harvest moon migration

One of the most important moons of the year, harvest moon, came and went just a few days ago, on Wednesday.  While i was growing up in korea, it used to be a huge deal- families move across the country, a temporary migration for just couple days.  the small quaint country villages will be full of children and their children returning to the old roots, looking and finding what have happened since the lunar new years (another big migration day).   Much suppressed issues would surface, the in-laws and in-families in general dealing with all kinds of small daily explosions, inevitable really, when that many stranger-families are crammed into the living quarters.  There are much litanies of daughters-in-law about the works they must do without a single word of thanks, about husbands and sons who cannot satisfy either of their ladies and so on.  It is rather comical to think of all these small catastrophes happening simultaneously across the country.  I bet it isn’t so funny to be in one. Ha.

just a small note. we (koreans) call our harvest moon festival as: han-ga-wi, which meant 'great middle,' coming from the end of the active season, ending with bountiful harvest (or one hopes), preparing for the winter and rests approaching.  and no, not all asians celebrate their harvest moon festivals the same.  for us, it involves family gathering, visit to the family graves (tiding the plants, general clean up before winter snows come), a memorial service at home that requires very specific preparation of food.  actually this is a bit interesting. i will list a bit of the rules.  i am so happy i don live there at times. 

1. rice/rice cake soup (soup for new year's) on right, 
alcohol on left
*on memorial days, it's rice in bowl with lid. 
on new year's, it's rice cake soup.
on harvest moon, it's rice cake, steamed on top of pine tree leaves
2. seafoods on east, meat dishes on west
3. fish heads east, tails on west
4. cooked food on west, raw food on east
5. noodle dishes on west, rice cakes on east
6. dry food on left, wet food on right
7. for stew/soup row: from left, meat-veggie-seafood soups
8. dried fishes on left, grain-based non-alcholic bev on right
9. red fruits (such as apples) on east, white ones on west.
10. no peaches! 
*'furry' fruits are known to 'repel' spirits of all kinds
*since it is for the souls of ancestors = spirits (haha)
11. no fishes without scales (ex. eels, catfish)
12. also no fishes with thick scales (ex. carps)
13. no red-coloured seasoning (ex. chilies)*
14. salt to season instead of soy sauce

hmm. why not. i will also put a blurp on what actually happens on this memorial service. it is a bit archaic and difficult, often daunting. but current trend is that you -do-what-you-can so... there are also load of imageries that goes with specific foods and their meanings but will skip that for now. yawn.

memorial service:
1. day before: bath and cleaning up of the house (esp. the site). it is usually done now in the living room of the first-born-male of the house. hence the curse of being-daughter-in-law-of-first-born, ha ha.
2. cleaning of dishes/sets 
(often made with brass or wood, pain on the ass to clean)
3. prepping of food (gaaaaaah; tradition reqs 5 rows of food)
4. get dressed, males on east (right), females on west (left), oldest to youngest (front to back)
5. get the food table set, only the non-temp-sensitive ones 
6. set memorial plaque of first and second generation ancestors (written on papers, set on wooden plaque)
7. male of the house burns incense (x3), offering of alcohol (x3), 'inviting' ancestors*often done with rice-based liquor
8. everyone do two kneeling-down-greets, together
(this is hard for some reason)
9. bring out hot food items
10. get the spoon (of ancestor) on rice/main starch, 
chopsticks on food
11. male fills up cups of ancestors 
(if there are more than one)
12. as ancestors 'eat,' family will stand aside/be on kneeling position (5 min?)
13. take spoon/chopsticks back to initial position. close lid of rice bowl (if there's one)
14. two big send-off-kneeling-greets, burning of memorial plaque
15. clean up. eat. straighten out legs. 
bickering and general family merriment.

nuts eh?  

The most challenging thing about the lunar calendar is that it moves around. How inconvenient!  So though one is somewhat aware o what may be approaching, one may not exactly know where it is (much like peripheral vision isn’t it).   One chews on nails nervously and hope that it’s going to turn up at some point, then forgets about it, going ahead making another appointment. Well, that’s exactly what i did. Boo.

