Fields of Sensibility

We live in fields of sensibility. 

We live in spaces that at every millisecond are defined in full by our sensitivity to external stimuli. Incidentally, at some point I would like to dig more deeply into the concept of “now.” That one will blow your socks off for sure! At least, it does mine.

Just to set the record straight, I’m not in fact too fond of yellow cars. I much prefer darker tones, blacks, blues. If I let myself succumb to my more radical side, I might go for a red Maserati GT Convertible, but that’s an entirely different conversation as well. Having said that, I, now, as result of all of this chatter, see yellow cars everywhere. It’s kind of irritating to be honest.

But that’s the nature of learning, and being taught…by a teacher, or a blue dragon fly. It is precisely those things, for better or for worse, that happen and exist in our fields of sensibility that, for whatever particular reasons, become part of the defining characteristics of the realities each of us inhabits. Those are the things that ultimately become part of those things we say we understand, recognize, know, and have learned.

One favor. Patience. This does segue into mousetraps and guillotines.

Teaching + Learning = Education. Yes. Even Now

There is always a teacher.

However, like yellow cars that, for me, never existed prior to me wanting one, we all share the same conception: a teacher is that person who stands in front of rows of desks staring back at us, talking way too much.

But, wait…

What we fail to remember is that we are surrounded by teachers, every moment of every day, in every place we might be. The teacher is the blue dragon fly that lands on the corner of your phone while you’re sitting on a lawn chair watching your dog wade happily in the ankle high pool you recently set up because of weather far too hot for most men, women, and dogs.

In fact, all of them are teachers: the phone, the lawn, the pool, the heat, the dog, and everything else that completes the moment. Whether we appreciate it or not, each one of those things is demonstrating to us something that was not entirely the same moments before, and guides us in directions that we would not have taken should we not have been there exactly at that moment…or perhaps better put, in that particular reality. And that reality itself we created from knowledge we gained from all of the teachers that preceded that moment: the sun beaming through windows, the algae that inspired a clean pool, fresh water, and an excited dog. Cause. Effect. Intertwined. All are teachers.

But wait!

By teacher we don’t mean all of that! We’re talking about that person who keeps talking at us about all sorts of stuff that doesn’t have anything to do with anything going on around us as we sit in rows of seats in front of him.

Aren’t we?

More on this to come, with a little discussion about mousetraps and guillotines.

Oume Nights!

Ron Carter and his Jazz Trio

Oume City is a community in the furthest western reach of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. It’s located west of Hachioji, and just to the north of Tokyo’s highest mountain (yes, this does exist) called Mount Takao. Hiking the 700 odd meters of this mountain is, incidentally, one of the the most recommended things to do should you decide to visit Tokyo. It’s also one of the possible adventures for the participants of Cross’ 2019 Summer Academy. The masses of people on any given holiday of the year clearly attest to this.

And so, tonight, in Oume, Movie Signboard City, a town decorated in western and Japanese retro motifs, and adorned with stylized oversized billboard posters of Hollywood classics like A Fist full of Dollars, Citizen Kane, and Gone With the Wind, and Japanese oldies like  丹下佐膳少年探偵団、and 悲しき口笛, Cross’ representative, Criss, was fortunate enough to attend a special event: a chill evening in an Oume lounge to watch Ron Carter and his Jazz Trio. This was clearly a very special event for this quiet, eclectic, and far flung corner of Tokyo; it was a very, very good night.

Ministers, Typhoons, and Meetings

Meeting the Former Minister

Before I go on more about yellow cars and all, I should bring you up to date on a few ongoings. This is a busy week of political events, weather events, and special events!

On Thursday, our Community Ninja and I went all the way to Nishidai Station in Itabashi-ku, a ward in the far north of Tokyo on the banks of the Arakawa River. There we attended a monthly gathering and meet-and-greet put on by Mr. Shimomura, former Minister of Education Culture, Sports, and Science and member of the Liberal Democratic Party led by Prime Minister Abe.

