By Tom H. Brooks 3
Date: Friday, January 7, 2011, 8:13 PM
you this dispatch. After blundering aimlessly through the numbing
cold, I have finally found an old, obsolete computer on which to
write. I am at a tiny, dusty cafe enjoying a cup of green tea and a
riceball in a small Japanese farming town that shall remain nameless.
Everything around me is blanketed in a thick layer of deep winter
IT IS A BOUNDLESS COLD AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD.
I am in the remote mountains of northern Nagano prefecture. I am
now living in the hollowed-out base of a giant and ancient Zelkova
tree in a shelter of my own design. It is warm and cozy, however,
lacking in modern conveniences. I have spent the last month of this
winter chopping firewood and digging for edible roots and berries. I
hunt for rabbits and the occassional fat pheasant. I am clothed in
many layers and the skin of a giant bear I slaughtered myself, not by
choice…it was him or me. He lost. I have a long, graying beard. I
am a hermit and I survive the blistering cold by sheer willpower. On
the rare warmer days, I fish on the rocky banks of the winding
Asahikawa-あさひかわ….(the Sunrise River). I am sometimes lucky enough
to catch a shiny, silver salmon.
In the cold nights, I sit in my little hobbit hole reading Burton’s
translation of “1001 Arabian Nights” by firelight. Of all things to
be reading…yes?!? I dream of the burning Saharan sands, camels,
oases, veiled and dark-eyed dancing girls, incenses and oils….but
then I wake up in the hollow base of a tree with the freezing wind
howling like a banshee outside. It seems there is no end to the snow.
I wait for signs of spring; snow melting, a warmer wind, migratory
birds returning, cherry blossoms…time will tell. Only the strong
Wishing you all the best, from the summit of MY mountain; your friend,
Tom H. Brooks 3