Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tokaido Road

26th May 2020

Five Years Ago. 

26th May 2015

Hello all my lovely followers.
Just taking a rest from all the packing and cleaning and sorting and dumping and worrying that I've been manically steeped in this last week or so. Soon we are to move, days now.
In the meantime,  let me tell you about a wonderful evening we had last Saturday at the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury.
We went along with friends to a modern day opera, yes, you read that right, an opera. Not normally my thing - all those soprano voices singing in a language I don't understand.
But this was nothing like that. We were prepared for it by having a presentation evening at Beach Creative to tell us about this unique performance. The inspiration for the production was The Tokaido Road in Japan, or rather a set of prints by Hiroshige, an artist who did fifty three wood block paintings of the stations on the road.
Nancy Gaffield, a poet became inspired by the prints she discovered when on a visit to Japan and wrote poems in response to the pictures. ( Tokaido Road by Nancy Gaffield, in case you're interested.)
Putting these two elements together and joining with musicians and other creative people an opera was written.
What a wonderful experience it was, especially as we knew some of the history.
Add to that the meeting of friends and a glass of wine .... well you get the idea...
This is my response to it:

 Tokaido Road

We step into the picture,
From Nihonbashi we accompany Hiro,
Along Tokaido Road.
A road from our dreams.
We cross the bridge.,
Slowly, serenely, absorbed in the scene.
Enchanted, enraptured, we listen to music,
as it  resonates, reverberates,
In our subconscious  recesses,
a reeling rhythm of life.
Music brings joy and pain
Freedom and confinement,
Throwing us onto the way of the road.
Images present themselves,
Without being asked,
A waterfall, windy roads,
Animals  scurrying, birds in flight.
Kites held by anonymous hands,
Trees sway gently over the banks of,
The river.
The river that divides,
With fingers that spread across the plain,
That takes to itself,
That has it's story to tell.

We,  in monotonous pilgrimage,
Put one foot in front of another,
Encounter steep slopes,
And mountain pines.
At the summit,
cherry blossom fills aching lungs,
In the heat of the day.
As travelers we continue
On the way,
With Hiro,
But long for release.
The path , at times impossible,
Against us,
Wind , rain, umbrellas taking on new form.
We continue with Hiro,
To the end.
And in the end the mystery,
We are not the same,
We, like Hiro,
Are changed.


  1. This is just beautiful. As a rule, we only buy art that we literally want to step into. I just loved this.

  2. Thanks De. Lovely to get your comment. Hiroshige's art is definitely full of inspiration and easy to walk into.

  3. I really enjoy reading this post. Thanks for share.....

  4. What a lovely poem. Thank you for sharing.


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