It is November in Nara. We started using our wood burning stove about 3 weeks ago. Nothing like the heat from a wood fire to warm the soul. The school my children go to is being merged with the other in the village. It was a long drawn out process, pitting various factions and areas in the village against each other. The area I live in, roughly 30 houses, about 8 children out of 38 at the school, is considered the recalcitrant bloc. It is a role I know well and don’t feel uncomfortable in. I am happy to say I have nothing to do with the label in this case. It seems to go back to a 40 year old leftover argument about the bungled merging of the small villages that resulted in the present village. It has proven very interesting to watch from a distance. The merger 40 years ended with the part of the village next to ours separating and joining with what would eventually become Nara City. The school merger has also threatened to cause the eight children in this area, including my 2, to threaten to pull out of the school and join the school in the next village.


I have 4 shows coming up next year. Not bad considering a couple of months ago I was sitting here with zero. I have spent the last 2 years in my studio flailing away or something that feels like flailing. Yes, as dark and depressing as it sounds.  I need to start marketing. It is not easy for me but my ceramics have gotten to the point of market or melt away. That assumes I was ever here to begin with. I have started joking that I’ve been black listed.


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