"We saw that life did not narrate, but made impressions on our brains.
We, in turn, if we wish to produce on you an effect of life, must not narrate but render impressions."
Ford Madox Ford
in a memoir regarding his collaboration with Joseph Conrad
I seem to come back to that quote often. It is there in the sidebar of some of my blogs and website:
Here I am seeking to produce something other than a blog, but informed by the blog of the same name as this book.To blog a journey of ten days is demanding. Until we arrived in Tokyo, until I began walking and photographing and thinking, I was nervous about and very unsure of undertaking another blog... but swiftly I realised it was a marvelous discipline, forcing me to say "what am I seeing here, how do I describe the sensations of this day?"
And then there is the camera. I have used it to capture life, ordinary life, I trust with respect.
If you allow the camera to work inside your head, it enhances and alters vision, creating magic. Over years, with the facility of the digital camera, my perception has changed. Painting, I hate rectangles, canvases. But the LCD screen can work its way into your head so you see form and shape, irony and charm, personal spaces and human moments which you otherwise may miss. A Japanese friend said of the blog "You see things I never notice." Very satisfying to hear that. Knowing that in other times I also might not see things too familiar, too mundane.
Our travel was freehand witha depth of research in advance, especially about trains, the key to travelling in Japan and a huge part of life in Japan. We set some objectives and reviewed things we like to do. Broadly speaking, we avoided the things most proferred to tourists. We used no guides, we wandered away from the big things into suburban and daily life.