Sound And The Messenger
Hello and welcome. Creativity shows itself in a myriad of different ways for me. I intend to get out of my comfort zone on this page, be vulnerable, share truth, seek truth and look to help the world through these facets.
It's three PM on a Friday and I find myself at Clark's Market in the Aspen Downtown core. I've got a guitar in the back of my Honda CRV and I'm passing time. This is the second time that I've been invited to play at the networking Snowball event in Aspen, Colorado. It happened randomly before and it's not disappointing that flow again. I know the world is in abundance as I pass a car into town earlier with triple eight's on its license plate. I snap a picture and send it to my fellow friend whom interprets everything metaphysical. She instantly texts back "full of abundance" and I smile. The world is in flow at the moment. It's 5:30 PM and I park my car at the Gazebo park right across from the Molly Gibson. Those two spots have held music nectar in the past and so I reason, why not again? I leave the guitar in the back of the vehicle and stride the Aspen Main Street corridor. There's a fresh feeling to a settled in Friday afternoon. It's one of those moments where the "walk" lights change to walk as I approach the cross streets, there's no pause here and now. I reach the only gas station left in Aspen and then feel that it's time to turn around. The time is approaching six PM. It suddenly occurs to me that I haven't frequented one of my favorite shops in Aspen for a while. "The Flying Emporium" has a cheery welcome sign and I take a left and immediately feel the draw in, "Yes, this feels good." Shae is a long time friend, fellow neighbor and is the creator of the place. Inside various fantastical trinkets adorn a cozy enclosure and I scan my eyes looking for a warm fire in a fire place as it gives off the feeling, but I know has never had one and never will. I think that, a fireplace would ruin this space. I reason, but I search for the reason that my mind has come to this conclusion while I meet the cheery new souls that I find myself with. The Emporium is one of those places where you just might pick up a mug or pen or eat a chocolate and get the inspiration to write a song. My friend Casey comes out the woodwork and little by little I realize this is one of the many Snowball locations. I'm in the place to be and chocolates are shared, which bring on stories as well and people follow and we meet.
Curry in a Coffee Cup
So, the seasons have changed here in Colorado. It happened fast. One moment I was sitting in my car wishing it had air conditioning and the next moment I was glad the heater still worked. With the heat, I've noticed food has changed as well. The bright colors of summer with their abundance of rich greens and oranges is now fading to darker colors. The honeydew melons and cantaloupe are starting to spark my interest as I desire for the sugars that will yield warmth. I pop half of one in my smoothie in the morning and I'll share that concoction in another article. However, I want to enlighten you all to what has been a game-changer as of recent and I also want to provide you with a delicious easy curry recipe. Let's get into it.
Alas the infiltration of more plant based products onto shelves is continually more beautiful, minus the packaging and energy required to sustain such comestibles, but hey there's movement and we like movement! Eventually maybe we'll be able to live off the land as nature intended, but until then let's be thankful for food markets of all kinds and shapes. It's all natural and always changing! With that said, let's get into a new list of new vegan helpers as more are being unrolled daily and me likes that!
Navigating All Things Vegan
It's interesting that a lot of us decide to become plant based in Japan. It was that way for me. My whole life I had been craving the freshest fish that was on the Earth and then when I arrived I became vegetarian eventually and then vegan. Vegan can be an interesting game in Japan. While a lot of the food is very plentiful in vegetables and greens and is quite vegetarian in Japan, it still can be quite hard to find supplements especially for the traveling foreigner. Here are some tips on being vegan in Japan.
It's early sometimes when I rise and after meditation I love being able to pick up my guitar. It's led me on such a wonderful fantastical adventure so far and it's something that only improves with age. One time I was sitting in the Great Divide Music store in Aspen. I used to work there for a brief moment and Jimmy Ibbotson came walking in from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. He played a song and I think I played a song for him and he replied that, "songs are like wine as they only get better with age." I think that is the beautiful part of music. It is something that does improve with each day. I personally love the John Denver song "This Old Guitar" as the song does really explain what a guitar is like for the songwriter: It is a friend. I've been in some crazy places with my guitar or the guitars I've owned. One time I sat out on a boardwalk in Australia. I hauled it around to late night gigs in Tokyo as well. The feeling is always new when I pick up the instrument. It might be at a campsite in the early morning when the sun just is rising or maybe it's high in the mountains in some far away hut where I have on numerous occasions hauled the instrument up on my back. Somehow multiple plane rides and dusty single tracks on foot has not rendered the guitar broken in someway. Instead the trips have added flavor to the new music that can be created.
I think in today's society we can look into the world and see ourselves as separate beings, but this is largely a fallacy I believe. More and more I see the connection we all have with one another. It might be the simple observation that everybody at the supermarket somehow randomly decides to check out at the same time, or it might be the awareness of how life is filled with constant coincidence. For whatever reason, more and more I'm noticing things as more of a whole rather than events happening as an individual.
Be the Fungi
As the summer grows late and the trees fill themselves with the last reserves of the deep green chlorophyll of summer, many will hike deep into the mountains of Colorado. They are in search of a hidden treasure that only comes with patience and a little luck. It is the season of mushroom hunting in the mountains.
Japan is either hot or cold with one comfortable day in between. That is what I've found in my experience of living in Japan so far. About a three-hour bullet train ride north of Tokyo sits the lovely mountain town of Yamagata City situated perfectly within Yamagata Prefecture. When July comes into season in Yamagata it is a time of vibrant activity within the town. July marks the season of the Sakuronbo Cherry and the Hanagasa Festival, which celebrates the harvest and the cherries. The cherries are ripe for the picking at this time and it's quite difficult to not eat them as they are exceedingly delicious. The region is famous for its rich abundance of fruits. The quaint town of Obanazawa lies just to the north and yields watermelons, which cannot be stored in any size refrigerator. Every town celebrates their signature fruits and this naturally creates weekly farmer's markets that celebrate cultural events rather than our American practice of simply providing a space for local vendors to sell their goods.