Thursday, October 13, 2011

Discovered in a Far Country

The web takes us places and introduces us to people we'd never meet in the tightly confined routines of our little lives. I've been fascinated by Japanese culture since reading Will and Ariel Durant's massive tome Our Oriental History as a teenager. It was the first of the 11 volume set of Will and Ariel Durant's series The Story of Civilization. I bought a 40-year-old (and 40 lb) set in 2005 at a booksale, and then found my old eyes couldn't read the six point type font they were set in.

Now what that has to do with the price of corn in Topeka escapes me, but I believe I was thinking along the lines of being interested in Japanese culture, ah yes, that was it. I knew there was a thread in there somewhere. And also a fan of delicious writing.

Trust me, there aren't that many wonderful writers around. So I was delighted to discover, a blog written by Robert Brady, an American in his 60s who has made his home in Japan since the early 70s. His work is sage, laugh-out-loud funny in places and recognizable as an American who has lived in another culture long enough to identify with it.

Just read his post on Simple Vegetarian Recipes and see if you don't view the preparation of simple food in a whole new light.

To whet your appetite and encourage you to visit for yourself I am going to include a snippet of one of his pieces, on elderhood. I have read my way through dozens of entries in one sitting though that is not the way to read his work. I have to go back and read it slowly. It should be savoured, like a perfectly ripe peach, letting the juice run to your elbows.

"...genuine elders aren't enticed by the culture of youth: because they see right through it, how short-lived and time-blind it necessarily is. They know the portals one must pass through to get beyond that stage of life and, if one is truly alive and not asleep or otherwise spiritually sightless or habituated, the lessons that await and must be learned at each stage. That, in its totality, is life; it is not life if one somnambulates through the whole thing, or tries to stay young forever, or mature quickly. A life thus true is all the more a life the closer it approaches its entirety."

Oh, just read it for yourself. It's delish.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I recall that 2005 outing. Oh, the eyes, they falter, yet the desire for pouring over words well written is always something we remain desirous of devouring.