He wrote a poem

photo-179In my last post, I talked about my first encounter with the artist, Mitsushita. Each time we met up until now has been conversations over two hours, the kinds of talks where you happen to glance at a watch and you jump out of your seat, surprised at how fast the time had gone by.

In the beginning, because I am a cheapskate, I had no intention of buying his art. After speaking to him however, I decided that I wanted a piece of this fantastic person.

He drew me —blue wig and all— but he also wrote me a poem. It was not what I had expected, and I was beaming.. As I read, I knew that during our marathon talks he had been listening with ears as well as heart. It was an amazing feeling to be heard.

I will write the Japanese and try my best to translate it into English.

You cried a lot coming here didn’t you.
You did your best and held in your tears.
These words I will write are to the kind one that lets her tears fall.
If you are scared, I want to change your fear into smile.
I want to change your tears of sadness into ones of joy.
Because your smile is the most beautiful. I will love all of your faults.
Your smile is my smile. I will always believe this.

Keeping the kitchen sink clean


I have been doing a lot of moving around Japan and have also been doing a lot of thinking. All of the people that have crossed my path, all of the same old ideas, fresh ideas, are going in circles in my head. I am trying to take in all of these things. I am trying to understand the confusion, the slight leaps of joy that my heart takes, the indifference that I feel when there should be emotion. I am wondering why certain things decided to play out in my life and I cannot be too sure if it will have a positive or negative effect on me. Some say that life is what you make out of it. A beautiful idea, but also a scary one for me considering the struggle I have to even keep the kitchen sink clean.

From a young age, I wished to be in control of my life. I would make lists and itineraries for myself to finish each day, and that would give me my sense of security. Making those lists and checking off the things I had to complete is what made my world comfortable and beautiful. Now I am skeptical to whether or not you can let beauty be forced rather then just let beauty be. Lists have their benefits, but for me they left me feeling passionless. They got me somewhere, but when I arrived I felt as if all my effort had been in vain. Nothing I did would ever be enough.

Recently, I have been reading things that have put my mind at ease. I am reading things that I enjoy, that I can understand through my own experiences. You may tell yourself that you are inadequate, but it’s okay. There is beauty in that. There is beauty all around, in the people, nature, and your own self.
It doesn’t have to be clawed out, but will shine through once the walls that the world made you build around yourself get torn down. For myself, I can only hope that something beautiful can someday come out of this wrenched soul. I can only hope.

In the meantime, I will hop on my bus back to Osaka and start my new job at the Bistro. I am looking forward to seeing what stories may come out of this experience.

The Train Stories: The Lone Scientist

photo 2-13I loved science. I wanted to go into a field I loved, but gave it up and decided to make the more conservative choice tp work in an office every day for the next 30 years. As I doze off, I dream of a time when becoming a scientist was a reality for me. It all seems like pieces of a film reel, showing me a past life of mine- one that I can not go back to . I simply obey the orders of each person around me while ignoring a cry deep within my soul. A cry thats screaming and gasping for air. The side of me that I buried myself.

Nagano: First Findings

The following post will be on my adventure to the countryside of Japan: Nukuta, Nagano. It was a mini adventure that brought out a lot of demons, yet set me into a better direction of dealing with them. I loved the trip, and I hope you will enjoy my stories. There will be five posts in the series so stay tuned for the rest.

photo 5

My trip to Nagano was off to a dramatic start as I emerged into the pitch black rainy morning at 5:30 AM.
I am not used to getting up so early, so I found myself nodding off when I got on the platform. As I glanced up at the clock, I suddenly remembered that the magical hour will soon be approaching: The Businessman Rush Hour. Just as I had predicted, five minutes before the train pulled up, a flood of suits came rushing down the stairs. I never had any reason before to catch this train, so I was happy to have had the experience of squeezing myself into all of the people.

The trip to Nukuta Station was long. A whopping seven hours. During that time I mostly slept, but I also penciled down some thoughts I had while I was on the train.

As soon as I got off at Nukuta, Yoshida-san passed by in his car. I told him that I would call when I arrived at the station, but apparently it was not difficult to guess when I would arrive because only three trains pass through a day.

He was not how I expected him to be, in a good way! He was lanky and had a smile with a lot of expression in it. I did not know what kind of work I would be doing, but he explained to me that they were in the business of making houses for bees.
After doing a bit of work, he gave me a tour of his other gardens and of the neighborhood. Apparently only eight children attend the local middle school.
We very quickly got onto the topic of religion. He asked me a lot of questions about my beliefs.

“I just only realized at 45 that the only person you can change is yourself- no one else can do it for you”. He would quote himself over and over.

We arrived at the place I would call home for the next four days. It was interesting. It was a shack, but I liked it. There was no toilet in the house. Instead, you had to walk outside, down the hill for thirty seconds, and open up this metal box that looks like a locker and you will find the Japanese-style toilet waiting for you.
There also was no shower, but there was a bath (Also not inside the house).

If you would open up the plastic sliding door to the house, you would find the whole house cluttered with books, cooking utensils, blankets, and trinkets.

The hosts are both very sweet people. I will go on to explain their personalities little by little over the posts.
I found it hard to connect with them at the end of the first day, but I crossed my fingers and hoped that they would be glad that they decided to take me in. A stranger to their way of life.

photo 4

A Robin’s Love Song

Life would be beautiful if I could just be with you, said the little Robin to the Little Bird Blue.

We sing different songs, but could you listen to mine? Finding you is the melody of my life.

I trip over my notes, and I don’t whistle what I mean. Oh, look how complicated love seems.

May you give me a chance, have me not? Forgive this Little Robin’s song if it’s not what you want.

My Little Eyes: The Fear of Swimming without Arms

photo 3-4

Sometimes I feel like my life is hanging by a thread. Sometimes I feel like whoever is holding that thread will drop it one day, leaving me by myself, plummeting into the wild ocean beneath. I do not know what exactly is waiting for me in this life, but what I do know is that I am being held by something gentle. Because even though it feels like the rope will snap any second, there will be a way for me to float. The ride looks dangerous and you may not want to try, but by the time its over, you may find yourself wishing you could go on again.

This is the second in a series of sketches that I drew while I was in Singapore. You can see more of an explanation in my first post here: Click me!

The Train Stories: All he sees


She had a nice fishtail braid and a hat on her head.

She had a feeling of travel but only traveled locally.

This kind of woman likes to appear exotic, but actually doesn’t go anywhere.

She has her cellphone out, messaging the sixth boyfriend in a row in three years.

He is the sixth one that doesn’t care about her.

All he sees is the fishtail braid and the hat on her head.

Her true heart is forever hidden because she refuses to show it.

Being fake is just easier in the present- but in the long run it deadens your soul.