Today brought the hastily arranged delivery of those things I shipped from Japan last April 20. A late email dinged my attention yesterday, informing me the freight had arrived in Atlanta, and was ready for delivery. Both the Atlanta office of Yamato Transport and the Tokyo office impress me as quick, efficient and friendly. I told them any time would suit me for meeting the truck, and the next email alerted me that the boxes would arrive at my address at twelve noon today. Hey, no problemo. Up early as usual, sipping coffee, reading a book, ring goes the phone. The driver for Yamato tells me he is waiting out front in the parking lot. 7:30 a.m.
Some will recall my stories of packing all the boxes for shipment to Florida. The Yamato truck left my Tokyo apartment at 11:00 a.m. on April 20 with all the boxes, a stack of paintings and the old country table from Yamanashi.
The driver and I unloaded the truck (my choice to help) and got it all stashed inside the condo with relative ease. Good workout. The driver was barely gone before I had started cutting tape and pulling out all my at-home things from life in Kugayama. What a joy that was (and will be) to see the old and favorite pieces of this and that. Some old bowls from pre-war Japan, half a shopping cart of ink, paper, blank Noble Note Life notebook-journals, fountain pens, pocket knives, a stack of LPs—Japanese popular music of the 1930s, 40s and 50s, and much more.
I can’t fully describe the feeling all these things have brought to these rooms by the ocean far from Japan. The change was gradual at the time I was unpacking and putting away. First there was a stack of dry, dusty and lifeless boxes. Little by little, as more things found their way to shelf, table or bookcase, the atmosphere, the air inside seemed regenerated. Soon, I heard the toaster whispering to the skillet, “All this Japanese wabi-sabi stuff…Feels a little like the teahouse of the August moon, doesn’t it?” But I will hear no complaints. To me it feels like the touch of a security blanket. The technicolor got re-charged. Twelve bottles of Iroshizuku elixir for the Sailors and Pelikans, the Montblanc, Lamys and Pilot Custom 823 to wiggle their nibs over. (The happiness is not just mine, you see.)
This has been a fun day, and with plenty left to unpack tomorrow. Hope all the excitement doesn’t fizzle the light bulbs.