some more old journal entries

03Jun05

25 April, 2005

The hum: The wisteria vine in my backyard is in full bloom, framing the back porch with its opening purple skins. This has resulted in the attraction of the bees, which are bumblebees here, and larger than the bumblebees in California. And not just one or two, as you might occasionally find by the blackberry bushes, but dozens instead, flying heavily weighted in the air (tipsy as an overweight freight bowl). Together these dozens of bees produce a hum that is palpable. It’s a hum like an electronic device or a sound-wave. I can almost put my hand into the hum to grab it.

8 May, 2005

Butterfly reverie: Very large black butterflies, bigger than the local bats, have been flying around the back yard. The other day a black butterfly was drinking from the jasmine blooming on the back trellis. It was fearless of me and I could come close enough to see its bright green tongue uncoiling repeatedly into the centers of the flowers. Up close I could see that its wings were a deep black, but shiny in areas where the sun would bring out their sheen like a rich black velvet.

I imagine sticking my hands into the backs of the deep black wings, pushing deeply until my arms are covered up to the shoulders in a rich black velvet. Now my hands and arms, all sheeny, look as if I’m wearing long Victorian women’s gloves, though soft with the strange push-against feeling that velvet gives, as if there were a layer of air floating the touch. In my reverie I take the train down to Umeda where I walk though the department stores, touching objects and people with my new feeling hands. Eventually I realize that there are long green tongues coiling and uncoiling from my fingers and I begin to reach around, touching different tastes in the world with my butterfly senses.

Bats: When Richard, Michelle, and myself are walking back from campus one evening we notice a bat that’s fluttering back and forth over our heads. I show them how you can toss pebbles into the air to get the bats to come closer. With their sonar they read the pebbles as insects and come close, trying to catch them. The bat comes closer and closer until it is hovering within several feet of us.

Later, walking toward the Mandai supermarket to get some things for dinner, I pass the small reed pond in the middle of the neighborhood. There are ducks, frogs, and turtles, as usual, but there are also dozens of bats circling the pond and eating mosquitoes.



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