Friday, June 24, 2005

This yarn comes from somewhere between nostalgia, frustration and having just flicked through some old shots from last year.

I'm no enemy of summer. I like the heat and the humidity, for it gives me the sense that I'm being active when really I'm just sitting around doing nothing, just sweating. I especially love sitting around with just my boxer shorts on, drinking water from the fridge and cooking fish on the grill outside. I like walking outside late at night without a shirt on and cooling down in the cold water tank at the onsen. The strict heat of Japanese summers is what makes my experience here feel foreign. But there's one thing which has just begun that I don't like, and that's the haze. I don't like the way the clouds and the sky turn into one wishy-washy pale blue mess without any distinction. The sun shines, and you can feel it, but that's only half the cake of a nice sunny day; we need the deep blue skies as well. And it's not just the fact that I don't get to see the local mountains in all their glory for at least another two months, because that also happens in winter as well. No, the haziness of Japanese summers takes away something more immediate than that.

Only on occasion do you get to see days like this between the months of June and mid-August. For the next two months, spirited blue skies like the one above will be a rarity. The sun will shine, there's no doubt about that, but the world where clouds are clouds and sky is sky has entered it's annual period of uncertainty. The real killer is between mid-July and mid-August when the temperatures hit the mid-thirties and humidity is at it's highest. The sooner it passes the better. And when it does, it had better bring along with it a nice cool breeze.