Paternal gene pool’s birthday was recent and so i have decided to save the wknd, just in case there is a bit of time to go see them on Sunday (brunch! Yay!), then thought it would be perfectly alright to leave on Monday after.  Well. Damned moon.  Got in the way again.  Without realizing, i booked my flight right before the harvest festival day, which was on Korean time wendesday day (more of these date changing games...), much to my maternal gene pool’s dismay.


She said on the phone. But without much exasperation (thank god).  I think being away from my initial culture often makes things a bit more difficult that it ought to be.  I try my very best to hold onto what i remember, what i thought was important.  But often, being carried away with another wave and current altogether, i miss things once in awhile.  And such was this. 

I think i understand where she was coming from.  This year is really tough for my family. With loss of the young one, especially.  He is now far enough away that he wont be making it to the moon festival date. Or the new years. Birthdays.  You name it.  He’ll only be a little mark we carry within our lives, individually, along with a small monument that is in thoughts (still have to get to the catalogue and booking appointments, etc. I never thought that funeral related businesses can be so relaxed. May be too much. Ha ha) And the fact that i am heading away from her nest (continuingly so) does not sit so happily with the lady. Not to mention all her sisters and brother is at least some odd 14 hours of travelling away. 

But you see, the old expression says: woman may be weak (don’t stone me, feminists!) but mothers are strong.

Post gabe’s death, she’s been alright. Strong, level headed. Who knows what is going on in her mind really, but to the rest of the world, i think she’s doing really-extremely-well.  So i take that assurance with me and set off with the plane.  Now, to the land of mosses and rain, and what they think is a sunny season of autumn. We’ll see.  The harvest moon nights are bright and cold.  Many thoughts to everyone.  



Currently i am being hurled across the atlantic puddle, in a gigantic big metal tin can.  Funny enough, i never thought i would be commuting back and forth to europe this often. Okay, may be once a twice a year have been the norm while i was in school.  It suddenly changed last year: may, then christmas.  In june, then once again now, in middle of september.  And with another one already booked under the belt for the yuletide.  The power of human desire is strong.  Not only it ables the design and building of such machine as airplain, it also bring the gap of five hours (gmt-est) into a mute point at will.  Well, it does have a reasonable costs attached to it- the time and financial resources allocation would be the first thing that usually come up to the mind, but it’s a little more softer and fuzzier than that- it’s the simple human desire to be loved.  At whichever cost.  As long as the cost is not higher than the personal joy derived from the relationships.

Though i love fish’s company very much in many different forms- i cannot imagine how many words have been exchanged, how many images and images have been shared, nevermind the occasional reminders and day-musings done independently, this year, the beginning of the visits are always accompanied by a small amount of guilt. Much like the necessary yet never-so-pleasant proceedings of physical travel itself.  I remember the first flight i ever took in my life. It was rather exciting. I think i was under the age of ten.  My mother have organized a trip with other moms/kids to send us off in a plane, to je-ju-do, an island off the coast of south korea.  The flight was approximately forty minutes long- literally up, then down.  We were all served a cup of fizzy sodas and i thought i was in heaven.  We were never given any soda at home, nevermind the thought of making your very own selection!

Haha. Since then, i have travelled quite a mileage  by perhaps the one of the most unnatural motion known to human beings.  And times really have changed, as i notice the new security measures (most of them overzealous yet incredibly poor once implimented), the rising prices in the news agent shop, the very fact that buying bottled water have became the norm!  Back when i first flew, only people who regularly bought water were probably the europeans- i am making a gross assumption here.  No one warned us about the slow-reaching BHT and its deadly ability.  Or the fact that one can no longer physically transport a large amount of water (larger than 3 oz? Are you nuts?) through the security points. 

