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…

Wednesday

It is strange how we hold these people in our heads, long after they are gone from our lives. Their opinions, criticisms remain unsullied by other more agreeable perspectives. Perhaps because they voiced our fears, gave a tangibility to the shadows of the heart, we preserve them like jars of jam and pickles and put them up on the mantle when they should be down in the cellar. I have been back at work for a few days now. They have been quiet days, days dedicated to preparing for the approaching busyness. For the next few months, it is just…

Tuesday

Well, we have returned from our week’s journey. Three cities in four days is a race, not a vacation. Making sure that we had everything on our back before we jumped on the next bus or train was a big worry but we managed. This was the first time in a long time, as I mentioned before, that we traveled as a family. We have been moving and moving for so long that traveling for pleasure was not really in the cards, for it is not just moving but unpacking and buying new things and getting used to new schedules…

Saturday

I cannot sleep past 5 am anymore.Even if I go to sleep at 4 am, I am up and at ’em by five.It is necessary, in such a small house full of feisty people (let’s make it sound more charming than it is, shall we?) to have a little bit of quiet before the day gets off the ground. During my regular working days, of course, I wake up early in order to study or write, but that has been suspended with the long stretch of holiday days. Instead, I get up, turn off the air conditioners, drink two glasses…

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…

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…

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…

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…