Saturday, November 26, 2011


There was a time that I used to love to write. Whether it be poetry or prose, of import or of nonsense, writing was my way to express every emotion I experienced. In recent years, I find that I write for my own eyes -- afraid to share my thoughts for fear of hurting others or myself. I over-edit my writing, assuming that I can even bring the words through me onto paper or digital representation. 

Pain, anger, sadness... these are now the things that fuel a lot of what I write. But I don't want this to be how it always is. I would like to be able to harness the other emotions, as I once did before, to share with you who care to read my writing.

This morning, I had a long talk with my mother, through crappy "borrowed" Internet. The talk made me reflect on all the lives lost on March 11, here in Japan, when we were shaken to our very core by a huge earthquake unlike the modern world has ever seen. The earthquake heralded in a tsunami that stole the lives and livelihood from so many people -- and I, in Saitama, so far removed from the pain and fear and suffering of everyone there, could only watch on my 1-seg television on my cell phone, as everything up north was washed away.

I have thought about the lost lives off and on, of course, since March -- it has been 8, almost 9 months now, and today is the first time I felt like writing about the lost lives. I wrote a few months ago about my own experience of the earthquake, but that didn't at all address the true losses to this world.

I don't know what made me write what I did below, but this is for those who were directly affected by the tsunami on March 11. #PrayforJapan


I wake up this morning, and roll over, wanting to enjoy the warmth from my blankets and from the body of the man I love, lying beside me. I pull close to my beloved and see the stillness of his breath. He is resting so peacefully, it seems as if he will be asleep forever. And so, as not to disturb him, I sit up quietly and let my eyes adjust to the day's brilliance. I gaze up at the sky and wonder why I can see it so clearly. Surely, there has never been such a sky as this, like water color come to life --  delicate and bright and beautiful. I look around me, out at the watery silence, at the skeletons of buildings and the chaos the previous day had brought. 

I find myself thinking about my life before I woke up today and I realize that perhaps this is a very poignant thought. "Am I dead?", I wonder, as I turn again toward the body of my one and only and immediately, I know the answer to my question. This morning, I did not wake up from the comfort of my dreams. Instead, I was never asleep -- I had experienced the living nightmare of Mother Nature sweeping away everything I knew. This morning, wrapped in sheets of water and debris, only my mind is awake as not only my beloved's body, but also my own, continue to rest under the ceiling of water, sunlight deflecting and rippling and sending out rays to cut through the darkness. 

As much as I try to roll over and go back to sleep, hoping that this is naught but a nightmare from which I can awaken, I know that when I open my eyes again, nothing will have changed. I know the truth. I am dead. And I will continue to sleep here, next to my love, forever. 


Friday, November 25, 2011


This year, I spent Thanksgiving with an international group of friends. 11 people, hailing from Japan, Sweden, England and the US came together for an expensive little turkey, delicious stuffing, and  great company to celebrate the American tradition. It was lucky that Japan had a national holiday in the middle of the week that we could use to celebrate -- it wasn't Thanksgiving, but we were all thankful for the reprieve from school and work and to be eating some delicious food with good people.

While dessert was being passed around, we went around the room and said what we were thankful for. As I was in the middle of frying the apple won ton desserts, I didn't put much thought into what I said (frying and addressing a room of people at the same time is hard, you know!) and I thought I would put into writing the things for which I want to give thanks.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, nor do I list names or details -- but it's a start.

I am grateful for the life that I have, despite all the downs, it has an amazing amount of ups that makes being on this world amazing. 

I am thankful for my family -- not just the ones that are related to me by blood, but also the friends that I choose to keep closest to me. They put up with my mood swings and irrationality and while not always agreeing with my decisions, are there to wipe away tears, pick up my broken pieces and try to haphazardly super glue me back together. They are there to rejoice in my successes and share in the laughs and often, laugh at me instead of with me... but I guess that is what makes them endearing.

Even beyond my core group of besties who live all over the world, I am lucky to have friends and acquaintances, both online and IRL, who might not be there for everything, but still find a way to keep me moving forward. Without all of you, I am certain that I would be a much lonelier, much more misguided person. 

And I think more than anything, I am blessed for having so much love in my life. There are so many kinds of love, but regardless, I would say that many people spend their whole life wanting to be loved and to be able to love. And right now, at this moment, I can say with certainty that I am loved and that I do love. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. 


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nice to See You Again.

There are times when I pride myself on my ability to speak, to express, to capture a moment or an emotion or life in words.

And other times, I wish I could cut out my tongue to punish myself for my word choices that cause eruptions of flames and torrential rains and leaves me in a post-apocalyptic, self-admonishing hell.

In recent years, I find that I have become much more self-censored. What I would have said with little sugar or tact in the past, I coat in gallons of honey or simply don't say it at all. I have grown a type of filter that seems only to work when I least need it and when I need it most, manages to malfunction.

If only this filter had come with a control panel that would allow me to choose which situations or with whom it should shut me up. If only I had the self-control to hold my tongue before explaining or expressing something that I know will only result in devastation.

But instead, I find myself standing at a precipice, looking at the fall, and deciding it's worth jumping -- if it means that there is a chance someone can understand why I jumped.

So I jump, and I fall, and by the time I see the gathering clouds of smoke in the distance, giving evidence of the eruptions to come, it is too late.

Post-apocalyptic, self-admonishing hell, nice to see you again.