But like everything else in life, one gets used to the routines, especially when it is thrusted upon our faces. No liquid? Fine, i suppose. Things are much simpler when one is simply being told rather than given a choice or being encouraged to argue upon.  So like many nuisances of daily grind, perhaps it will become a rather nostalgic remembrance than a real inconvenience.  Remember the days when airlines gave you free pens and postcards? Har har har.

It’s been only two weeks since i sent off mr. Fish.  This wait perhaps is the shortest one that we have shared.  However, it seems that loads of things have happened for no particular reason.  Birthdays from family, small happenings of friends, visitors, etc.  And the most impacting was my dad’s birthday.  Everyone in my family is having crappy birthdays this year. Collectively.  It is difficult to rejoice birth when one is so freshly wounded from  loss of death.   And while i have been able to be somewhat carefree about what i do (in relation to what ‘they’ wished i would do),  it’s been a bit of a pressure cooker.  No one is entirely satisfied.  And- there are no immediate solutions, if any.

So with gene pools’ invisible grips on my mind, i am tied down on a small space in the tin can, hurled across the body of water with a great speed.  And i wonder if this rituals of trips- mixture of excitement, expectations, guilt, loss, sorrow and happiness, would ever change.  Perhaps it’s like trail mixes. No handfuls are exactly the same. 

I think of the ideal situation where everyone is happy with my movements and decisions. And have a small laughter. It’s almost as cute as the hope of air travel getting easier and nicer. Phahahahahaha.  Then i realize that there are still loads of good things.  As i talked to my mother, she could not help but to send a bit of audible love for me through the phone.  Approximately five or so hours from now, i will be greeted by an excited fish.  There are talks of chamber music and much spices. Perhaps even a trip to a whippet breeder.  House fixing and general carpentry. Mixing mortar and see if i remember anything at all. That kinds of joy. Small but real ones, only available when one is aware.

So with hope of being knocked off my feet through a temporary chemical alteration (weirdly, this time im quite awake. It shouldve sent me off to la-la land asap), i am closing this thought with fragments of various emotions and wishes.  Perhaps just like fairy dust, it’ll be sprinkled over the ocean, may be some might even reach  other live beings. How nice. Just like those silly letter in the bottle concept. Love to you all.


counting and shifting

my parents own a dry cleaners and a laundromat, just like a good old first generation korean business immigrant family.  when i realized that there were koreans who immigrated to north america as non-business immigrant, it totally blew my mind. i was fifteen.  there were scholars, business transfers, refugees, all kinds.  but till then, for three years, all koreans i saw were either transient population (students, mostly) or entrepreneurship immigrants.

theyve been at this business for a long time now.  from my age 12 to now, 31, for nineteen years.  so probably the longest job that both of them have ever held (my dad moved around job to job whenever he felt like it).  and by this time, though i hardly ever go in to help, i do have a good idea what would probably need to be done.

one of the things is coin counting.  i think it is very silly thing to talk of, 'intensive coin counting.'  we  all had jars of loose changes.  especially when the toonies came around.  at this point, i have more jars than i would need: for british pences, euro pennies, toonies and loonies for the laundry, everything else for the mixed jar.  and though often i wish i had more coins (probably near laundry time), the general consensus is that it's not too important, those damned coins.

mom and dad works for long hours. they leave to store at five, arrives for half past.  then it's workie time till eight or nine, drive off to drop off depot store deliveries, then may be home by ten.  sleep by eleven. repeat. any other non-daily works tend to be slammed for wknd, or for the kiddies.  some kiddies preferred one thing over others.  for instance, gabe would rather help them clean out the ducts of the commercial dryers (they need to be cleaned twice a year. you need to get to the back of the machines, take each panels off, which involves set of 12 or so screws that are positioned in tight, awkward spaces, then get your wet-vac and suck it out.  often it's worth it to just to peal off the lint layers first, as your vac will be full so soon) and he was also asked to move salts (since the water is hard, one adds water softeners- form of salts, in 20kg bags.  usually in groups of 10 bags or so. my shoulder is rubbish so i whine against it.)  i, however, always enjoyed dusting and cleaning and would be willing to rule over the coins.

