the land in reverence to the snowfall, opens toward the evening. the sky has not yet begun its dimmed blue, taking on the same powder-white as the papered windows, cleared of dust by an anonymous hand just a few hours ago. it’s been a warm winter, and the rooftops and branches, in softened silhouettes, will soon resume their edges. the kakuma river can be heard speaking a joyous language, rushed to the edges of the delta by great crackling plates of ice, and it is along here that you walk, swept by a mountain wind, emboldened by its silken cold, its rising continuum, its music harnessed and conducted in tandem with the water. chorus, the kind to be remembered later, at the curves of other rivers. there is a sense of being a piece of something, your shape along the road leaving an impression only you will be able to fill. the solid air holding still. so many houses in this town seem empty until someone emerges from them, windows are lifeless until you dare to look into them, and witness the tea sets of well-used china lined in human formation on the floor, faucet left running as if only for a moment, in the darkness of the next room something stirring. still, you are, in the many ways we consider, alone. stunned by landscape, by the world realized in such clarity that it seems to have first been imagined.
yamanouchi, january 2019