In Japan, there is a traditional ancient way of fishing with leashed birds (cormorants). It’s called ukai. I first heard the term when a co-worker in Japan, actually my guide and mentor Noboyuki Akatani explained after a successful series of meetings and negotiations that we had achieved “ukai”. Ukai? He explained that we had been able to connect many people and received a great deal of help. But, as he pointed out, we had been abe to act as a central point of contact, as a fisherman using the method of ukai, maintained multiple lines with multiple talented birds, how all the “fish” that we caught were still alive and fresh…no hooks required.
Today I spoke with a friend I’ve known since college. Actually, we didn’t go to college as he would point out, but anyway, we met in 1971. Over the years, this friend has been so great about connecting and reconnecting friends. He seems to have this wonderful way of maintaining contact with people as we’ve come and gone, traveled, disapeared, resurfaced, and temporarily lost, wandered in from the cold.
And each time I’ve reconnected with him, which is probably at a count of five by now, when we speak, it’s as if time hasn’t ticked by at all. He just has this calm, relaxed perspective about people. It’s almost a spiritual Zen quality…like watching a fisherman…ukai.