as things became somewhat difficult between monkey and parents (they would love to have a traditional korean daughter and i am just so-not-it), i shy away from helping, as it may as well turn out to be a nervefest.  inescapable audience and work-ridden parents.  often through the steam clouds and vacuuming noise, moving pistons and waft of chemicals, we exchange many desperate pleas.

but yesterday really was the day to go in and help. my dad's b day is on thursday.  and ive been away from home during my toronto 'holiday,' and i leave again next wk.  time to go in and make contact.

i replaced the cashier monitor.  rewired and renamed the cables.  cleaned out all the cobwebs and cleaned nooks and crannies of the store.  sorted hangers and took rubbishes out.  this is all from five in the morning.  because i knew i had to count some damned coins.

it used to be that we need to use coin sorters. the sorter does two things: separate coins by currency worth, then group them in given size. in dad's store, they take quarters, loonies and toonies for laundry.  one takes it all in a bucket, throw in to the sorter by handfuls.  you take the toonies out (leaving loonies and quarter in the pool), then take loonies out. the rest would be quarters.  then you go get some paper rolls for the changes, set your machine to desired size (a roll of toonies worth 50 bucks, so 25 coins per roll), get your roll underneath the machine, start: the machine will dispose x number of coins, and hopefully it'll all get into the paper roll without 1. jumping out everywhere or 2. bursting the roll.  then one folds in the ends of the paper roll. there's your roll of coins.

sounds nicer than counting by hands? yes.

but after doing it for couple thousands, it really hurts. your hand hurts and your shoulder hurts.  the paper rolls need to have a very square-end so it wont open again.  if it is loose, it'll eventually open up and it will need to be redone.  the psi used to roll those coin rolls are larger than one would like.  why not plastic tubes? they are too costly when you are wrapping large quantities.

then it needs to be transferred to the bank.  in small boxes.  it is incredibly heavy.  canadian quarter weighs 4.4g.  a loonie 7g. a toonie 7.3 g.  a roll of coins then weighs:  10 dollars = 40 coins = 176 g.  a roll of loonies: 25 x 7 = 175g and so on.  a small shoe box of coins can become deadly heavy, very quickly. i think it was two years ago. i organized sorting/wrapping/moving of year's worth of coins.  the total weight was something near 1.5 tons.  the car suspension buckles.  you make millions of walks from the car to the bank.  you need to call the bank in advance so that they will have physical room for the coins in the safety room.  funny huh?

ask the guy who decided to help me without any warning: he thought he would help me carry a laundry basket full of 'something,' somethings being coins in a shoe boxes.  i was moving two shoe boxes at a time. he said: lady i will help! and then bend down to take the basket- only to buckle into the basket.

he held the folded position for awhile. i prayed he didnt herniated anything.  chivalry wasnt dead but i wished he have asked how much does a shoebox weighs at this case (a shoe box can hold up to 24 rolls of quarters, 24 x 176 = 4224, so just over 4 kg).

after that wk, i swore to god to never laugh at coins.

but you see, this time, the have a free coin sorter at TD bank in stouffville, where my mom/dad works.  so it was much easier now. take buckets of changes and dump them into machine. eventually machine spits out a receipt, take it to teller to deposition.  sounds so much nicer!!  it's like those change-counting machines at grocery stores.  but this was free.

one still have to move the damned coins from storage to bank etc though.  from feeding the machine, your fingers turn all black and dry. from that short hauling of cargo, my neck/shoulders hurt (im really suffering today).  there are people who look at you with in comprehensive awe: what do you do for a living? busk?  and weirdly enough, my ears were dead for a bit, from clanking of coins.

