Job sat on a pile of ashes scraping the boils that covered him from head to foot with a potsherd. He had lost everything, his wealth, his family, his health but he refused to blame our redeemer – no more shall I.


Life in Okinawa. Notice spare potsherds.They wear out quickly as boil pus is highly acidic.

I am evacuated from Kyoto very early on Monday morning. I have head inflammation, ear inflammation, sinus inflammation, eye inflammation, fever all day and chills at night. I have pain. “But pain is perfect misery, the worst of evils, and excessive, overturns all patience.” (John Milton)    My brother Ian pointed this out to me.

I have not participated in the great Durbar nor danced with any of the tribal leaders who have trekked across the world in spiced caravans, in stately  Spanish galleons, in quinqueremes of Nineveh, in dirty British coasters, to be there. This chagrins me as I have been working on new steps to display to old friends.

The last flight to Okinawa, before the shut down of air travel due to Typhoon Chaba, is at 7:30 AM from Kansai.  It is a hot ticket. There is no guarantee that it will leave and should it do so, no guarantee that it will not turn back to the mainland. I am booked on it thanks to Naoko’s magic. Shuttle from hotel at 5:00 AM, very bumpy flight to Okinawa, limo to house. My condition overturns all patience. I leave my IPad on the plane.


Blake understood illness in typhoons.

The island, including  the university and all clinics, is shut down. I find old dentistry painkillers that I scrabble to disencapsulate and swallow.

My home internet stopped working when I was in London, ain’t got no rudder, ain’t got no camera, ain’t got no IPad.


The next day I visit our university clinic. Hara sensei was a doc on a Japanese expedition in the Antarctic, which clearly makes him a very good doctor. Akiyo san is just all round wonderful. They reassure me that I am truly crank. I am so pleased as I always feel that I am skiving.


Strong medicine

I have been unconscious on my squalid sleeping mat ever since. I hope I am losing weight.

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4 Responses to Potsherd

  1. zedmac says:

    Ooh noooo, you’re ill. And delirious. What’s the diagnosis? Will you live?? xxx

  2. calderi says:

    Doesn’t sound quite like scurvy, so Hara sensei may not get you back on duty straightaway. I don’t suppose he was with the magnificent Nobu Shirase in 1910-12. They had to abandon their dogs, Nobu never slept peacefully again, he heard their howls as he sailed away. He prayed for them at a shrine in his garden until he died. I expect that will cheer you up.

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