June 7, 2006

♪ Faaaaaarm livin is the life for me ♪

The fields are burning as my train rushes by. A slideshow of a little, agricultural apocalypse. Whatever was the crop before this season, it is being cremated. I wonder if the farmers say a little prayer. Goodbye, sweet smelling friends. Hello new friends.

Did some rice farming yesterday. The Japanese family I was with no doubt had been working all day; I showed up at about an hour to go. They insisted I wear a farmer's hat, boots, and overshirt. I thought this made me look remarkably like grandma, who was working alongside the family. They let me drive the tractor. I was amazed by the ingenious wonder of a machine than can grab a few sprouts and plant them with stacatto precision. I also did some planting the old fashioned way (by hand) in the corners of the flooded paddy. I learned how the irigation system works, it's brilliant simplicity. I helped create a dam to level the water in an unlevel paddy. I felt proud.
Later, there was obligitory dining. Table-top grilling of meats and vegitables, plus sashimi. I ate the most, but there was still plates of uncooked food when I gave up.
The girls of the house first regarded me as monster, then in gradual stages something to hit, yell at, then finally play with and read to. I learned a lot about beatles and magical princess comunicators.

I walk along the street at night, as I have done so many times before. But this time, a field to my left is flooded, As the train passes, the lights from inside it are cast in reflection upon the water's surface. It is utterly picturesque, yet I don't have a camera. Even if I did, this instance of phatasmagoric beauty in the night is much too swift for me to capture.