Sunday

What I am doing, in terms of writing this book about my life in Japan, is not easy. Actually, fucking hard is a pretty accurate description. Pulling everything out, smoothing it down so you can see as much of the story as possible, without the wrinkles and creases we have made to protect ourselves, it is not an easy task. When I first started, it was exhilarating. I thought that everyone should engage in such a project of self-examination simply because there is so much within us that we blindly accept but never fully recognize or understand. But now I…

Saturday

I saw this comic and was thinking about my own work-life balance and how I would illustrate my days. It would take a lot of ink. The following list of things is from Thursday, which was a normal day, selected only because I wrote everything down after reading the aforementioned comic: 4:00 am- Get up to write and drink coffee. Spend most of your time responding to emails/texts and work a little on the new short story about the girl and the tanuki in the woods. 6:00 am- Start the laundry because your eldest son neglected to put his stinky…

Thursday

The Dalai Lama recently got into hot water because he said that if his successor is to be a woman, she ought to be attractive. It helps, he explained. He’s been making quite a few old fart gaffs lately but there is something to the idea that possessing external beauty is a positive, especially for a resistance campaign like the exiled Tibetan government is waging/resigned to. There is a power in physically attractiveness. People treat you differently if you are fit and your hair is shiny. I have known this since I was a kid (well, early adolescent) but did…

Wednesday

Those of us who live in the Floridian diaspora talk about Florida all the time to each other. As in: All. The. Damn. Time. And we do this because we hate our home state as much as we love it. And we really hate it therefore we also really love it. If you are a true Floridian, not a transplant, but someone whose grandparents’ grandparents somehow managed to survive the heat and mosquitoes long enough to give birth to a lineage of disgruntled Floridians, then your right to complain and praise the state are increased 100 fold compared to those…

Tuesday

I just walked back from the station, taking a student there because he could not find his twin sister when it was time to go home and stayed behind, waiting for her. It was a proper hot day, reaching 30 degrees and there is a thunderstorm raging on the mountains, just beyond the station. All the way home, the edge of the storm trailed just behind me while before me there was nothing but blue sky. (My life analogized by the weather, me just a few steps before the clouds. Or is that too much?) Sunshine and thunder. Now it…

Monday

A friend asked me about the story I mentioned in the last post, how I would write it now, if I was to do so and this has been on my mind all day. I would not write it again, is my first response. I needed to write it then as a sort of dare for myself, a push-back against the things that scared me. There are elements that I am still mildly curious about but I am no longer frantically confused. I think because the truth of it all is this: it does not matter, or at least it…

Sunday

The joy of waking up and having nowhere you need to go. And knowing that you have another day off after the one you are just starting. Another day that holds no demands, just that you finish some projects and start some others. Like teaching myself how to make simple animations so I can animate a dream or a story. (This is really just me mucking around…) Or starting a subscription story project where I send subscribers a new short story on the 30th of every month. I did get some of the zines bound but as I was doing…

Saturday

After work, in the parking lot, there was a newborn baby swaddled and facing backward in a minivan. His older sister is a sixth grader at the school where I teach, though I would not call her my student as I have never taught her. There is something aloof about the sixth graders, something that makes me feel out-of-place when I am around. But yesterday I looked at this new human, the exhausted mother, her belly still swollen, her hair mostly gray due to the lack of hair dying during pregnancy, and the intimacy was overwhelming and unexpected. In the…

Thursday

It is mid-July and the temperatures are not what I associate with mid-July. The cicadas are just starting to crawl up from their underground lair and the evenings are cool enough for a light sweater. It rained today, a decent heavy rain which will revive the plants but not cause landslides. Some people still talk about ‘when the rainy season comes…’ but it is not coming this year. It got trapped in Kagoshima by an unexpected front and flooded the southern tip of Kyushu until the mountains lost their solidity. Umi no hi (Marine Day) is on Monday, giving me…