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.


The Train Stories: No Sleep

photo-120“There is no sleep in this life” is what I wrote next to this image that I drew sometime back. We are constantly moving. Constantly changing. Constantly trying to better ourselves while failing twice as much.  Today I came across two quotes that stood out to me.  One from the movie, “The Chosen”. A beautiful movie. In the film, the father is working hard on his project,  and his son wants him to rest. With that, the father replies, “Only a life of meaning is worthy of rest”. That hit me. He is pushing himself to the limit and fighting for what he believes in. What does my life mean? I am here complaining about things with no depth while I could be working harder. Along with that quote I found one by Leonardo Da Vinci: ” I have offended God and mankind because my work didn’t reach the quality it should have”. With those two stuck in my head, I feel ashamed. It is too easy for me to slack off and not do anything. I can only hope that someday I will be worthy of my rest.

My Indian Friend, The Salary Man, and Mr. Lebanon

photo 1-15

I set off for Tokyo to get on the plane at Narita the morning after my sisters exhibition. I decided to make the trip by Seishun which is a cheap ticket only available three times during the year.  The ticket is cheap, but it can take a long time (An estimated 10 hours all the way to Tokyo).

I got a funny feeling when I started to pack. I was so busy in the days prior to leaving, so I didn’t have too much time to think about what I was going to do. Coming back from my last trip to Singapore, I was high on excitement. I wanted to travel more and somehow make it possible to do it often. Now after a year of working and going through the motions, my actions became very stiff and uniform. I was sad at the thought of this years trip not being as impacting as last year’s.

I started walking down the hill at five in the morning along with other neighbors who were running down the hill to be on time for work.

The whole ten hours on the trains were a blur. I was exhausted throughout the whole 7 transfers. The most interesting part about the journey was having a head-shaking contest with a baby that was sitting next to me at one point.

Tokyo is apparently 475 kilometers from where I live. It is not terribly far, but they seem like different worlds to me. The feeling of the city and people are different compared to the ones in Kansai. Couples seem more affectionate in Tokyo, and would kiss, hold hands, and hug in public where I have not seen that much in here. It was nice to see so much love in the cold air.

My friend offered to let me stay at his apartment for one night. The only catch was that he would not come home until late. In Japan we call the people with corporate jobs “Salary Men”. The people in Japan work like dogs and my friend was no exception. He works from 8:00 in the morning and gets home at 12:00 at night. Even when he gets home he works until 3:00 doing other research for the company.

Until I met him, a friend from Lebanon took me around the town. He knows me well, and brought me to an awesome Starbucks and ordered me something with extra cream.

I finally met my Salary man friend when the clock struck midnight. Suit and briefcase in all, he looked different from the university student I had known him as.

He helped me get ready for the following morning. I managed three hours of sleep and I was off the following morning to catch a plane at Narita airport.

I planned to meet the Indian friend at the airport at 8:00 AM. I came ten minutes early and he came ten minutes late.

He would be my travel buddy along with two others for the next couple of weeks. What would this trip bring? Only time would tell.

photo 2-18

My Little Eyes: No sleep for me

            photo 2-15 So basically my first night at the YMCA was not great. My head was full and played past events over and over. It’s okay though. I’m sure tonight will be better. Little by little my shell is cracking and I am  starting to want to not leave Singapore. I feel like it would be such a blast to go around and travel more. Through meeting all of these people in these short past two weeks, I feel like I have a whole lot to take back with me to Japan. A lot of stories. Thats what it’s all about through right? I hope that I can continue to learn to think in many other ways. I can take the insomnia as all my thoughts processing- shaving away the negative thoughts and emotions until you are left with nothing but a delightful memory to look back on. Your thought life makes you or breaks you. Think right.

I drew this picture and wrote this post (不眠) because I was not able to sleep while I was in Singapore. I had done something very immature and stupid and I could not get it out of my head all night. It left me with an interesting sketch, but I would like to try very hard from now on to not let history repeat itself.

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.

Elephant Eating and Hole Digging

When we first moved into our house, the garden was overgrown with bushes and a blanket of weeds taller than me. It was a jungle and it seemed like we needed a miracle to get it under control.

Slowly but surely, I am currently digging out the bushes from our yard. There are quite a few of them, and it takes energy and time. A lot of time. Sometimes it seems as if they don’t want to detach from the earth and are holding on tight with their roots. I have to keep reminding myself that it will just take awhile. One shovel at a time, progress happens.

As I dig, I always think of it as an analogy for my own life. Some days I roll up my sleeves and think, “Give me that shovel, I’m going in !” On others, I look and sigh. No matter how hard I try, all the work is to no avail. I constantly keep reminding myself that no matter how dirty or tired I get, all that I want to get done with will eventually be accomplished. Take it one day at a time and you will see results.

You might look at your life and see nothing but weeds and mud. But if you continue to push forward through the sweat, good things will come.

It reminds me of the quote:

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

-Unknown Source

After all if that hole-digging and elephant eating, pat yourself on the back all tell yourself you did a good job. You deserve to sleep soundly, but the morning will come soon. When you wake up, jump out if bed with gusto. There are still many more sleeves to roll up.