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…

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…

Saturday

After work, in the parking lot, there was a newborn baby swaddled and facing backward in a minivan. His older sister is a sixth grader at the school where I teach, though I would not call her my student as I have never taught her. There is something aloof about the sixth graders, something that makes me feel out-of-place when I am around. But yesterday I looked at this new human, the exhausted mother, her belly still swollen, her hair mostly gray due to the lack of hair dying during pregnancy, and the intimacy was overwhelming and unexpected. In the…

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…

Saturday & Sunday

It was pouring rain all day. Afterward, the wet streets were filled with the sharp scent of green plants and curry. I wear a bandage over my tattoo now. I am careful not to let anyone from my work see it, the simple star I got at 18 with my then-already-waning best friend. I am equally careful not to let my kids see the bandage, since they think of the star as a part of me. A strange line I walk. I don’t regret the star, exactly, but I wish I had gotten something less connected to another and more…

Tuesday

The fourth grade curriculum here, much like the fourth grade curriculum anywhere, includes a focus on civic affairs and history. We live in Hiroshima. Students here grow up with a heavy burden, passed along from their ancestors. And in fourth grade, they go to the Peace Park, visit the museum of tragic artifacts, and talk to foreign visitors about war and peace. As a teacher helping students with the talking to foreign visitors portion of the field trip, I attended a talk given by a survivor of the bomb, hibakusha in Japanese. She was just 8 years-old when the bomb…

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…