What ends up in Miyakojima are things, and stories.
Does it live somewhere around here? Or did it come here over the open seas? Did it drift ashore on the waves? Even though they are individually different, there are certain typical patterns- the imagination expands. Nature means mountains, and the ocean, and the connection between the two by rivers. Maybe it's the same way for island living, that somehow always flows down to the sea.
"Oh, sticky-!" I put one shell after another to my ear to listen. I can hear a different sound in big shells and little shells, and even though I'm on the shore, I feel like I'm floating in a deep sea.
If it clears up, maybe I'll go beach-combing tomorrow. There, I "discovered" what to do tomorrow.
You don't have to have a goal when you are wandering.
Traveling carefree means you don't have to feel like you need to be doing something all the time. So when you go out to eat, it can just be where ever you happen to run into. Don't look at guidebooks, just go into places that make you think, what is this doing here? It can be for any reason- the flowers at the entrance were beautiful, the red tile on the roof was so good-looking, the entryway had the type of look that I like. If everybody gets inspired at the same time, it must mean this place has some delicious food. And whatever you "discovered" at this restaurant will have a memorable flavor.
The island has nothing,
so what they need,
they make themselves.
Things you want to use in everyday life on Miyakojima. Things that are suited to the weather on Miyakojima. It is not being overbearing and insisting on "authenticity." A small leather crafting shop, where the monozukuri (artisan manufacturing) expresses a gratitude for the materials, is what Miyakojima is all about. The leather goods, each piece handmade, are all slightly different in size or texture, each one showing us a slightly different face. Actually each is a one-of-a-kind original. Refreshing design like the island wind- the soft and warm touch of the leather is what it feels like to fit comfortably into life on Miyakojima.
I had my first experience making pottery at the studio here. You can see those shiisa lions in all kinds of places on the houses- the gateposts, on the roof, in the eaves. It's fun to find some that are out of the ordinary, like a cute one with a big smiling face, or another who is proudly guarding his domain. It is also fun to laugh and have a good time making our own, working the clay and showing each other our shiisa lions. You can tell right away who made which. Maybe it is true that the personality of the maker comes through in the monozukuri-crafted object.
If it wouldn't be a problem if you didn't make it, it's not a necessary object. Of course, to have something unnecessary is not a bad thing, but, it's not bad to not have it, either. The people of this island seem to understand what really are the important things. Even with just a look at the objects for sale in the stores, I feel a strong pull to the things that the island people make.
Maybe I have "discovered" the philosophy of living together with the land that is within the hearts of these island people. Because that spirit is now my buried treasure.
Field trips for grown-ups are loaded with free time.
Headed toward a shop that sells succulent plants, a way off from the island center, where you can practically hear the native plants of Miyakojima breathing. They are sweet little plants the size of your hand, like little friends living together whispering and giggling to each other, and I'm feeling very healed by the steamy, indolent air that flows inside the shop. You can even take home an arrangement of succulents planted in Yachimun Okinawan pottery, or in an original Ryukyu Glass Bowl or Giant Clam Shell. Where can I put you that you would most enjoy? I can tell I am already set to bring one of them home with me.
Night-time comes alive with cafe dining with a great open feel. Dinner selections putting a special twist on locally sourced ingredients were all delicious , and as a female I should perhaps give extra points for there being a full offering of sweets after dinner! When I looked at the tables set up like a miniature beach, it was comical to finally notice just before the clock struck midnight that I hadn't seen the ocean all day! My idea of Miyakojima before coming here was, "Beach! All day!" but, if it rains, it rains, and I "discovered" other different ways to have fun.
What is "discovered" is a sense of wonderment you never knew you had.
I noticed how much time we spend searching for fun using "information." It might not be visible to the eye, but there is definitely a kind of compass in our minds. When that compass magnet gets weak from disuse maybe it gets harder for us to know what makes us happy. Probably everybody had a much stronger compass in their hearts when they were children.
Doing whatever you want to do whenever you want.
If the things around you are what move your sense of curiosity, then go out and find whatever it is that moves you. That's all you need to do. That feeling of making a "discovery" that you can't get in the city, might always be outside of the world of "information". There can't be anyone who has completely lost their sense of curiosity as an adult- everybody still has a working compass in their heart.
The last days of autumn are when I came to Miyakojima, and though there is no bustling summer beach scene or energetic sunlight to burn the skin, the island way of life, its stillness and the calming flow of time, generates an indescribable atmosphere. It's not so bad, the off-season at Miyakojima, or its rainy days, when my mind is peaceful and whatever I touch resonates within my heart.
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- 沖縄県宮古島市平良下里572-3 1F西
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- 沖縄県宮古島市平良下里557 源河ビル 3F