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the grapes and the elderberries

So the elderberries have beaten out the grapes in ripening! I guess it's because they're tinier? The grapes are taking their time. I picked a bunch of drooping elderberry heads--not enough to make jelly yet, though. I'll make a syrup and then add to it as more elderberries come ripe.

It was cloudy, an ominous sky ocean this morning, but it made it still feel cool, even though today will be "a scorcher" as my grandmother would say... the day seems to be holding its breath. I wonder what it's waiting for. What is it expecting? Will it relax into sun? Or rain? Or both?**

At the abandoned farm, all the swallows were sitting on the telephone wires. I looked up, and saw, black wire, white-gray sky, lots of swallows, with their forked tails, some sitting facing this way, some facing the other way, silhouetted against the sky.

**When there is a sun shower, it's a sign of 狐の嫁入り--"kitsune no yome-iri"--the fox bride's wedding procession. Foxes are magical creatures in Japan; they can transform into people. When it is raining and sunny at the same time, a fox maiden is getting married, and her wedding procession is traveling to the groom's house. Here is a picture, from Google.jp:

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
deponti
Aug. 1st, 2006 07:56 am (UTC)
lovely post, lovely picture...and what can I say about the choice of music! Enjoy the kitsune no yome-iri! And don't forget to look for a rainbow..which is probably the bride's dower...
asakiyume
Aug. 1st, 2006 07:49 pm (UTC)
In the end the clouds gradually gave way to hot sun--no rainbow and no kitsune no yome-iri--but still, at about 4 pm I took my editing outside and watched one big cloud move across the sky...
sin_agua
Aug. 1st, 2006 11:55 am (UTC)
Lovely post. What you said about the foxes reminded me of "Akira Kurosawa's Dreams" - there's a segment where a little boy discovers the foxes wedding procession, and his mother will no longer allow him back into the house.

Are you a student of Japanese culture? Your partner is Japanese, is he not? I wish I knew more. Fascinating culture, to be sure.
asakiyume
Aug. 1st, 2006 12:20 pm (UTC)
I was trying to remember what the name of that Kurosawa movie was! Yes, exactly like that. Thanks :-)

Actually, my husband is English, but he lived in Japan in his childhood. Yeah, I do like Japanese culture--well, a lot of it, anyway. Some parts I'm not so keen on (sigh, but hey, you can say that for any culture, I guess....).

Oh, guess what he brought back for me from the hundred-yen store (like the dollar store here)? A pack of smoke-protection "hoods" (plastic bags) for donning to get out of a smoky building! The package features a very determined-looking housewife on them and actually shows a fire and smoke, so it's not quite as visually confusing as that one with the raccoon, though it's still very anti-intuitive to think about putting a bag over your head...
suzan_s
Aug. 1st, 2006 11:55 am (UTC)
What a great story.

It just occurred to me that you would be a good person to ask: Don't the Japanese have a way of telling whether or not your house "fits" you. Which direction it should be facing, etc. I love my house and have been wondering if we are a "match". Can you recommend a good site where I could look this stuff up?

Love the print, by the way.
asakiyume
Aug. 1st, 2006 12:23 pm (UTC)
feng shui
The Japanese do do that, but they borrowed the idea from the Chinese, and it's the Chinese term you want to search on. It's "feng shui" (pronounced "fung shway") I just typed "feng shui" in Google and got scads of hits--lots of them look like they'll be good :-)
suzan_s
Aug. 1st, 2006 04:19 pm (UTC)
Re: feng shui
Thanks.
sufitom
Aug. 1st, 2006 02:17 pm (UTC)
Surely an abandoned farm would have lots of interesting pictures. Old barns, idle tractors...have you posted pics of this before?
asakiyume
Aug. 1st, 2006 02:56 pm (UTC)
I've got a few at my flickr account; let's see... yup, if you go to this page and scroll down, you'll see a few of the old silos, one of an abandoned outbuilding, and one of some machinery--take a look :-)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/86761435@N00/
sufitom
Aug. 1st, 2006 07:05 pm (UTC)
Yes, there they are!

What I wouldn't give to be 12 years old or so and exploring that farm.
Me and my buddies could have made a perfect hide out and clubhouse there.

(of course, I would also hear the parental warnings too, but who ever listened to them.)
sufitom
Aug. 1st, 2006 07:08 pm (UTC)
well, those pictures and my thinking of exploring have made me rather "verklempt".
asakiyume
Aug. 1st, 2006 07:47 pm (UTC)
What does verklempt mean?

I agree with you about the secret base :-)

I'm endlessly happy there.
sufitom
Aug. 1st, 2006 08:11 pm (UTC)
"verklempt" is a yiddish word meaning "overcome with emotion".
It was made famous by Mike Myers in a Saturday Night Live skit where he played his Aunt, Linda Richman. The whole story is here.
babydriver
Aug. 1st, 2006 08:31 pm (UTC)
Rhode Island is neither a road, nor an island. Discuss.



Tom, you've officially gained the status of "coolest person ever" for the Coffee Talk reference. Expect your congratulatory gift within 6-8 weeks.
sufitom
Aug. 1st, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC)
Now I really am verklempt.

Although I would have thought you would be a tad young to remember "Coffee talk"
babydriver
Aug. 2nd, 2006 07:46 pm (UTC)
I am most definitely too young to remember Coffee Talk. However, my mother is a huge fan, and we watch reruns of the oldies whenever possible. I don't watch SNL anymore, though.

*sigh*

It's become unfunny in a major way.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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