Friday

Today I am meeting a locally-famous teacher-trainer to discuss becoming a coordinator for a language teachers’ group here in Hiroshima. It is a group I liked when I lived in Nagoya and part of my attempt to meet my teaching goals for the year. As an adult, I avoid these positions of responsibility after spending my adolescence as an environmental activist. I don’t like to be, well, looked at, I suppose. And yet, as The Smiths sang, shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you’d like to. And I would like to get tenure. I know,…

Tuesday

I started this habit a few months ago, buying a bouquet of flowers from the greengrocers near the station, to pay tribute to my period. It has taken me a long time to come to terms with my monthly flow, not just of blood and emotions and hormones, but of time, of creativity, of instinct and intuition. The start of my period, the waxing of the moon, this is when the wild thoughts come out to play, the extreme impulses. I used to feel crazy because I was ashamed of the feral side of my imagination, my untamed heart. It…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…