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…

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…

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…

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

I was at work for too long today. I did speak with my coworker about his condition. And he had all sorts of questions for me. Like how did I distinguish the physical reality from the imagined reality. He said, because the only reality I have ever seen is this, which just made me very sad. He also said that Tom Clancy is his favorite author because there is none of that descriptive nonsense that just clutters up other books. Today I had this incredible longing for a friend who is no longer a friend. I used to follow that…

Sunday

Yesterday, my coworker, the man I sit across from day after day, announced that he has aphantasia, aka no ability to visualize images in his mind’s eye. They also call this mind blind. I should have known something was up based on a conversation I had with him about dreams. I told him about a particularly wild and convoluted one I had and he told me that he never dreams about things that have never happened to him. He says he basically just dreams about work and doing errands and nothing strange or out of the ordinary ever occurs, rather…

Saturday

This morning, I went out early for breakfast and bento goods and took the camera along. It was bright already at 5 am but the streets were relatively deserted. I passed trucks waiting to deliver goods to the grocery store, elderly couples out in matching track suits, swinging their arms twice as fast as their legs were going. I stood beneath a tsubame’s nest and watched the parents dive into the river and return to the little mud cone that held six chicks with big triangular mouths that gaped into a wide diamonds when the parents called out to them….