Monday

Another short weekend and another one to come. On Monday morning, all of my kids become deathly ill but we just nod and push them out the door. Of course you hate school, I say, it is boring but your dad and I have work and there’s no food in the house so it is better to go to school than to stay here. And in the evening when I come in and quiz them about their days, never do I hear a sour word, a regret of having gone into the world they so dreaded. Instead I hear about…

Friday

This week, I received some terrible news about someone who has a permanent address in my heart. It is game-changing news, the type that makes you reevaluate everything. I learned about the situation in the morning and in the afternoon, I attended the school’s peace assembly. The nephew of Sadako Sasaki, the girl who folded a thousand paper cranes in order to fight her illness with hope and inspired countless people around the world, was the speaker. He spoke of his aunt’s courage and gratitude. How her final words were thank you. It was a lot to handle. I am…

Tuesday

Behind me, on top of my bookshelf, the enormous beetle we bought for the kids is buzzing in its plastic case. It is not a usual kabuto mushi but a pair of atlas beetles we got on the cheap at the pet store. They are very fond of burying then digging out the log in their case, a noisy procedure that disturbs my dreams. I met with my son’s juku instructor yesterday and was told that I need to pay 2000 bucks for him to attend a million lessons over the summer break. I politely hemmed and hawed and then…

Monday

Today, my Monday in lieu, we went to Miyajima so I could take pictures that would help me with an illustration project I am working on. I love Miyajima, feel very much at home there on that little sacred rock crowded with tourists and gods. I recently realized this: that my focus on Japan in my art and writing has nothing to do with Japan but with my focus on my life, which just happens to be lived here in Japan. Wherever I live is where I focus my attention on. I am in that part of the cycle where…

Sunday

I started using this app called The Pattern over the weekend at the recommendation of a friend. It is a very minimal but rather addictive medium of self-assessment, all based on the circumstances of birth. And there is this thing that you can do where you create profiles of your people, without having to bother getting them to sign up. And while I am absolutely aware that it is mostly conjecture, there were quite a few moments where I blushed because I saw myself so clearly, or saw aspects of my relationship with various people so accurately put into words…

Saturday

I just smashed a roach and when I went back to collect its corpse, there was nothing there. Its guts were outside of its body so where could it have gone? The violence of its death is not something I wanted to engage with at 5 am but it was big and undeterred by vinegar spray. Did it slide under the door? Will I have to see it dragging itself down the linoleum hallway? Last night, after our very long work week, we went to the downtown foreigner pub. It was really quiet when we arrived at 6:30, five English…

Friday

This week has been a creative wash and I just have to allow it to be that way. Working more than thirteen hours yesterday, I rode home thinking of all the things I should be working on. I try not to dwell as that can lead to anxiety. All the same, here are some projects I am working on that will not be touched until this day is over: making this new type of resin necklace using multiple ovals, chained together sewing the pockets I cut out weeks ago getting material and sewing the fanny packs that I found a…

Thursday

I am now a mother of a sixteen year-old.Such a very strange thing, sixteen years.I have moved ten times since he was born. We have been joyful and broke and silly and miserable and creative and frustrated and heartbroken and hopeful. Thousands of mistakes were made and I have plenty of regrets to bear. It is perhaps just the nature of the first child to be scarred by the unintentional missteps of his parents.I was only 23 when he was born. I thought I was so ancient then.I knew nothing. The only thing I know now is how utterly ignorant…

Wednesday

This week has been just really long. 12-hour work days and I still feel behind. It is frustrating since it leaves no time for anything else but all the same, I know that I am extremely privileged to be in my position. In the morning, I had to visit the laundromat to dry my son’s school uniform and basketball jersey. And I was passed, at 5 am, by a group of Chinese women, returning from their nightshift at a local factory. They live together, work together, shop together, always wearing colourful cloth surgical masks and baseball caps. I have never…

Monday

Jason was telling me about this sculpture he is working on and I felt a pang of jealousy at his ability to delve so deep into the fantasy surrounding this weird cat/temple creation. It has been a while since I created any ideas from scratch. On the other hand, I find the reality that presents itself to me to be the captivating one. It is bizarre and unexplored and gorgeous and cruel and absolutely constructed. Why make up a proxy when such a beast lays before me? I walk through the supermarket with music from a century ago coursing through…