9:43

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.

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Prefecture Hopping

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I was very busy this day and ran all over Kansai.

I went to Kyoto in the morning to pick up a painting of mine.

Time Spent: 1 and 1/2 hours

I went to Nara after that pick up a study book for class that I had forgotten at my friends house:

Time Spent: 3 hours

I went back to Ikoma to go to class:

Time Spent: 1 hour

After class it was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. I am whipped by this point but I still have energy and I prepare myself for the rest of the day!

After taking a shower I head off to Kobe to spend the evening with my family.

Time Spent: 2 hours.

It was a long day but a great day. I have never done so much prefecture hopping in my life. I managed to get a sketch done in Nara. *happy dance*

I will be going to Nagano from tomorrow to do some agriculture projects and I doubt that internet will be available. I hope to come back with a lot of stories to write about and share with all of you.

-Johnna

Longer than 10 minutes

The day went by quickly. I wanted to hold on to the minutes and the hours, but it flashed by. I spent the day watching the gardener I had I hired chopping down the jungle that I could not tame. It was amazing to see the difference at the end of the day.

I had a lot of things on my To-Do list, but it was hard for me to get into a good rhythm. I sketched for ten minutes then got bored. I read for five minutes then I moved to studying. After a few pages I remembered someone I had to email. Why couldn’t I get anything done?

The gardener finished his job at sunset. I stared at it from the balcony with the reds and the blues mixing in the sky and sighed a happy sigh. The job was finished. I counted the hours that he had worked: 9 1/2 hours straight. Him focusing on one project for that long inspired and saddened me. Could I focus like he had?

I promise I will study longer than ten minutes tomorrow.

Please wait.

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 cards to write, birthday presents to wrap, and smiles to give out. There is a lot of love that people don’t know about.

You will wait for that won’t you?

Please wait.. Please wait. I still am confused about everything. I want to do this and want to do that the next and nothing seems to make sense. He says one thing and then she says another. The romances in the moving pictures told me that it would get better.

Please be patient until I figure everything out.

Please…. please… Say that you will wait. Please say something, anything.

Time? Time…Are you listening?

The devil on my shoulder

Do not read beyond this line 

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Why can’t you be good at everything now? If you don’t pick up piano again, you will regret it in the future. You have to find a balance. If you don’t take your time, it will turn out crap. Why do I see so many couples? Be patient with yourself. You have to build good habits. It has to seem natural. You have to think about others. How come the machine wouldn’t accept my number? Would life be easier if I could do everything already? I need more time. Time passes so quickly. Would I feel more motivated if I had a significant other? I need to get my car license too. Why are there so many couples? I’m just tired. They said that if I put ten thousand hours into something I would see a difference. I would feel better. Is it just my mood? Why did my days get cut at work? What do people think of me? I need to stretch more. I red to pick up my diary again. Gardening would make me feel better. I’m just not getting enough exercise. I need to contact my friend. Dishes in the sink aren’t done. What time is it? Great, I forgot to floss. Why can’t I control my curiosity?

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While taking a very late walk, the angel and devil on my shoulders were hard at work. I had so many conflicting thoughts. My mind was very tired. However, waking up this morning I find myself in a more positive state of mind, but the devil on my shoulder always seems to return. It is hardest when the one that puts you down the most is yourself. You fight back and say I can do it – when something whispers Can you really?

What brings me back down to earth is remembering that I am not the only one with these conflicting thoughts. I am sure many can relate to the feeling of your emotions swinging like a pendulum.You tell yourself that you need balance, yet you should enjoy the ride. I want to hear about what happened to so-and-so at work, but I have to control my curiosity for good karma and remember that it is none of my business.

Though my suffering is incomparable to those who have experienced so much pain and gave up tremendous things for the good of others, it is difficult to see past my own pettiness and live to benefit those around me.

The reason to why I put Do not read in the beginning of this post is simply that: I do not want people to know what I am thinking. It is easier for people to interact with the bubbly girl who agrees with everyone. I myself am not happy to admit to how I am truly feeling, but a weight gets lifted of of me when honesty becomes the best policy. I feel more like myself when I turn my ear away from the whispers coming from devil on my shoulder.

Did time exist for you?

photo-80I 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.

Don’t spend time beating on a wall.

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Do not spend time beating on a wall hoping to transform it into a door.

This was on a bag that a woman was holding on the way home from work today. With all of the funny Japanese t-shirts and merchandise, this one made sense. There were many times in my life where I would try to change things that couldn’t possibly change. The fact that change was not possible made me more frustrated and that shallow whisper of, “Maybe… Just maybe”, haunted my mind. You can’t change a person, you can only hope for yourself to change. It doesn’t matter what happens around us, but if your mind is sober and you do what you can in your limited time, beautiful things can happen. It’s nice to know that it’s not our past mistakes that our holding us back, but our current mindset.

I am so grateful for second chances- and that second chance is called now.