2601 Nagano, 長野1985

「津々浦々 Somewhere, Sometime」

Somewhere, Sometime
It was summer; it was almost the turn of the century. There are those lands that cast a spell on me, forcing me to take their portraits. This was one of those places; a town that carried a giant dune and the trip began there. I drove by some inlets and passed through some more small fishing villages. It was the peak of the summer, and diving boards and bugle-looking speakers were in sight. But looking down along the beach, no person was to be found anywhere. Another fisherman's town further down must have a poor catch, a fisher with a headband underneath the Cooperative hat was mending a net. Did he notice the stare from the far away route, he held up his head and gave me a glance. These moments will never move on, but time passes and the views change. I will keep traveling. Then, the encounter came suddenly. Because of the newly constructed bypass, the coast drive had been abandoned. There were lees of two islands offshore. Just as when I came to a ridge that hugged a small peninsula, I came across an old woman, a bamboo basket stuffed with countless summer blossoms burdened on her shoulders: gladioli and pompon dahlias, bluebottles and sunflowers, cannas, china asters and many other more. There she was: with a funnel-shaped basket, splashed patterned shoulder pads, a kerchief wrapped around her head like a headdress, sweat-stained white blouse, those motherly yet liquid eyes fixing far sight. Our conversation began and ended as she shook her head once, and then once again. "May I take a picture?" "Won't you like a ride to the town?"