With the recent actions being taken by the country to loosen restrictions on foreign students and workers, Cross was well and encouragingly received. The event was well-attended, and I was struck by the demographic of the evening. If the crowd gathered suggested anything in particular, it was that politics in Japan is not yet a passion of the young nor the foreign-born.

It was a fun evening! Not only was I made to feel wet behind the ears, I was able to practice my feeble grasp of the language, exercise my familiarity with the formality and ceremony of Japanese business card exchange, and execute the awareness and responsibility necessary to ensure that all glasses within my reach were kept full.  Needless to say, the conversation got better and better!

By the end of the evening we’d met the better part of the Itabashi business crowd and the entire Shimomura family. Where this leads I’m not entirely sure. But, it can’t hurt to have friends in high places!

The Typhoon Going the Wrong Way

Friday evening, most Tokyoites, if they hadn’t heard already, learned that Typhoon Jongdari, or as the locals call it, Number Twelve, was on its way up from the Philippine Sea. Contrary to normal behavior, it was traveling on a north-westerly direction, scheduled first to roll over Tokyo before moving onto Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, and all points in between and beyond.

And so, everyone woke up Saturday morning to take care of their pre-Typhoon checklists. This typically means to cancel everything they’d normally do, and ensure that everything not attached to their homes is safely stored away, covered, or weighted down. And so I did just that…and then I decided to take a scooter ride to the home center nearby to make sure my dog’s rations were refilled before the tempest arrived. So off I went, in sandals, shorts, and t-shirt, when the first heavy squals hit. The guys at the gas station had a good laugh. I made it home soaked…better, drenched. Choco was happy.

Number Twelve is now on its was to Nagoya, and here I am in Sarutahiko Coffee in Sengawa, bringing you all up to date, and finalizing plans for Cross’ big day tomorrow.

Meet Cross at International House!

Tomorrow is the big day! We’re looking forward to meeting you all from 13:00 to 15:00. We hope you can make it by to say hi, have a coffee, and learn a little about all we have in store for you.

 

Conceptual Frameworks and Reality

More yellow cars than you can shake a stick at! Where’d they all come from!?

What!?

Well, just that. What it means is that we are what we see, believe, understand, recognize, and is relevant and important, and impactful, to our daily personal and professional lives.

In short… if we’re not interested in yellow cars, we simply don’t see them. Should we suddenly develop a insatiable desire to own one, then suddenly we see yellow cars everywhere, and we wonder where the heck they all came from so suddenly.

This happens to me a lot since I do tend to get absorbed by things that before meant nothing to me, and as a result simply did not exist in my own reality.

So what’s this all about?  Why is this important? What bearing at all does this have on Cross, Us, and the Great-Big-Wide-Open-World?

Well, give me a day or two and I will explain!

See you shortly.

Here’s a little bit to get the ball rolling…

Bucket List

What would I put in my bucket
That may not already be there
But things that I want to accomplish
In the great big wide world out there.
Oh to slide down the dunes of Sahara
And to swing from the vines of Belize
And to talk to a Mountain Gorilla
In Virunga amongst all of the trees.
And to see a wild dingo pursue
A wallaby and perhaps kangaroos
In the outback in the middle of Oz
Where stands the majestic Ayers Rock.
Then from there to Antarctic I’d go
To see penguins migrate in rows
Across icepacks and snowfields so vast
In temperatures in which we’d not last.
Then to Fiji I’d sail a small boat
That I’d build using balsa and rope
On the warm water shores of Peru
Just as Heyerdahl himself did before.
Then I’d sail as the Kon Tiki did
As those brave men once did when they lived
As they tried to prove to us all
That Fijians all came from Brazil.
And of course I would look for a place
That no one has yet left their trace
And from their I would look back at my life
And I’d smile without grudge or regret.

-Sixtrees (05012018)