Sayonara! Adios! Good-bye! It’s time to go!

Thanks, you who have kept up with Cobwebs  — thanks, for you who have just accidentally stumbled here through some old link or misplaced goggle.  It’s been almost a year now, my experiment in keeping a blog.  With a big life change ahead of me, I think it is a great time to retire from the world of blogging.  I tried to contact all my subscribers, and now to everyone else:  thanks but this is the end.

As a writer, to blog is seen as almost essential in today’s techno-savvy media world  — one year ago, I despised the form, to be honest, but I wanted to experience it personally before I dismissed it. In this year,  I’ve  found there are definite advantages and wondrous things in blogging, but still, inevitably, all the things I originally despised.  I am not, obviously, the blogging type, never was, and am relieved to leave this small stage.  Yet, most of all in blogging, I found that  I appreciate your support, as a reader, as a like-minded observer, scattered across the world, vibrant in my imagination. All the best to you.

I will still be writing for Japan Times, The Ballet Bag and The Opera Critic when I can  —  thanks for reading, and again — best wishes to you all.

 

Peace,

Kris

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CARE official helps Tohoku after a career of hot spots | The Japan Times Online

CARE official helps Tohoku after a career of hot spots | The Japan Times Online.

 

My sincere pleasure to meet Fu san.  Please follow the link to learn more about her and her work with CARE International Japan.

Birmingham Royal Ballet & Miyako Yoshida in Japan

To cap my week immersed in ballet, the dynamic duo of  E & L at The Ballet Bag published this photo-blog  — thanks, ladies.

Of course, I focused heavily on Miyako Yoshida in my writing, but all the dancers were impressive, professional, and showed a superior level of skill and stage presence.  It was most interesting to watch rehearsals and then see how each and every dancer pulled their talent up another level for the performance.  Campbella’s Puck — pure marvelous mischief, and the couples convinced us of their love and devotion (and disdain and rebellion) — even the little boy, Titania’s sweet crush, somehow overcame his stiff shyness at rehearsal to embody the beloved waif on stage.  The Dream was truly a dream, but The Sleeping Beauty was also fabulous, ( I caught the show in my adopted hometown, Kamakura) as was Daphnis and Chloe.

Sneaking backstage to peek at a dancer’s every day on tour, meeting so many people so positive about Japan, despite the world’s continuing wariness — trying not to gawk at the many stars of Tokyo Ballet who came out to support the benefit concert, the graceful graciousness of Yoshida san: all these memories blend wonderfully and leave a continuing residue of happiness.

Special thanks to Emilia and Linda for connecting me to BRB, and to Simon Harper, my guide backstage.

Birmingham Royal Ballet & Miyako Yoshida in Japan.

No melancholy in Movement —

Fusing aikido and language studies a potent combination | The Japan Times Online.

It has always been true for me, too  — if dementors threaten, I walk, move, run, dance, stretch, jump, swim — and the melancholy fades.

Meet Akiko Tamura.

Yoshida returns to dance with the BRB as it tours her homeland | The Japan Times Online

Yoshida returns to dance with the BRB as it tours her homeland | The Japan Times Online.

Miyako Yoshida in “The Dream”, and like a dream for me, to interview and write about such a talented and graceful star of the ballet world.

Americans food import firm has grown organically | The Japan Times Online

Americans food import firm has grown organically | The Japan Times Online.

Please read about Jack Bayles  — in his own words, he is much more philosophical and funny, but I was edited a lot in this one in trying to include some of the racier or more controversial.  (My theme for the week, I guess. )  Still, you can get the essence of Jack here.

Dancewears principal designer, on stage and off | The Japan Times Online

Every artist must find that elusive balance, satisfying the audience without sacrificing oneself.  Not that I can call myself an artist (yet) but slinging emails and trading wordplay with editors has taught me a little of what an artist must face.  Witness my latest effort in Japan Times, published today — here is my original lede (opening) with my concluding paragraph of the entire article immediately following it:

Yumiko Takeshima’s childhood memories are swathed in silk. Dying fabrics in the kitchen sink with her father or fingering ornate, gold-shot material in Kyoto with her mother, Takeshima, as the fourth generation of a kimono making family, found the threads of her creativity within her own heritage. But her heart spun with dance. Today her life weaves together both strands of her artistry, as a professional dancer, and founder of a popular line of hand-made, custom designed dancewear. YUMIKO boasts a global online store and boutiques in New York City and Tokyo. Her career onstage continues to thrive, as a Principal for Semperoper Ballet in Germany.

