Shaved Ice


It's hard to believe that I've run out of stories to tell. Actually, I have many stories to tell but I cannot tell them because the most interesting ones might get some people in trouble. Hell, they might even get me in trouble. I suppose if I actually write a publishable volume in the future, I can include those stories after the people involved have grown too old to care or after I have retired and moved away to some remote part of the world where I can’t hear their angry objections. All this ever was was an exercise to keep my brain sharp and thinking in a certain way. One of the things I learned from this daily practice is that too much introspection can be dangerous. The first danger is that, as human beings, we tend to hone in on hardship or negativity. It's easier to write about it and readers enjoy it much more than a story about how I saw a beautiful flower on the side of a Hill.


Yesterday, I found a shop in my neighborhood that sold the most exquisite shaved ice I have ever had in my life. The price was ridiculously expensive. It was about 2000 yen. The only reason I tried it was because my friend said she knew the owner and suggested I go. My goodness! It was the best thing I have done this week. I usually don't like shaved ice because it's just syrup on ice, but this was a proper dessert with rich flavor through and through. It's a pop-up shop and I think tomorrow will be the last day. I hope he comes back again in summer. I would definitely pay another 2000 yen to have that dessert.


Ironically, the shop is located close to a place where a boy and his father drowned a few years ago. His family had gone to the beach to enjoy the beautiful weather. Unfortunately, the part of the beach where they were had a treacherous undertow. While the boy was playing in the water the under tow grabbed his ankles and pulled them in. His father (or Grandfather) saw him struggling and dove in to try and rescue him. Unfortunately they both died. I'm almost certain that if they were alive today, they would also have loved the shaved ice they served at the shop I went to yesterday.


So here we have two examples. The first paragraph talks about the joy of eating this shaved ice. But, I believe for most readers, it's the second paragraph of the drowning father and son that really grabbed your attention. Well, I could be wrong. There are a lot of people who really do get excited about food. There are also quite a few people who'd rather hear about a beautiful afternoon eating strawberry shaved ice by the sea than the tragic tale of someone who lost their live to its treacherous waters.


So, I'm at a crossroads right now. A little over half of the journey is done, but I still have quite a ways to go. Writing paragraphs about pictures that don't really say much beyond what's on the image is kind of boring. A few years ago, I simply posted a picture with no story at all. In actuality, this current exercise was more about staying in the practice of seeing the world through a photographic eye than it was about sharing my stories. That happened quite by accident.


Constant introspection seems to be causing me to examine myself too deeply and look at the world too deeply. Some things should only be seen as they are, ignored, or taken with a grain of salt. I guess it has always been my nature to try and understand the deeper meaning of things. I really believe that we cannot create without understanding how we feel and what it means. I should correct myself. I cannot create unless I know how it all connects to the world around me and within me. So, for the next several weeks I may meander away from my original plan. Of course, there are still some parts of the story I have to tell just because I started and I have to see it through to the end. Forgive me if I put in more moments about shaved ice and less moments about drowning. We could all use a little sunshine and sweetness every now and again.



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