by Leslie A. Ito
Filtered light dissipates through the shoji screen from the easterly window.
I hear the cooing of a chorus of birds. An emergency vehicle humming in the distance.
I smell the dried grass tatami mats, contrasted by the moist heavy air of Kyoto.
I slept well last night.
Sleeping close to the ground, to the foundation of this 1747 ryokan.
As the sun pushes from the east, first I see the horizontal lines from the bamboo blinds just beyond the shoji screen grid of six tall by three wide. Four panels.
Momoji, Japanese maple leaves appear adding another visual layer.
I take a photo, adjusting the filters on my iPhone.
The light shifts, as do the images.
I thought in that brief moment that the image would be there all morning.
But the sun had somewhere to go. Had to start her own day’s work.
Another reminder of impermanence.
I crack the window open to get to know the morning air.
Adding one more layer to the projection.
The light filters through again.
This time projecting a harsher light.
I feel the warmth and the glow.