The Grove in the Night

It was night in Kyoto. In a grove on a mountain, in July 1995, as I was preparing to leave Japan, I received one of the great gifts of my life. It began with the Kyoto Connection, an international arts gathering. Over several months, I’d taken the stage at the Connection in various guises: as…

When The Way Seems Long

When the way seems long, or any burden heavy, we have songs Witness how love and courage lift and reweave the broken strands     Ue O Muite Arukou, by Kyu Sakamoto, was a huge hit in 1961, and the English version – ridiculously titled ‘Sukiyaki,’ which is a bit like translating, for example, Unchained…

Unkai: Sea of Fog

this morning, unkai – the sea of fog – unrolls train valley Oe-san and browning peaks around all swim in mist slow down feather grey engine sighing smoke kisses mist sun weaves thin air banners between lowering waves of cloud it begins above train arrival chimes one note falling far from clear song one silver…