Tuesday, May 24, 2011

An Afternoon in the Valley of the Japanese Industrialists or Tea with Mr. Roboto

    The process of walking (and lightrailing in conjunction) through the weather, through the dilapidation of the industrial sector, allowed Domo to take on the hearth, waystation, sensation that elevated it to the warm crescendo I experienced.  If, say, we had driven to the restaurant on a sunny afternoon, and sat outside with the sun and the billowing carp windsocks, it would also have been a deeply sensory experience.  Yet the feeling would have been light and pleasant, moving outwards into the evening.  Instead, the energy of the storm and the warmth of the restaurant funneled inward, peaking experientialy as our afternoon there.  I felt transported to another world, an idea of a Japan from the cultural media echo experienced since childhood, yet realized as its own space there, that afternoon. 

    The culinary experience was thoroughly enjoyable, yet more a symptom of the entire spatial moment, focused as the meal, than its own separate experience.  The materiality of the experience, the crafted tea cups, the stone table, the paper log lights, rooted the meal and deepened it.  The restaurant, and the meal in conjunction, has weight.  It is tied down deep, burrowed, buried, into the space it inhabits now and into the past.  It is profoundly solid. 

    Walking outside into the garden, with the rain sliding off the wooden structures and the carps billowing, you might as well be on the opposite side of the world from Denver.  The space encloses in on itself and holds its own among the neighboring city.  Yet I suppose it makes sense to place the restaurant there.  The restaurant is rooted in the ancient, the partly forgotten, as is the strange industrial zone it resides in.  The old factories, sitting silently on the edge of the city, are the perfect nest for Domo, they mirror its powerful silence and ancient echos.  With so much weight to it, perhaps the restaurant also needs some space.  A little wiggle room around so much power.

    The experience at Domo was exquisite.  Every aspect of the trip funneled into a sensorally harmonious crescendo.   By framing the excursion in the context of sense perception, I was able to stay aware in a rich, deep environment.  The idea that this was a class trip, allowed me to trick myself into thinking that the lunch was a special sensory exception.  It allowed me to experience the space more profoundly than if I had been there without this excuse, and to trick myself into leaving everyday mental distractions elsewhere.  It was a profoundly rewarding experience.
                    andrew elijah edwards    

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