Weekend coffee #40.
Hi there. Quick on the road edition. Currently writing from Takayama, Japan. This means I’m far enough away to avoid “presidential alerts,” but not far enough to avoid the rage-inducing headlines happening back home. Also assuming the role of the lone Americans in our group, so we’re getting a fresh perspective on how the world views us. None of it shocking really. Luckily, our trip is a welcome distraction and Japan is an amazingly tranquil and obedient country. More on that later. In the meantime, here’s what I’m reading as we go:
In praise of mediocrity. This! As I’m taking a fresh lens to American exceptionalism, all I can say is dang, does it run deep. Speaks to why I keep doing pottery even though I’m mostly just OK at it. Trying to unlearn my urge to be perfect.
Holy moly, this is both stunning and terrifying. As a kid, I had a swarm of yellow jackets invade my bedroom one night, which might be coloring my reaction just a little. In any event, a stunning reminder of nature’s everyday power.
The cruelty is the point. Back in high school, our principal used the slogan “Because nice matters” repeatedly. As an angsty youth, I thought this was beyond dumb. As an adult, I more than agree.
One thing that’s surprised me about Japan is the food. Fruit is scarce and the veggies, fried in tempura. This cauliflower banh mi recipe looks like an especially delicious vegan sandwich option.
That’s all for now - time for my first dip in the onsen and a walk to the morning market. Until next weekend!