i moved about 6.5 grand of quarters. that's over 100kg of metal.  it takes an awful long time, going back and forth from store to bank (see, the machine may fill up, then it will be full for the day unless they got someone to empty it and do whatever they do with it. so it wasnt worth it hauling it all at one go).  also waiting inbetween people whose got smaller load (though it gets frustrating seeing people trying again and again putting back the 'reject coins,' not knowing that it'll just be spitted out again.  for kicks, those coins are rejected because they are lighter.  from usages. so the machine, which sorts from weight and size, will reject it out.yes, these are the exactly the same coins that vending machines will spit out, again and again) takes time.

i wasnt going to do the entire quarter load. but then i realized i am here because it's dad's bday on thursday.  fine. i will at least get this done.

last year in sept, gabe and i picked up two fancy cakes and brought it to mom/dad's social groups for b day party.  in korean tradition, 60th b day is huge.  since they both turned 60 in same year, they decided that they will do dad's first, then do mom's year later (which wouldve been this year).  gabe came to downtown so we can go pick up the damned cake (im not taking two gigantic cakes to party in vic park in transit!) and we drove through downtown traffic to get granny.  window down, fag smoke, loud korean hiphop, me whining, granny warning every single other car on the road, gabe saying: hey you CAN ride the rocket (trans: shush).  we got there, took photos. he even sang a karaoke number as all moms requested.  we thought next year, we could do same for mom. that may be we'll start to do some family stuff more often. like b days.

gabe died on 26 april. we buried him on mayday.  17 july was mom's bday.  82 days since loss of her baby. there was no celebration. no cake for mom. just tears and silent mourning of a broken family.  i was on the hippie road trip, running away.

during sorting of coins, i thought of such thoughts over over over and over again.  and then came back to the normal world, and after quarters, i said: i am NOT moving the toonies. not today. thanks! so instead, i cleaned and did other small things.

and after the long day, mom/dad took me out for a supper. for dad's b day.  i wished them to be happy. and thankfully, dad replied that he thinks that it may be possible. mom said it would be impossible to be happy.  i said  if she always take other's life for happiness/greif, she'll never be happy anyways.  she smiled and said may be.  unfortunately we didnt have time to pick up granny from home (we barely got to dinner at 930pm) and she is also in middle of that last-bits-of-tooth-extraction-saga, so perhaps it wasnt going to be too practical as she cant really chew (gaaah).  but granny is tough and sharp. she'll be okay i think.

and i thought of gabe. i borrowed one of his old shirt on way back home as my shirt was covered with laundry dusts and coin grimes.  and may be this sunday (this is the reason why i booked to travel on monday), hopefully, smallish family can once again get together and go see gabe, to figure out memorial monuments and all that jazz, then a small lunch before i bugger off again, much to their dislike.  bugger.

6500 dollars worth of quarter and many thoughts.  what an atypical day i had yesterday.  ive been trying to write dad a bday card and have been an epic fail.  but at least i moved over 100 kg of metal. and install monitor etc.  with heat pack on my shoulder, i have an easy day while mom/dad toil another day at work.  what a topsy-turby world it is.


monkey for hire@yyz, 2010-11

it's september; even more so than december, as a former student (i often would like to continue to be a student), the return from the summer break to another new calendar is very exciting and often emotional.  i suppose it's even more so because i have not really left the school calendar yet.  last year in banff, the year is structured in similar manner.  most of my work is not so far from university currently.  last year this time, i was thinking that by september 2010, i will be settling in a new place.  alas, with the luck of the draw, i am still waiting.

though i have been living in canada since i was twelve, i still carry a korean passport.  while i was in high school and undergrad program, i never seriously thought about changing my passport as at such age, one tends to be a little bit ignorant about the political responsibility as a citizen.  the only difference between a landed immigrant and a citizen of canada is that i could not run for a govt office position or vote.  and by the time i have decided to go to the states for graduate school, in conjunction with the u.s. student visa and other documents, it was not possible to continue school and get the papers switched.  so last spring, i finally got my stuff together and applied.  the initial projection was that i would receive my papers by now, however, with missing bits (apparently they sent me a supplementary form which i did not receive), no one really knows.  they keep telling me that the papers are in process. at this point, i wonder if the govt officials would have made good cheese makers, as there are only certain things that would get better with endless wait.  like cheese.  i dont like waiting for papers. however, i do enjoy old cheddar.  just a thought.

