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Life in a day of......Mellow fruitfulness, autumn gold and Sky Tree white. / 13 September 2013

 

A warm autumn afternoon and time for food shopping. There is a well-stocked little supermarket in River City, in itself a green and pleasant place humming alongside a gentle curve of the tidal river Sumida.

Inside, I marvel at the variety of mushrooms on offer, the sheer size of the (deliciously different tasting) grapes and the large, perfectly formed apples and round golden pears. Aisles of mystery offer shapes and colours resembling no food I know. The fish sparkles so fresh I almost feel it could swim away; dead meat looks the same in every country. Bottles and packets offering no clue to their content sit alongside sachets of clearly labeled 'cake mix' and a plastic bubble of familiar birthday cake candles.
As I make my way around the narrow aisles clearly I'm in most shoppers' way, yet there is no pressure to move on, to make way for the priorities of the non-disabled.

At the entrance an old man sits on the floor, struggling and moaning quietly. No-one takes any notice. I roll to help as he seems to be attempting to lift a satchel strap over his head. Freed of the strap, he indicates that I should put the satchel into his shopping trolley. As I am helping, a large and friendly Japanese lady joins in and is soon helping him up from the floor. I work together with these strangers, picking up no trace of reluctance, animosity or fear.
Soon everyone in the little supermarket is trying to find out how the man got there and if there is anyone to help him home.

There is no pity
mirrored back at me;
no fed-up sigh at
yet another hindrance
that is me.There is no
fear accusing me
of wasting ill-spent budgets
on something less
than human.
There is no anticipation
that I will run amok
warning, warning, 
leper. 

Purchases complete, I choose the greenest side to roll back on and feel uncommonly relaxed, mellow even; at ease in my own skin. Shopping would normally be an ordeal back in England, and interaction with strangers would leave me feeling defensive, examining myself for whatever it is they find so worryingly unacceptable.
I dawdle, breathe-in autumn warmth and pause to commune with the river.
Along its path and looking close, but deceptively far away, Sky Tree soars into the blue. It's newly designed colour, sky tree white, looks silver-grey in the sunlight. This visit I hope to experience the view from its highest point, to look out over Tokyo and Sumida on a clear day.

Sumida slides sensuously,
languorously under the sun
a slow and steady rhythm 
with no urgency. Blue sky
shimmers, in her silver skin
small shivers of content.
Autumn hints of cherry gold
twirl to land beside her;
land that is at rest beside
the sea monster sending 
only his scent and his longing
voiced in haunting calls
from lazy gulls dipping
wings, bowing to the river.