The Muneate

My sports ineptitude is legend. The phrase “can’t hit the broad side of a barn” was coined to describe my throwing prowess. So when my dad brought home a couple bows and set up a hay bale-backed target in the backyard, we all expected that I would wipe out half the squirrel population by accident. All of us were surprised (stunned, shocked, amazed) to discover that archery was something I could actually do. No neighborhood pets or small children were harmed as I practiced. It appeared that all I had needed for my latent athleticism to emerge was a sport that involved weapons. Continue reading

Sakura

cherry blossoms japan 001 correctedIt’s spring in the Northwest and the flowering plum and cherry trees are luminous against the gray-green of the firs. I never see the return of the cherry blossoms without getting homesick for Kyoto.

I had heard much of Japan’s cherry blossom time before I moved to Japan in the early 1980s, but I had lived in southern California too long to expect much show from spring. So I wasn’t disappointed, my first spring in Kyoto, when the cold wind and rain beat the blossoms to the ground almost as soon as they appeared. Continue reading