Monday, September 17, 2007


" I wanna know where the water was coming from. You really can't leave us like this, you know," emailed Roberto a few days ago from Guadalajara.

I think he was referring to last month's trenching project.

Roberto never used his first name when I met him in Tokyo more than a quarter century ago. He made everyone call him by the first syllable of his last name. I might have secretly called him "Bob" just because he hated it so much. After living in Central America for a couple of years now, not only has he picked up on his first name again, but added an "o" along with a string of seemingly random saints.

The Japanese believe that your name determines who you are. People are changing the reading or writing of their names all the time in the hopes that the change will "open" their fortune. Most, like Roberto, do this unofficially. I haven't seen him since his Tokyo Days and am curious to see if his "name change" has had an effect on his fortune, personality, life and world outlook.

Don Roberto, are you really interested in my utilities problems? Or was that email just a request for more excruciatingly mundane details of my Ranch Life?

The short answer to the most recent trenching project is: I don't know. After a week or so, no more water. There are many mysteries in a place like this. We only recently discovered a water pipe coming out at our creek! It might have remained a mystery except the former caretaker was able to tell us, "Oh, I put that in just in case we ever needed to draw water from the creek."

We rebuilt the rock retaining wall and are trying not to wonder too much about "where the water was coming from." More details? You'll have to wait. I am leaving the ranch today, heading south to LA and then, in about 10 days, west to the Far East.


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