Please wait.

Johnna Slaby

Wait… please wait.

Please wait until I finish all of the cleaning that I have to get done today. The dust always seems to come to stay. There are always more clothes and dishes to be put away.

You will wait right?

Please wait… please wait until I have all of the piano pieces memorized. Until the guitar gets mastered, and when that old harmonica is on its last reed. There are so many notes to play and melodies to sing.

You can wait for that right?

Please wait… please wait. Until all all that needs to be toned gets toned. When I can look in the mirror and I smile at the way my body sits. The muffins I bake seem to be becoming muffin tops on my hips.

Until it all gets done, please hold on.

Please wait… Please wait. I still have letters to send, Thank You…

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Where am I from?

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My travels have ended and I am back in my living room in Nara, Japan. The last two weeks have been quite the adventure, so much so that I don’t think I will be able to explain everything. Even if I could explain it well, it would not have the same impact as being there yourself.

The route went something like this: Nara to Tokyo. Tokyo to China. China to Singapore. Singapore to Malaysia. Malaysia to Phuket. Phuket to China. China to Tokyo. Tokyo to Nara.

Many beautiful things happened. I am still trying to work things out in my head and I hope to have clarity on a few things soon.

Upon coming home, everything seemed distant. All of the things that I have known for the past four years seemed to hold no familiarity. It could be the fact that I am currently malnourished and seriously lacking sleep, but coming back to this house didn’t feel like home. This house felt so small compared to the whole world outside. Why?

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet so many great people in the past two weeks and to have had the change to experience so many things. Throughout my trip, many people asked me, Where are you from? I would reply, Japan. It was always a treat seeing the look on their faces after they processed what I had said. I am from Japan, but what I realized is that I don’t want to limit it to just one country because I have left my heart in other places as well. It would make more sense to say, I am from everywhere.

Happy New Year everyone!

Who used my iPod?

I was on the train going to Kyoto this afternoon while thinking about my random businesses and jobs. My head was going on a long brain rant about money- thinking about how I could get more people interested and how we can pay our bills. I don’t enjoy thinking about it, but it always seeps into my thoughts.

With thinking about money, worry always seems to follow. I worried and wondered how I could make money or at least sustain myself while doing the things that I love. It is not an easy thing.

I came out of my trance and took my iPod out of my pocket and opened my notes. I am the only one who uses it, but the first thing that opened up was an entry that I had not written:

Always focus not on if it can bring money, but if it brings happiness.

I still don’t know who used my iTouch, but that was what I needed to read there on the train.

Playground

I finally was able to upload another photo to my project Cakes in Random Places. My lovely friend Stephen let me use his film camera. The cake was small but deadly! I had a fun time eating it in the park with them after the photo shoot.

Cakes in Random Places

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A good friend of mine let me use his film camera while he visited my sister and me earlier this summer.

I had never used one before and I realized how much practice it takes. When I take photos, they are usually done with a digital camera; snapping photos one after the other became so easy that I was not careful when I shot with film.

 A the things that I would change in this photo are many, but the idea of it being raw and being unchangeable appeals to me. I did not plan for it to look so far away, and the chocolate cake with blueberry cream is hardly visible (though delicious).

The stars were not completely aligned for this shoot, but I cannot pass up sharing this one. I had too much fun with my lovely friends that day.

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Above photo: Credits to SB

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Lost in Tokyo

Morning:

When the WIFI is gone and I am left by myself in a different city, my mind panics a bit. Not panicking in the typical sense, but I  never know what to do with myself. I want to open the fridge to brainlessly check to see if anyone liked my status or saw my blog post- but I can’t. There is no fridge.
 
I sketched my breakfast this morning which consisted of sandwiches and lukewarm hot chocolate. It is difficult for me to draw food- especially warm food. I did not mind in Singapore or Bali because I had no appetite whatsoever. In my natural habitat however, I am infamous for pigging out. It takes great willpower on my part to draw then eat.
 
Today, I will attempt to find Tokyo Tower or Sky Tree. Before that, I want to go to Shinjuku and Shibuya because it seems to be the thing to do. I hope to not get lost. The problem is that I have no internet. I am alone with my thoughts and left to doing things the old fashioned way.
 
 
Noon:
 
I was pleased when I got handed free samples of new snacks and crackers on the street. In Osaka we only get tissues and fliers.
 
I walked around all morning and I found myself in a famous Shrine in Harajuku. It was nice to listen to all of the different languages. I have never seen so many tourists in my life.
I bought a little good-luck charm for a friend. The women selling them did not look happy to be there though. They should buy some of their own items.
 
When I left, I went to go draw in front of the station. A woman approached me asking to sign my name for world peace. She handed me a trinket and asked for a donation. She did not seem to speak Japanese or English. I told her in both languages that I could only give a small amount. After I signed my name, I gave her 100 yen and she looked  displeased. 
 
Coming back, I wandered around looking for a place to eat lunch. As I was walking, the thought went through my head, “I hope to make a good friend”. I continued my search and in the corner of my eye I spot a kebab stand. The prices looked fairly reasonable, and I liked the idea of sitting outside on such a beautiful day. 
 
I ordered and made small talk with the worker. I found out that he was from Morocco and is currently working at random cafes in the area. We continued to talk for an hour after that and we agreed to meet again after he finished work. 
Later in the afternoon, we grabbed a couple of drinks from the convenience store and chatted in a local alley.
 
What he observed about Japanese people is that they are competitive and do not like to talk about personal issues. “Everyone wants to be better than everyone else, showing off their pictures, bags, or clothes- they don’t know how to be themselves.”
 
We talked about life and how to live.
He told me that we each have a mind and a heart. We listen to both at different times and when we have conflicting emotions, that is when the heart and mind do not agree. At those moments we have to learn to make the best choice. 
If you do not feel at peace about something, leave it. If you forget about it, you will feel better.
It was a lovely talk and I hope to see him again. Thank you Man from Morocco for making my day.
 
Evening:
 
After doing a little bit of shopping, I drew my dinner and dozed off in a cafe’. The sofas were like marshmallows. 
 
There are many people in Tokyo. Everywhere I look I see swarms of ants. The good thing about riding the trains in such crowds is that you could fall asleep and you would not have to worry about falling over. 
 
The first day is over and I will start working tomorrow. I am looking forward to it I am praying that I will be able to find the meeting place. Wish me luck!

 

Bullet Train Rants

Is thinking too much a good thing? Does it sort out your brain or does it clutter it up more?

I am currently riding on the Shinkansen Bullet Train. Another adventure sounded refreshing to me, but this time I am venturing out on business and not pleasure. The man besides me just pulled out alcohol from his bag and is about to take a big swig. 

Whenever I travel, my mind goes blank and I find myself thinking about nothing and everything at the same time. It will be good to spend time away from home even though it will be a short trip. I don’t know what to expect and I will go there with an open mind and try my best.

I am glad that I have the smooth sound of the train moving along. It is relaxing and I feel myself dozing off. I only pray that I do not oversleep and miss my stop. The sun is starting to set and the view I see from the window is beautiful. I hope to see Mount Fuji on the way before it gets dark.