I took this two weeks ago in the woods of Nagano. The toys that interest us as we age is contrasted in this photo and it brings me back to memories of when I was young. I was not interested in the things that I am interested in now. The things that I found entertaining back then did not worry me and I loved it for what it was. Though as I got older, I trained myself to think and worry about the future because everyone else was doing it.
I would like to know what it feels like again— to have fun with something so simple, yet be amused by it for hours on end. Time didn’t exist for us because it didn’t need to. When it showed up, it presented itself as a practical necessity; something all need to survive in this world. I have come to know that being aware of the ticking clock is a curse that you can never undo. All we can do is wish for our lives to be simple and uncomplicated. For if we were to meet that child that was once ourselves, it can look at us and see a kindred spirit— a soul not cluttered with thoughts of work or pleasing others, but only interested in helping out in the sandbox.
I was rummaging through my old papers and I discovered a poem that I had written when I was about fourteen. I used to write “poetry” all the time, but even then I had my dry spells and had nothing to write about. I quickly discovered that you can enjoy those dry spells, and wrote a poem about nothing to combat my frustration. I remember the process being very fun. I hope you enjoy the poem as well.
A Poem That Makes No Sense
A jewel in the middle of your eye
Surrounded by the crystal water
Of the tears you cry
Words of a river flowing
Wishing to fly well away
Into the peppermint wind blowing
You can’t stop your imagination
Soaring to the milky way
Or catch colors at Hanauma Bay
They measure the years of your life
By the colors of grey
That keep holding your light
Growing on the waves
Till you reach finally ground
To rest in your grave
To do good take your blood
Recycle to find your veins
Believing what you should let bud
I almost died this morning. I might be exaggerating when I say that because you can not predict freak accidents, but it could have very well happened.
I woke up early- tired yet pumped, and decided to chop down the forrest that had grown in my backyard while I was away on vacation. For a good portion of the morning, I had managed to get a lot done with my hand-held grass cutter. I was pleased that I had been able to finish the front of the house and beamed at the job I had done, when I noticed I had missed a spot. My mind decided that my body still had a bit of juice left and went back to chopping.
Now, what you have to know is that the front of the house and the back are on different slopes with stairs connecting the two sections. Tired, hungry, and clumsy being not the best of combos, I fell off of those steps with the knife in my hand and nearly landed on top of it- sharp end up. It happened so fast and I had no time to think.
Words cannot express how grateful I was as I emerged from the bushes to discover that I had but a few scrapes. I shivered the rest of the morning when I started thinking about the multiple ways it could have gone down. I did not like where my mind wandered, but I decided that it will defiantly be helpful for future reference.
As I write this I hear an ambulance in the background, and I thank GOD that it was not me in there this morning. I am so fortunate that I have a chance everyday to explore and to live.
Ending on a more realistic note: I swear that I will be more careful when I am holding sharp objects.
I am coming back to my writing as if I am coming out of a hazy dream. I can say the same for all my yesterdays, but more so for the past two weeks because they were out of the ordinary of my so-called everyday life. I was not working and was on vacation.
It is not a bad thing to let yourself decide to take a break, but when you discover yourself being tired from even the vacation, it is a dreary thing for your body and soul. While beautiful things happened and many laughs were shared on various occasions, I feel a great need in myself to travel and leave behind a life that I have seem to have outgrown. I do not mean that when it relates to people, for all those that I know never stop challenging me in positive ways. I, however, seemed to have stopped challenging myself.
I constantly make promises in what may seem to be honorable endeavors, but instead of falling though, I fall down and always take five steps backwards when not even two were taken.
Coming back home from Tokyo and Nagano, I had spent a total of twenty hours of train travel alone. Along with those twenty hours came with a lot of contemplating. I do not know if the intense thinking will manifest itself and provoke a positive change in my life, but I can only hope that it will.
I can only hope.
「I love to feed people.」
This is what my good friend said to me at the picnic. Her whole ora is so beckoning and it is easy to become friends with her. She gives without hesitation and among her other amazing qualities, I think that is what draws people to her.
Eating with people and sharing food is considered a very intimate and personal thing. When I meet people like her, I am reminded that the food I put into my mouth is not only from my own efforts but from the kindnesses of others. I find it funny that just one simple sentence can spring trains of thought.
If anyone needs a sandwich, I’ll be at my house! Stop by anytime.
Yesterday we were supposed to reach our destination. My sisters and I got on the 5 AM train to make it to Nagano in the afternoon. Every year we take the same route. My sisters and I are usually exhausted from the 8 hour trip by the time we get there, but we get there. Unfortunately, this time we had a stroke of bad luck and found out we would cross paths with the Number 11 Typhoon.
We left early in the morning, and there was no wind or rain. I figured we could race the storm and it would be smooth sailing until we got to Nagano. However, because of the strong wind (I am guessing), a tree fell into the middle of the tracks en route. Sitting there, we found ourselves stuck on the train for two hours and then waited at the station for 3 and a half hours. Our journey was half way completed but taking twice as long. I always enjoy thinking that there are reasons why there are setbacks because it keeps my impatient side at bay.
We were very lucky despite the inconveniences. On the platform that we were waiting on were also a lovely couple from Holland on the same course as us. They were extremely patient and waited there for about 5 hours, sadly to no avail. The train wasn’t coming. We enjoyed talking to them until we decided that we should just back track a bit and see if our friend in the area could put us up for the night. It was a long day, and most of it was spent with my brain on screensaver mode.
Did I learn something from all of this? Was I even supposed to? Who knows, but maybe when I watch my life at the big movie theater in the sky, I will see how everything connected together.
There will be hurdles that we need to jump over and there is something to be said for remaining patient during the times the obstacles test your limits. I guess that is what I learned on this trip. I learned that I need to be patient.
We are still on our way, and though it gave me a bit of perspective, I hope that this time there won’t be any more trees blocking our way.
Do you ever feel like these steps? Every time I pass this in my neighborhood I am reminded that I need to direct my efforts in the right way and work smart. You can build stairs in all the spots you want, but if you don’t have a goal or a place you want to go, you won’t get anywhere. You will just get tired from going up and down aimlessly.