the long-striding strider strode away . . .


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Christmas Colors

Family and Friends

Out on the town, late enough that the streets were clear of others, we family and friends strolled beneath lights celestial . . .


Saturday, December 15, 2018

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

Onward to the Workers' Paradise!

Long have I wondered how my brother Shan knew so much about the secret levels of state security operations, but I now see that he was in the crowd on this same day that I was heading north on a top secret mission . . .


Friday, December 14, 2018

Santa Comes This Time of Year

Santa Came Early

I now have a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup from the the big Santa!


Thursday, December 13, 2018

Canada Reveals Great Big Cave

Speak of Spectacular Spelunking! A huge cave's discovery has just been announced this week in Canada. See those two red rings? They designate two people near the cave's mouth. That's a honking big cave!


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

More Blanchard Springs

One of my distant cousins, Hugh Shell, helped discover what was then called Discovery Cave, and here's what those discoverers saw:
"We could see some of the stalagmites dimly . . . End to end, [the big room was] about a half-mile walk, but the most spectacular half mile I've ever seen. What impressed us most was the overwhelming size of the rooms and the decorations, which are unparalleled. To this day, Blanchard Caverns stands out for the sheer volume of formations and the sizes of the stalactites and stalagmites."
I've been on the tour there several times, and that cave never ceases to amaze me.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

More Interiority

This inner life is part of what makes the Ozarks such a mysterious mountain region.


Monday, December 10, 2018

A Colorful Cave Friend

Another Blanchard Springs visitor, he's obviously seen the sun.


Sunday, December 09, 2018

A Lighter Shade of Pale

As with most caverns, I suppose, Blanchard Springs has its pale critters, like the crayfish shown above, some lighter than others.


Saturday, December 08, 2018

Blanchard Springs Bats' Quotidian Droppings

But in the totally inspiring Blanchard Springs Cavern!

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Friday, December 07, 2018

What goes in must come out

The inside expels the outside that had come inside.

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Thursday, December 06, 2018

Ozarks from the Inside

In this, we see the Ozarks from the inside.


Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Better High Spots in the Ozarks' Boston Mountains

Now, this is better, not quite so high, but far better than Mt. Magazine for the lookout eye. Or outlook eye. One or the other.


Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Mt. Magazine, Arkansas's Highest, Most-Disappointing High Spot

 Not especially impressive, Mt. Magazine rises to a reasonable 2,753 feet. The mountain is a crumbly sort, though, so enjoy it while it lasts . . .


Monday, December 03, 2018

Murakami: "Deep Wells"

Bland Woman, Sleeping Willow:
"I sometimes think that people's hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what's at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while" (Murakami).
"From deep wells, you must have drawn your anger . . ." (Hodges).

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Sunday, December 02, 2018

Murakami: Running Off at the Mouth?

This title looks interesting:
What I Talk about When I Talk about Talking about What I Talk about When I'm Talking about Talking about Running
As does this:
"So the fact that I'm me and no one else is one of my greatest assets. Emotional hurt is the price a person has to pay in order to be independent."
The man knows what he's talking about!

(Lest there be any misunderstanding, no humor in this blog post intends any harm, so take all humor here as mild satire.)

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Saturday, December 01, 2018

Darwin Young's Origin of Evil

That's the title, Darwin Young's Origin of Evil (by Bak Jiri or Park Ji Ri or Park Ji-ri), and we learned yesterday - my wife and I - that our translation of the first 20 pages to this novel has gotten for us a KLTI grant to subsidize a translation of the next 60 pages. (The KLTI, of course, is the Korean Literature Translation Institute.) If the eighty-page total sooner or later gets the attention of an American publisher, we'll probably be selected to translate the entire book of some 500 pages.

Some followers might want to read this book sooner rather than later, but time will take time . . .


Friday, November 30, 2018

Speaking of the Arts: Ballet

Making that high leap in the photo above is my student Shin Yelin (신예린), who gave me this image that I might post it on my blog. She tells me that she began ballet lessons when she was eight, inspired by a performance of Giselle. Her parents didn't push her; she made the decision on her own, and continues to hold to it in her love for this style of dance despite the pain to her feet. She was photographed in this leap a year ago last July and gave me the right to post this picture here on my blog.


Thursday, November 29, 2018

Ozawa and Murakami: Music!

Some publicist wrote:
"a series of conversations on their shared passion: music, [and] interspersed with ruminations [ . . . ] on the essential nature of both music and writing [ and thus. . . ] an unprecedented glimpse into the minds of two maestros."
Or so on, till the end, thought the publicist . . . who nevertheless is right.


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Murakami: Visible Darkness

Things that happen only during "the spooky hours between midnight and dawn . . ."
"In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It's important to combine the two in just the right amount."
A "pyrotechnical genius," he sets the novel on fire . . .


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Murakami: The Wind-Up, the Pitch

The well is full of desolated hope:
"I realize full well how hard it must be to go on living alone in a place from which someone has left you, but there is nothing so cruel in this world as the desolation of having nothing to hope for."
But the world just keeps spinning 'round . . .


Monday, November 26, 2018

Murakami: Color Red

Somewhere in the story, some character says something like the following:
"You can hide memories, but you can't erase history."
Well, I say that you can erase history, but only if it has been written down. Just take your eraser and rub out what's been written. But far more history has never been written down.


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Murakami goes wild . . .

A darn good sheeple-chase!
"Humans by necessity must have a midway point between their desires and their pride. Just as all objects must have a center of gravity . . . . Only when it is gone do people realize it even existed."
What goes up, must come down . . .


Saturday, November 24, 2018

Same as it ever was!

And see what Murakami's up to these days:
"Once, when I was younger, I thought I could be someone else . . . . But like a boat with a twisted rudder, I kept coming back to the same place. I wasn't going anywhere. I was myself, waiting on the shore for me to return."
Let's do the Twist, like we did  last summer! Dance, dance, dance!


Friday, November 23, 2018

Murakami as Journalist

On Monday, March 20, 1995, five members of the religious cult Aum Shinrikyo released the poison gas sarin on the Tokyo subway system:
"I have no physical symptoms, but psychologically there's this burden . . . . It takes positive thinking to overcome fear, otherwise you'll carry around this victim mentality forever."
Sarin is twenty-six times more deadly than cyanide, and Murakami details the story.


Thursday, November 22, 2018

Everything Sheep-Shape

Murakami feels the passing of time:
"Unfortunately, the clock is ticking, the hours are going by. The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decreasing, regrets mounting."
Regrets, I've had a few . . .


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

South of the Border, West of the Sun: Difficult Directions

"Sometimes when I look at you, I feel I'm gazing at a distant star . . . . Maybe the star doesn't even exist any more. Yet sometimes that light seems more real to me than anything."


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Murakami never forgets . . .


"There are some things about myself I can't explain to anyone. There are some things I don't understand at all." (This very pageless page cited yesterday)


Monday, November 19, 2018

Murakami once said . . .

The Elephant Vanishes: Stories. Are we telling stories . . . Lies? But why?
"There are some things about myself I can't explain to anyone. There are some things I don't understand at all."
Let us lie together . . . or break bread together on our knees. And is the elephant now gone? Look carefully . . .


Sunday, November 18, 2018

Murakami's Windsong?

Typical Murakami?
"There are wells, deep wells, dug in our hearts."
"From deep wells, you must have drawn your anger . . ." (Hodges)


Saturday, November 17, 2018

Without Murakami?

Murakami must have lucid dreams:
"Dreams are the kind of things you can - when you need to - borrow and lend out."
Unless he means the books that he writes, available in The Strange Library.