Getting ready to time-travel

And so one thing ends, and, with anxiety, something new begins.  Tonight, I complete my life here in Japan, and dream one last dream before I move forward to my next step.  I felt like I was in “What About Bob?” today, taking my mother’s guidance to do whatever needs to be done next – aka baby steps.  I took my baby steps all day long today, and finally got it all finished.  I even accomplished a few things I expected not to be able to do.

One of those things being seeing the guitarist I’d seen a couple weeks ago at the nearby train station, who had greeted me in English one night as I was moving my stuff to my friend’s place.  He greeted me and asked how I was doing tonight, as I was walking in Shibuya, and ended up accompanying me, with my comfortable acquiescence, to the phone shop to disconnect my phone (It was closed.), and then buying me a Japan-only Yuzu frappucino from Starbucks, and sitting with me as I finally watched the Shibuya Crossing from the Starbucks window (It wasn’t actually very impressive, but I think I never really expected it to be, anyway.), at which point, we finally discovered that we had, in fact, seen one another those two or three weeks back.  He was a nice guy, Ryo.

I ended my evening with my last gaiten zushi (conveyor belt sushi), on which I spent ¥680 (just over $6 US), and which I didn’t even finish eating.  I’ll miss such affordable sushi, but I’ll survive quite well back in Houston, I do believe.  Green smoothies and colorful veggie-based juices are calling me.

And now, at long last, I shall sleep.  Rest, anyway.  We’ll see if it really is sleep tomorrow morning, when my alarm wakes me just before 5am.  I hope I wake rested well.

Anyway, this is it, I guess.  Tomorrow morning, I say goodbye to Japan, and then I time-travel (departing 11:10am on Saturday, 12 August, and arriving 9:30am on Saturday, 12 August).

Goodnight!

Post-a-day 2017

But… those are mine – the things we do for love <3

Girls and bracelets.  Seems like a rather simple topic, right?  Just girls and bracelets.  Nothing special.  Today, however, they were both special.

It was my last day going by the school where I have been based this past year.  A student had been in touch to find out this information, and so knew that I was going to be there today in the morning.  When I arrived at my (well, it’s not my former desk, but I guess it must have still been mine, since the stuff all on it was for me) desk, I was surprised by a small and adorable (because Japan) pile of wrapped gifts.  Each one had a different note and was from someone different, both teachers and students.  They all surprised me, but the one that got me ready for tears was the one on a beautiful piece of Rapunzel Disney (C) paper, with “Love” tape to attach it to the pink bag.  It read:

Dear Hannah
Present for you.

From Nono, Yuna

These were the two main trumpet players in the band at school, the two with whom I had spent bits of time here and there, just listening to them play, chatting with them, having lunch with them, taking photos with and of them, letting them paint me (yes, they painted my arms one day), giving them fun jazz (which they had never heard!) music to play, and also playing trumpet with them.  Of course, I am going to miss these two dearly.

However, I never quite expected a present from them.  Let alone the nice little Japanese mirror, charm, and coin purse (or maybe it’s for makeup, even).  They’re designed to go with the whole yukata/kimono getup, and I had never found ones to go with mine.  So it was essentially a perfect going-away present for me!  And they had no idea.  They were just being sweet and giving me something Japanese.

So, a short time later, they show up to the teachers’ room and ask for me.  I rush over to them and shove them out of the teachers’ room in a hurry – no one else needs to be part of this little celebration-slash-goodbye ordeal that’s about to go down.

With the two are a handful of other girls from the band, too.  I thank them eagerly (Is that right?  Let me check… “eager, avid, keen, anxious, athirst mean moved by a strong and urgent desire or interest. eager implies ardor and enthusiasm and sometimes impatience at delay or restraint,” says merriam-webster.com, so I accept it as appropriate in this case.), and give hugs all around.  Some embrace the american social norm, and others delight in it hesitantly, but they all hug me with joy and enthusiasm.  I will miss these guys, runs through my head as we’re all chatting and being silly together, and I know my thought is right.  I will miss them desperately, and I know they will miss me, too.  The simple fact that my successor is not even musically inclined shows the unlikelihood of their finding a replacement-ish for me, and the fact that I am leaving Japan almost guarantees that I couldn’t even begin to find a sort of replacement for all of them.

As we are wrapping things up, so that they can go eat before they have to be back at band rehearsal (to which I had been listening earlier on in the morning, secretly), I notice yet again a comment directed at my shins-ankles-feet region.  i couldn’t hear what was said, as it wasn’t said to me.  Each time it happened, the comment was almost whispered to another girl, just quietly enough that I couldn’t quite hear.  But I could see.

I wondered if they were finally noticing how I don’t shave my legs – I kind of gave up shaving… not sure where I’m going with that in life, but it seems to be the current situation.  I am always happy to talk about almost anything with the girls, despite their often being incredibly shy about most things.  So, as I usually do, I encourage the comment to come to the open.

