I’ve just spent the last week in Kyoto at a work conference, which was quite intense and didn’t leave me much time for anything Ars related unfortunately. As it was sakura (cherry blossom) season, it was a remarkably beautiful experience on many levels. Most fortunately I am not allergic to the perfume or pollen of the flowers which I was dreading. On the way home I passed through Tokyo and finally met up with the Ars Magica Fifth Edition Line Editor, David Chart.
We calculated that I’ve now worked with David via email for over four years across four official supplements. In person, he’s exactly as I expected him to be in some ways but by the end of our talk I left feeling he was even more interesting and inspiring. We enjoyed a long conversation over a traditional Japanese lunch in a restaurant recommended by one of his English students – easily the best meal I’d had during my visit. I learnt much about the Esoteric Mysteries of Line Editing, the True Names of the Secret Masters of Ars Magica and much other arcane knowledge of which I cannot speak due to the 12th magnitude Ritual Non-Disclosure Agreement he cast upon me with a simple handshake and smile in Tokyo station. Truly an archmagus and a gentleman.
On a non Ars note, we ranged over a number of subjects including our families, what he plans to do with his philosophy degree, a introductory summary of his interest in Shinotism, and also our differing perspectives and impressions of Japanese culture.
He was a most courteous and generous host. By way of example, after lunch I learned that the Narita Express I was due to catch to the airport was cancelled due to high winds and I had to make other arrangements on the fly. David not only sorted out the tickets for me but accompanied across Tokyo to the replacement service (there were 2 changes we had to make and I would have been completely lost without him). As he bid me farewell, we were approached by another tourist was confused by the cancelled airport train issue. David then proceeded to help the other tourist, directing them to make the necessary arrangements to make it to their flight.
I only hope I can provide the same hospitality if he ever manages to make it out to Australia. I’m very glad to count him as a friend and hope to continue to work with him.
Now I really should get on and finish those revisions to the fourth supplement I’m working on which he subtly did not mention once during lunch but I just know he’ll be expecting soon…