Good morning ATS. Thank you all so very much for your positive thoughts and contributions. And thank you for the less-than-positive comments as well.
As always, I appreciate and respect all views.
I am currently assessing my options, which include A) staying on; B) leaving for another part of the country, or C) bugging out all together. We shall
I'd like to address one point in particular before I go on. Some of you have criticized my jaunty tone and my admittedly flagrant materialism in the
face of this crisis, I can understand why this would come across as disrespectful, or at the very least in bad taste. However, look at it from my
perspective. This is not me "lording it over those poor people" or thumbing my nose at human suffering. My life is on the line just as much as
anyone else's in this city right now.
Mine is the response of somebody in the middle of it all, not on the outside.
In times of stress and danger, people react differently. Some people freeze up, some panic, some get aggressive, some get into gear, some crack jokes.
My reaction is often to grin at death, to look to humor and to run riot toward the sensual.It's a very useful coping mechanism, keeps me relaxed,
loose, alert, enjoying life. Awake and aware, my friends. Dead certain and crazy alive.
And as for luxury stuff, well, Tokyo is and has been for many years a place of luxury, both for me personally and for people in general d and in the
public imagination. Lots of people come here to roll out the red carpet, to enjoy the finer things in life. What better time to celebrate the
essential spirit of this noble, depraved, ecstatic, effervescent, hard-driving, never-sleeping city? Do you think I'm the only one living it up? The
bars are packed, the contraceptives are sold out at the drugstore. People need to feel alive.
Let me share a well-known Japanese Zen Koan
used in traditional Rinzai Buddhist training with
A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine
and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was
waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.
Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with
one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!
Do you like fresh, sweet strawberries? I know I do.
Some of you have insinuated I'm being selfish and should do more. This I take actual offence at. You don't know me. You don't know what I've already
done. You don't know what i'm doing now, or what I will do in the days ahead. You don't whether and how deep my ties with this community run, how much
I have invested in this city, personally and professionally. To my critics: How much money have you donated, both in actual terms and as a percentage
of your assets? What other services have you made available to others? That's what I thought. And really when you come right down to it, what makes
you any different than me, other than the fact that you happen to be in one location and I happen to be in another? If I'm open to criticism for not
doing enough, what makes you
so exempt, other than the increasingly-irrelevant fact of physical location?
I understand people not liking my "style." That's OK. It takes all kinds, you know? This isn't the first time I've been in a stricken place or a
dangerous situation, and I act the way I do for a reason: Because it works for me.
Would you rather have me go put on ashes and sackcloth and
hide under the bed? Would that help anyone? If you are offended, I would simpy say, as always: please don't read the thread. As for the rest of my
readers, I hope you'll put up with a little flamboyance and whistling past the graveyard.
More pics and responses later. As I'm sure you can imagine, things are a bit hectic right now. No mimosa this morning...
edit on 3/16/11 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)