It's a nice autumn day here today: warm for the season, the blue sky now scattered with wispy clouds, the trees past their peak colors but still with plenty of yellow and orange and red. So should we blog about what's in the news? The dangerously ridiculous political obstructionism currently underway in Washington?.... No, I've got little original to add to the plethora of punditry already unleashed in that direction (but for the record, I find my self in agreement with this analysis...). Or we could delve into the fact that today is the fifty-first anniversary of the start of the Cuban Missle Crisis. But that's overdone, too. How about yet another observation that China is not a Confucian society? Nah, been there, done that...
So, let's just look out the window and think happier thoughts, and while we are at it, we can also watch Genki Sudo's newest video, "Welcome to Tokyo" (embedded below). Thanks to Mai for bringing it to my attention!
As regular readers know, I am a Genki Sudo fan. His music and movement never fail to bring a smile to my face. And I especially like this new work, because it is a remix of his first music video (or, at least, the first to come to my attention over three years ago). I like this new piece for a number of reasons. First, J-pop is fun. Second, he sets this performance is various sites around Tokyo, most of them rather commonplace. He thus draws our attention to everyday life, the comings and goings of ordinary people on the streets of a vast city. It has a here-and-now effect: we are what we are doing at this moment; we share what we are through our everyday experiences. There's something of Zhuangzi in that. Zhuangzi tells us to "dwell in the ordinary" - 寓諸庸 - and I have always taken that to mean simply accept the moment we are in, don't impose expectations and desires, just move through life as it unfolds around you. Genki Sudo's work brings this to mind.
A third thing at work in this video that reinformces my Zhuangist reading of it, is the movement. The slow syncopations disrupt our usual feeling of time and motion, and that, again, has the effect of heightening our awareness of the moment. We can see what is presently around us in a new way when speed and physical rythym are altered. Genki Sudo is, after a fashion, drawing us into "dwelling in the ordinary" through his dance.
And, ultimately, it just makes me happy. At the end, the video asks us: "Are We OK?" And I can only answer "yes." Because, whatever is going on in Washington or China or wherever, when I take a moment to dwell in the ordinary I can't help but feel happy.