Levels of life

I managed to finish the book Levels of Life by Julian Barnes while taking my lunch break before the second half of my test. I enjoyed it and I was able to get into it enough so I didn’t have to worry about the two test directors that showed up just for me(I was the only one that was taking the test). Some quotes from the book that I scribbled down:

Perhaps the world progresses not by maturing, but by being in a permeant state of adolescence, of thrilled discovery.

So why do we constantly aspire to love? Because love is the meeting point of truth and magic. 

He could hear himself living.

We were together for thirty years. I was thirty-two when we met, sixty-two when she died. The heart of my life; the life of my heart.

It hurts exactly as much as its worth.

Perhaps grief, which destroys all patterns, destroys even more the belief any pattern exists.

There are two essential kinds of loneliness. That of not having found someone to love, and that of having been deprived of the one you did love. 


Japan Sketch Auction: Friends Curry Shop

I will be posting new artwork regularly and will be up for sale 🙂
If anyone happens to be interested, please bid on the Instagram page!

In this moment

photo-174Your face will smile, your tongue will dance.

That was what was written on the sign of Papa Jon’s, the cheese cake shop in Kyoto we went to yesterday. The combination of the food and the lovely company did make my face light up, giving me the energy that I needed at the time. I have been working at USJ and it is not exactly the most relaxing position. With the smiling all day, arranging, and the tight-knit Japanese environment, it was not easy in the beginning. I have not been there long, but little by little I am starting to become more comfortable and more confidant in my knowledge with the park. I am excited about getting better and becoming even more familiar.

I also have been reading a lot of blogs and books that are keeping things into perspective. It is easy to think that your life is tiring, and when I am in a normal state of mind I laugh at how moody I can become. I realize how ridiculous it is to pout.

Life is so beautiful. What are some beautiful things that I jotted down this past month? The kids that I teach after school waved from their cars and screamed to me, “Johnna sensei, bye-bye!” My singing teacher, the absolute angel helping me pass a test that would be impossible to do with my own resources. Friends that you can jump on, laugh with… enjoy with. These are the people you don’t feel pressure to impress, and it is so relaxing. Thinking about all of these things made me so happy today. I don’t want to loose this feeling. For those times when I fall I want to remember this beautiful day. I want to remember that in this moment I have everything.

She played

I jotted this down while listening to my friends violin concert. I haven’t seen her in five years, and I was so impressed with her violin playing. 

photo-169The melodies move in a way I can’t explain. They are speaking to me but I don’t know the language. I listen hard and hope to decipher it. This language that couldn’t have come from us but belongs, and will forever be the tongue of the gods. Listen, take care, and they may grant you the miracle of being able to connect to a single note or phrase. The musician is the door to this language. I can’t believe I have known this woman for over 10 years. Oh, how she has changed yet the essence of her burns bright. When she plays, she looks up to the heavens, revealing to the audience the diamonds in her eyes. Then looks away, and she focuses, hiding her ivory stare. Oh, how beautiful she is. Oh, how beautiful her playing is. Oh, how amazing it must be to connect to something that is as wonderful as music. Oh, how fine it must be to speak the language of the gods.

Hearing her play made me transition into the world I want to forever be in. Not this current dream that I am living and have been living for as long as I can remember. Through her music I have seen possibilities and chances that I have not taken. I want to snatch them. I want to take them and make them apart of me. I want to feel the beauty in my bones and wake up. Not with groggy eyes, taking minutes to rub away the sleep. I want to look around and see the art of life. To smile at the unanswered questions. To love the who, what, when, where, why, and how of every situation and not be afraid of it. To not be afraid of mistakes. To own up to the lies I tell. To make up for all of the disappointments. To learn to say goodbye to people- even to those that love you. You have to go. Something, somewhere is calling you but you don’t know how to get there. You have to find it. You have to follow the voice. It needs you there for a reason and you are where you are for a reason. Something, somewhere is calling for you to come home.


Open, close. It’s 9:43.
I hear the loudspeaker and see what I see.
The windows of the train holding all of those lives that are fleeting.

The girl with siren red hair, laughing. The old woman in the purple coat shivering. The suits going to their companies. The girl falling asleep on her knees.

They are all you, they are all me.

That was the train that left at 9:43.

To the boy sitting next to me


To the university boy sitting next to me on the train yesterday:

Thank you so much for tapping me on the shoulder. Thank you so much for pulling out Google Translate to make an attempt to appreciate a stranger. Thank you so much for telling me about yourself. Thank you so much for letting me talk to you about my life. Thank you so much for wanting to meet again. Thank you so much for not being like the rest of the population. Thank you for giving me my favorite memory of the week.

I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of meeting you if I hadn’t missed my stop.

Again, thank you.

I shall call this post Emily

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This was my second time coming to Singapore. I decided to follow in the footsteps of my past-self and go to the Singapore Art Museum on my first full day. The exhibits change every three months so there is a feeling of constant flow as you walk through the halls. The building itself used to be an all-boys school and is very aesthetically beautiful.

Walking though the glass doors, it seemed like a different place compared to my last visit, as if I had met an old friend after ten years.

Last year, it was the crutch of my trip. I spent a good eight hours in there carefully soaking up each exhibit, installation, and painting because I didn’t want to forget anything.  This year was the same, taking things in and trying to figure out the meanings behind them or how they could apply to my own life.

One of the exhibits was called Not Much to See which explored the importance of commonplace objects in Singapore’s environment. Though I don’t live there, I could relate to the simple every-day items. While looking around I got to have the pleasure of talking to the museum volunteer in charge of watching Not Much to See. We got into a deep conversation fast and before ten minutes would end, she told me that she loved me and that God will protect me. She told me that she will be praying for me while I rode my bus. I had no idea at the time how much her prayers would help me. The cute, short, Singaporean lady in her fifties ended our conversation with, “And my name is Emily! It stands for Every Moment I Love You!”

I left the museum and re-read the paragraph that they had posted in the front:

You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to be critical of yourself. While you have some personality weaknesses you are generally able to compensate for them. You have considerable unused capacity that you have not turned to your advantage. Disciplined and self-controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure on the inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You also pride yourself as an independent thinker; and do not accept other statements without satisfactory proof. But you have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, and sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, and reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be rather unrealistic. 

I ended the day with going to Gardens by the Bay with my new Brazilian friends. It was fun, but the crowds made me exhausted and I wanted to go home. I was excited to finally get back to the hostel when they suggested looking for a restaurant to eat out at. We searched for a place that was open at midnight, and after a lot of shops turned us down, we found Burger King. I don’t eat fast-food so I declined and nibbled on the apple I had left in my bag. We finally returned to the hostel for the second time– tired, holding an unopened bottle of wine that they wanted to drink. I decided to go straight to bed and slept peacefully until I woke up in the morning to a tapping on my head.

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