it's not a personal thing, i am sure, however this paper delay is really putting a damper on my life at the moment, as i need to be present here to follow it up.  so until then, i will remain in this somewhat weird abyss around the atlantic ocean while what i would really like is to relocate to europe and see what happens. bah.

so couple days before my summer ended, i made an executive decision of a sort.  why just 'a sort?' well, because it really isnt my decision, but more of how the things are flowing at the moment.  i will be playing for one of the university's courses (which i would really like), and since i am already on the conservatory and univ piano monkey list, i will remain mostly in canada for this academic year, save the odd trips across the puddle. yep. utoronto is still running year-long schedules for some courses. i will be contracted till end of spring.  at least i like the work (playing reductions for conducting class. this is a very particular thing to do as a piano monkey)

i am not saying my life is difficult. in fact, it's pretty cushy.  i am not playing as much as i would like, but then it's partially my fault (for not promoting and advertising more diligently) and partially the fact that people often have to wonder where i would be physically in any given moment.  doing piano gigging is like any other freelancing: you need to find a niche and plug yourself in the area. with constant scurrying, i am surprised at times that i get any gig at all.  also dislike of teaching (because teaching would imply that i need to stay put.  you wont even leave your pet with a random person, nevermind forming a teacher-student relationship) adds to the additional lack of work, as most freelancer musicians depend heavily on teaching income and/ or church gigs, which i tends to run away as far as i can most of the time (i worked as a church organist for eight years and the enormous pressure of saturday night in anticipation of sunday morning services are burnt too vividly in my head still).

and i still manage to travel and play a bit (if you know of anyone who needs a pianist in toronto, let them know that monkey's going to be around this year!), take on various works, some of them even be interesting and rewarding.  and i am well-supported, mentally and physically.  so really. i do have it nice.

perhaps it's the dissatisfaction that i did not get to choose what i will be doing this year.  i mean, yes, i did have a choice to not to take any serious work and sit around till my papers come (or cows, may be even cheese in this case), but practically, that's not a choice at all.

one needs to be responsible for one's own life and identity.  one needs to take care of one's physical needs (house, food, bills to pay, etc), but simply doing that isnt enough.  let's not forget that i am not the most practical being to begin with.  no practical person would become a musician voluntarily.  one is either lacking in choice (the 'cant help it but to do music' brood), or one is mistaken ('yes, i couldve been a concert pianist, but...' brood).  much like what they say 'calling' in church to become a clergy member, or even cursed.  at one point, bookbomber and i talked about the things one often tells in visiting music classes: do feel free to pick another occupation as music does not need to be your occupation.  if one wants guaranteed success, being a musician wont get you there.  one can still enjoy music as a hobbyist or enthusiast, while still taking care of the practical needs of life by  taking a practical occupation.  and even when one does decide to follow this path, it just aint so nice as it looks initially.  there are more failures than the world cares to admit.  how many music students graduate in the world every semester? where do they all go?

anyways, not to be depressing, i am a musician (partially at least) and i need to find work for this academic year.  not only it brings satisfaction, work = income.  i need to make some money.  one cannot live on aspirations and hope alone.  i dont like the idea of being a financially dependent on others. i also like to take pride in my work.  i cannot take pride of my work if i dont do any!

so this money business, in multiple context, is a bit stressful at the moment.  i tend not to think about this particular subject as it is much more frustrating and depressing, even when one takes the practical context completely out of it.  i want to be busy and wanted. and do good honest work. as most people do.

