This week I started a pretty simple new regimen that has already paid off to some extent, and may provide greater rewards in the future. I now get up earlier in the morning, almost immediately go for a 30-40 minute walk, and then sit down and do the “morning pages” as suggested in Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. Aside from some minor soreness, the walks have been welcome. While I still don’t quite get the point of the morning pages, I have often read that their point isn’t clear at first. So I will persevere, and see what happens.
For a change, this has been a reasonably productive week on the blog, with yesterday’s item on issues from the world of Japanese kabuki, some lovely photographs of Charlie Chaplin and Helen Keller, and a few other odds and ends. Traffic at the blog had a little blip this week when the Haruki Murakami Stuff Tumblr, which I really enjoy and highly recommend to anyone interested in Haruki Murakami’s work (lots of interesting art, photos, quotations, and links to be found there), linked to my article about Murakami’s non-fiction book Underground, about the 1995 gas attack on the Tokyo subway by the Aum Shinrikyu religious cult.
One other little life change I’m easing into is to watch fewer movies, and try to emphasize quality rather than quantity. Not that I haven’t tried to steer toward worthwhile films in the past, mind you. But now I’m making a more conscious effort. This week I only viewed two films. One was Buffalo Boy, a subtly powerful Vietnamese film from around 2004 that is apparently the only feature-length effort by director Nguyen-Vo Nghiem-Minh. Based on Buffalo Boy, I will seek out anything he does in the future. Part of today’s morning pages was devoted to reflections on this film, and they were extensive enough that, rather then share them here in the Salon, they will become part of a proper film review in the next few days.
The other film I watched, this time a repeat viewing, was The Way, Emilio Estevez’s film from a couple of years ago starring his father, Martin Sheen, as a doctor who decides to walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route on the death of his son. Quite aside from the immense heart to be found in the acting and storytelling, and the beauty of the landscape along the Camino, the film reminds me how much I want to be one of the peregrinos myself one day, for reasons spiritual and historical and cultural and health-related. The history of the Camino would probably make a pretty interesting blog entry too!
On the literary side, I am continuing to read Mishima’s Sword by Christopher Ross as well as the exhibition catalog for Out of Character: Decoding Chinese Calligraphy. I got stalled for a while in the latter, but am back to it and hope to write about it before very long. I’ll also be off to San Francisco in a few days, to take in some art exhibitions and films. If I’m good, I’ll report back on some of what I experience. Until then, I’ll leave you with a pretty picture of books posted at the Murakami Tumblr.