I’m listening to “Otsuki-sama”, an old recording Noriko-san has from her collection, and then one she recently made on her shamisen in her home studio.
The microphone wasn’t working very well for her so I hear the twang of the shamisen loud and clear, but her voice cuts in and out, like the crescent moon in this song.
tsukino hajimeno mika tsukisamawa
Crescent moon at the beginning of each month
mayuni nitatoyo ane samano
looks like my older sister’s eyebrow,
We are passing back musical offerings right now, but I’m only noticing today that the archive recording is a third higher than the other one she made for me… Will this be difficult for her to play, now that I’m singing higher? I don’t mind either key, except for when I go to record and listen back closely to each take, do I start to scrutinize and second-guess my offering this week. I can’t seem to find an opera-enough quality, nor a Japanese-enough quality. I feel completely left in a transition(-less) land, a neither-here-nor-their land that seems to get me nowhere except maybe deeper in the dark and deeper down a million worm holes than have dead ends or no end.
Do you know earthworms don’t have eyes? Only receptors that tell them whether its light or dark, whether they’re above ground or below… right now, I can only perceive the darkness. It’s funny that this song is about our great, beautiful moon, lighting up the sky.
“Moon-Goddess… how old are you?” お月さまいくつ
I feel old and at the same time very young. The same overwhelming feeling of everything, all at once, trying to do everything, all at once, when really the moon just needs to rise again tonight in whatever state it is in, crescent, full, gibbous or new. It is still there, returning, night after night, in whatever state. “Trust the process, Teiya. Just return, night after night.”