may be i should go back and work at starbucks or something. or may be i should take a more relaxed stance and apply for welfare. or perhaps i should go listen to some music and take a chemical holiday for the night. but dont worry world, otherwise, i am fairly happy.  i am healthy (though there have been bouts of unhappy digestive issues with no particular reason at all; i bet it's just the old psychosomatic crap) and i am loved. i do have friends who i consider dear and i occasionally even have some work to do.  it is just that- it seems so long ago that i was working hard, fast and furious.  moving around as much as i do, it's impossible.

so yyz, i am here to stay for the majority of the academic year. send me some musicians to play with/for.  give me some clues about potentially engaging projects. i will get on the damned posters and name card distribution (at this point i think prostitutes do a bit better as they usually have pimps to do this).  and god bless me with a bit of sanity (now im calling upon deity rather than taking own responsibility- how low am i going to go?), and let me be sane.  come, academic year 2010-11. bring on the challenge. im waiting.  let me see how rich i can be- financially and mentally.  at least i like music. pah.


...deserves a quiet night


the last of long wknd of the summer is on its last cusp on est, approaching the proverbial eleventh hour.  labour day weekend is always full of nostalgia and somewhat innocent good byes to the summer things, soon to become memories.  it is the wknd where one puts on a sweater while gathering around the barbeque, smoke of toasting corn dissipating with a hint of cool wind.  it is the night where the late skinny dip into the water graces the beautiful young summer tan skin with a shiver, little prickly goosebumps.  picking up the child from sleepy night protest with dirt between the toes, to tuck in, now with a thinnie blanket over the sheets.

minnow have been canned in the big magic metal bullet across the puddle this afternoon, along with the low clouds and intermittent rain, on a late afternoon glow of the last day of the labour day wknd.

the day he landed was one of the hottest day of the summer in yyz, full of water- water in the air, water by the house. great big ontario lake with its sandy beaches and rolling lake bed stones.  waiting for the storm, brewing ever-so-slowly.  then we had beaches of sand and stones. fragrance of complex curry powders from indian bazaar.  various hops and malts, from golden cloudy wheat dreams to quite philosophical and hoppy bitter, mahogany deep red.  

the big city night view with loads of artificial lights on 32nd floor to the summery balmy night with barely detectable wind across the white-walled holiday lodging in dark.  mosquitoes humming and angry red spots, coming and going. a little summer fair gifts and bright coloured candies. swedish fishes and a new addition-a pink rabbit.  exciting meeting with friends- coming and going. exchange of exclamations and laughters.  a secret handholding under the summer-stained table cloth on a table that is never going to be still.  mutual admirations and a good backhand return of wits between newly-met and once-again-acquainted good people.  the fight of the century to pick up the bills for one another- all kinds of espionage, including slipping of credit cards before the meal, faked toilet exits, to a simple request with smile: please, it would be a pleasure.

the first shucking of corns of a grown boy, getting his hands on the long leaves of the fresh corn, scattering golden corn silk across the kitchen floor.  the excitement of hot funnel cake, lips covered in icing sugar.  the stomach lurching carnival rides and chocolate sticky hands held together with unspoken bond.  the dangling feet on swing carousel, a gentle ride across the dusky summer evening. a long drive on gentle rolling hills on the northern ontario, full of bounties, stopping for baked goods and fresh farm harvests.

once again, summer days full of things that are collected in a dash through the fun- now to be looked in details in reminiscence. minnows illuminating in still dark cool water of september. golden and silvery scales, carefully chosen, now into a scrapbook that one wears, adorning the weaving of life.  

i miss minnow.
i thank minnow.
i thank you all for such beautiful summer days.
i wonder what we will share during the upcoming autumn days.
i smell amber glow of sleeping leaves on the ground, fading into winter.

Nightswimming, remembering that night.
September's coming soon.
I'm pining for the moon.
And what if there were two
Side by side in orbit
Around the fairest sun?
That bright, tight forever drum...
(nightswimming, rem, automatic for the people, 1993)