Saturday

All writers will tell you that it is impossible to write without reading, without being immersed in the language, wrapped up with imagery and submerged in syntax. I stumbled onto this truth out of desperation, always having been too stubborn to take advice from others. And I am so glad to have arrived here, in the reading world again.

Wednesday

Silence is a learned behavior, explicitly taught. A lot of classroom time is spent striving towards complete silence. Do not speak, do not tap your feet, do not close your pencil case too loudly. I understand, we are living in close quarters here and respecting each other’s space means cultivating silence. At the same time, sometimes I want to disturb that peace. I want to whistle in the hallway or tap dance in the classroom or fart really loudly in the teacher’s room. Nothing too horrible, just enough to startle people out of this odd belief that we can control…

Tuesday

This life, this set-up, it’s all a slapdash construction-in-progress initiated by someone who refuses to acknowledge the sharks circling her little vessel, adrift in the sea. I have made a houseboat out of a busted-up canoe and have strung up tiny fairy lights along the roof, though we can’t turn them on because the motor isn’t working by which I mean to say there was never a motor in the first place. Don’t tell the kids that it has been me back at the stern, hand-paddling us along, making engine noises with my lips. I don’t want them to panic….

Monday

I worked seven days this past week, most of them exceeding eleven hours. We had a school event, the annual music concert, and so it was exceptional. And today, oh today, is a day off. Weekdays off are my absolute favorite. Because I have always been a full-time worker, the weekdays are a blur of pushing the kids out the door, getting myself out the door, bicycling hard in heels to work, teaching and doing misc. school duties, then bicycling home to get the evening chores taken care of, the kids tucked in and read to, and going for a…

Thursday

I am obscure. A writer and artist of no significant following, no major works or accolades. I live a small life in a small neighborhood in a small city in a small country. There is such freedom, such power in obscurity. I am indebted to no one, likewise I am not unduly influenced by dire circumstances or trends that rise and fall like waves. I try to exist beneath the waves, in that strange calm that persists despite all the thrashing and crashing above. It is true that I will be pulled along and swept ashore but only if I…

Thursday

Next week we go to our old stomping grounds. It is exciting, the prospect of travel, mainly, but also of reconnecting with a place that was once our place. It is an interesting experience, to overlay your tattered psychogeographical map with the present reality. Not just the present reality of the physical place, the new buildings that replaced the ones you knew, the street vendors who always said hello who have disappeared into retirement or ash. No, the biggest change is your perspective. The people we were when we first arrived in Japan were the ones to capture that initial…

Wednesday

Today is the halfway mark of my summer vacation and the kids are driving me bananas. I made the mistake of not waking them up at 6 and everyone is completely off-kilter now. One of the hardest parts of raising kids in a second language is helping them with their homework. Language arts and word problems are the worst. Think about how hard it is to do algebra and geometry in your first language. Now trying doing it hanging upside down from a set of rusty monkey bars. Barrels of fun. Lately I have felt frustrated by long distance friendships….

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…

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…