10 Nov To rest awhile
A lot of us want to run away right now. Maybe not forever. But to find a place of quiet, of stillness, of soothing tranquility where we can heal from a bruising 18 month run and that final blow in the wee hours of Wednesday morning would be welcome. We need a moment to regain equilibrium, to refill our reserves of strength and resolve.
Yoyokaku, a ryokan (traditional inn), in Karatsu is where I’d like to go. From the moment you step onto the damp flagstones in the grand genkan, you feel you are walking away from the strains of reality outside its walls. The beautifully maintained building is over 100 years old. Colorful carp glide through cool water under open walkways. Hallways lead to sitting rooms, galleries, and dining rooms that look out onto a perfectly maintained garden of black pines, their trunks twisted by the coastal winds.
Spacious rooms with sitting areas by windows that open up onto the garden beg you to gaze out at the greenery and let your eyes quietly wander the landscape. To sit by one is to be still, to rest the mind, to simply be. And then there are onsen to soak in, and kaiseki or shabushabu for dinner with plenty of sake to go along. No effort is spared to help you forget the pressures of life. Until I can get there in person, I’ll go there in my mind, and rest awhile.