Finally, someone gets the nerve enough to say it aloud, and I am surprised.  It was not, as I thought, anything to do with my hairy legs (it is dirty blonde, after all, so it isn’t all too noticeable in the first place, but I imagine they’re all accustomed to mine already anyway, plus they seem to love the colors in all my various hairs (since they’re not just black, like Japanese people’s)).  What was the comment regarding?  My anklet.

“She… want… it,” was the oh-so-embarrasing phrase.  And oh, what self-searching consideration I had to make all of a sudden – I was amazed at myself at my success in the matter.

And so, as we all hug once more (or twice more) and say our goodbyes, I watch with a huge smile and a chuckle, as three of the girls bounce off wearing my anklet and two bracelets, all of which I had made for myself a couple or few years ago, and all of which I absolutely love wearing.  But, hey, as I told the girls, I made those myself, so I can get some more Mookaite and Jasper stones when I get back to Houston (I might even still have some, actually), and make myself some new versions of those same bracelets and the matching anklet.  Plus, as much as those meant to me, it pales in comparison to how much each now (and likely for the rest of their lives) means to those girls.  As they say in Japanese, one of them told me that it is her “precious treasure”.  I’m not sure they could have been more grateful, even if I had made the bracelets for them specifically.

I still kind of can’t believe those girls got my bracelets and anklet off of me.  But I also love how wonderful it felt to give away a part of myself to those who so greatly longed for a bit of it.  It was more than just giving away something I had with me, because it was 1)something I valued and 2)something I made myself, for myself.  It really was giving away a part of me.  It kind of feels like I’ll be able to take care of them forever, in some small way.  I like that.

Anyway, that was about ten minutes of today.  A really, really good ten minutes.  🙂


 

Post-a-day 2017

God, bless me, please

I don’t know what it is, but something has me unconcerned on the whole.  I don’t quite have a place to live after this month.  I don’t quite have a well-enough-paying job as of this week.  I don’t have any health or dental insurance once I move back to Texas next month.  And yet, here I am, trying to get myself worked up, because I am not already concerned about these things. 

Why am I unconcerned?  I don’t know.  There is something in the air though, that tells me that everything is okay, everything will be perfect once I’m back home.  So, I am trusting.  I am keeping an open mind, and I am listening when things come up.

Let us see where this takes me next month…  🙂
Post-a-day 2017

Our Stories

“Share your story here…”. Share your story here.  Share your story here?  What is my story?

Tonight, my story is that I am like Rapunzel, locked on my own in a tower, merely dreaming of what life could be if only I weren’t stuck in this tower.  I want to cuddle up and cry with my despair and loneliness.  The earth just shook long and low beneath me, deepening my unease for a handful of seconds.  I don’t want to turn off the light – there seems to be a certain power in its being illuminated (and I do not mean the electricity), a power to keep me safe and okay and able to handle things.

Tonight, my story is that I am lonely and alone, and, though I am so close to being in a place I could and do call home, I feel as though I am in the point A to point B race where you constantly only go half the distance, thereby making progress toward the desired destination, but never actually arriving there.

Also, that just reminded me of how much I love Patrick Swayze.  I wish I could have been in the film “Dirty Dancing”.

Anyway… I want to cry tonight, and to let it all go, leaving me to wake up refreshed and excited and capable in the morning.
Post-a-day 2017

The train station at 5am

Out of the darkness, a pair of white tennis shoes appear in the corner, illuminated by some magical strip of light.  They are patiently, patiently, ever so patiently waiting.

Upward, dark jeans, black jacket, a bag… once invisible in their angled darkness, they solemnly allow their existence to be known with a quiet and easy surprise attack.

A man.  Looking at nothing, waiting for something that will come no time soon, he stands still with the time, innerly… something…, outwardly stoical against the near-bitter cold.

This I see as I grumble home in my near hallucinations of aches and pains at 5am.

Post-a-day 2017

Costco

Today, sitting with a friend at Costco (yes, Japan has Costco, oddly enough), I noticed how at home I felt.  I used to go to Costco with my dad, and Sam’s with each of my parents long before that.  Now, being at Costco gives me a sense of everything being alright, and that I am loved and surrounded by those who love me (or at least am in the same town as they, and I will be with them soon enough).  So, naturally, it was odd when we walked out of the store, because the crashing cold extinguished any and all warm feelings of home and home-y-ness, returning me to my current locale…  

I’m okay here, certainly.  I do believe what my mother once commented about me, though: I am European.  She didn’t mean that I actually am European, of course, but that my style and my ways are very much in sync with those of Europe, and not with those of Asia.  I imagine that I one day will be excited by a Japanese shop or this or that, when I am off elsewhere in the world.  However, I am starting to see that the sentiment will not reflect that of when I cross a European cafe or restaurant – the former is likely to be a thought of “Well, that was a neat time,” and the latter occurs as an actual piece of me.

Post-a-day 2017