The Exclusion Zone

The Exclusion Zone
“I’m a radical environmentalist; I think the sooner we asphyxiate in our own filth, the better. The world will do better without us. Maybe some fuzzy animals will go with us, but there’ll be plenty of other animals, and they’ll be back.” Anthony Bourdain

We have all seen the remains of Pripyat –
the crazy doll on a mattress in a room of trash,
the empty ferris wheel that only spins for ghosts.
We have all read of the explosion at Chernobyl
and how radiation drifted across Europe.
We have all read of the breakdown in the Soviet Union.
Yeah yeah yeah.  Blah-de-blah,
but what I am talking about is –
the return of the animals to the exclusion zone.
The rampant growth of trees and other green stuff
without the interference of humans.
I am not afraid of a nuclear war or holocaust.
We humans have been such poor stewards of this earth
that we deserve to be sent back to the dark ages.
We deserve to be obliterated.
I am not going to imagine a death by radiation poisoning
or a war or a nuclear disaster.
I am going to imagine instead
a pure world where animals roam free –
where trees grow and disrupt streets
and tear apart bricks.
Yeppers.  I am not going to live in fear.


Cherry Blossom Forecast and World Order Videos


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The cherry blossoms are not showing yet where I am located. Some early plum, wild pear, and peach blossoms are beginning. My flowering quince, usually the earliest to bloom, is lagging. The buds are nice and fat and look ready to pop…The Japanese plum buds are much larger and a petal here and there can be seen. This cherry blossom forecast is for Japan. I am a little late posting it due to various life events, pneumonia, etc. The slide show is from photos from the past couple of years. I used to work in an office park where there were sixty-five cherry trees – my own private festival! Also, there are some short videos of my favorite guys, World Older. JATA – Japanese Association of Travel Agents – produced these videos showing parts of Japan. The music is hypnotic and the guys are showing more of their surroundings rather than the videos being about their choreography.

While there are all kinds of festivals and fun events going on, the time of cherry blossoms is always a solemn time for me. Even though I am excited to see their beauty after a long cold snowy winter, I still feel ..mono no aware…物の哀れ – the pathos of things; impermanence – 無常, mujō. These are feelings of a gentle sadness, wistfulness. The Samurai were also associated with sakura as their lives were so transient.

I hope you enjoy this mini-trip to Japan!

Updated February 19th, 2015 as Sakura Map has updated their cherry blossom forecast for 2015 sakura season. Just a reminder that these dates are the estimated opening date for cherry blossoms and full bloom should be around a week or so after.
Fukuoka | March 22
Matsuyama | March 25
Hiroshima | March 27
Miyajima | March 27
Kyoto | March 28
Osaka | March 27
Nara | March 29
Nagoya | March 25
Tokyo | March 26
Yokohama | March 26
Kanazawa | April 4
Sendai | April 10

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