Takeshima remains too busy to think much about the boost, although she admits, “I feel very lucky to have such support from dancers themselves.” Last week she wrapped up performances of “La Bayadere” on stage; her newest design, “The Alicia” premiered recently in the boutiques, a v-neck leotard with inspiration from the kimono itself; she started a new coloring scheme, ‘dip-dyes’ following her father’s work with gradients at the kitchen sink, and she just finished designing wings for another production with Dawson, this summer’s “timelapse/(Mnemosyne)” in Holland. Her future spins on one certainty: Takeshima’s life will remain a whirl of interlocking threads, design, and creativity – like her heritage itself.

Nice, interlocking symmetry, I thought, a rather clever way to link together fashion and dance–  but immediately NIXED by my editor, as ‘too creative for the Arts page’.

Now, I trust and like this editor, and I realize there is a definite style to each section of the newspaper, and the responsibility of the editor is to keep faithful to that style. (blahblahblah!)  I have only written two other pieces for the Arts Page, so I need to be a nodding, earnest student and listen solemnly and  learn.  BUT, but, but ,but……

Please now read the entire article, with my editor’s changes.  She moved up all my factual bits and pieces, adding in the creative parts later.

Dancewears principal designer, on stage and off | The Japan Times Online.
I am still proud of the piece, and I still want it to bear my name.  But, and the main but, really, is simply this:

Somehow, in some essential way, anyone could have written this piece now.  It is not mine any more.  (Perhaps that’s the point  — the article is about Yumiko Takeshima, after all, not Kris Kosaka. )

Now that I have indulgently, selfishly taken the entire post for mememememeME – please remember Yumiko san and her fabulous talent and her leotards and costumes. If you dance or do yoga or fitness — order one!  They are truly gorgeous on the skin.

She was a most gracious interviewee, even after just finishing  a run of performances with a travel-induced cold.  Thank you, Yumiko san.  Thank  you, artists everywhere, for putting up the fight but still satisfying your customers. Us, the audience.

Dancewears principal designer, on stage and off | The Japan Times Online.

Longing, Limericks and Levity in this Rock and Roll Time

A friend recently shot out a quick email regarding the continuing after-shocks: “I’m tired,” he wrote, “of all this rocking and rolling.”  Other friends, Japanese and other, frequently complain about the constant quaking, these shaky reminders of our ultimate vulnerability.

I appreciate them.  I even, well, I like them. Not that I enjoy imagining myself in a dire earthquake/tsunami situation, scrambling with two children up a mountain to escape the insidious, insatiable waves.  I don’t want to discover first hand whether ‘duck and cover’ is the best course, or if actually the trending ‘triangle of life’ works better if the roof comes crashing. Like everyone else here, I pray I will not ever experience any higher level of shake or wave than I did on March 11th.

But I want to live in the present.  I want to appreciate every single blue sky or yellow rose.  The ajisai will bloom soon; I want to see them.  Too often, I see only my own unreachable dreams, daydreaming about a future that is not mine.  The small tremors act as a gentle call back to reality, like a child’s insistent, sleepy tug to bed. Back to all I have to be thankful for,  helping me forget what I long for — and a strangely whispered comfort: we are/ I am only a human, after all.

I decided this rock and roll time needed some hip quick fix.  Here’s a limerick to even out even the most imbalanced lives  — like mine right now–

Said the Earth to the ants as they scurried

“Whatever can merit this hurry?

All this to-ing and fro-ing

Quite makes me feel low.” and

Earth hiccuped the ants topsy turvy.

(That one, for better or more likely worse, is my own invention.  Here is my favorite limerick, but I am not sure whom to credit –)

A crafty young bard named McMahon, 
whose poetry never would scan, 
once said, with a pause, 
“It’s probably because 
I’m always trying to cram as many extra syllables 
        into the last line as I possibly can.”

Rock on, Earth and all —  Levity can be a soul for shit.

You Are Here: Writing For Tohoku

You Are Here: Writing For Tohoku.

The E-Book is out, with all proceeds going to Tohoku.

I am so proud to be part of such a fantastic effort, so many writers coming together for Japan, from Japan.

Terpsichore, the muse for Dance–cover yourself, my dear.

The mind lays out the world in blocks, and the hushed blood waits for revenge.

John Gardner, in Grendel

Love and war, equally rude, cutting in front of our line of thought, a sweet delete of the entire text of life.

Kris Kosaka, Beyond the Confusions of Tongues

SOS…. SOS….SOS….  I strive to be wise, just end up cracked!  Only another sonnet can capture the irony!!

I wait. His breathing paints the dark; I sigh

your name because I can. All that I can not

blaze with the stars, glittering like the lies

that illuminate each day. I can not

but weep. How weary, stale, and flat the night

for we with shadow dreams. Darkness rips from me

the weapons that wield power in the light:

shining duty, honor and integrity

melt to black. Can-nots swirl, I can not tame

this foolish love – if I dare to seize the day

would you dare too, towards what I dare not name?

I climb upon the stars, I feel my way

across the sky into your room. Too late!

The sun alights my shadowed heart. I wait.

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