I’m in Tokyo for three weeks, on outreach with YWAM(!!!!!) It’s insane and crazy and surreal, and so very Japan.
Japan is so Japan. Which sounds stupid, like the way I couldn’t stop talking about how American everything in America was when I first came there. But it’s like my favourite thing in the world. That regardless of globalization and urbanization and communication the houses are different and the sound of the river is different and the wind is different.
(That’s about all I have to say because I haven’t realised I’m actually here yet, but here are some city gifs)
Life is so interesting.
I’ve broken down many times, in many ways.
The autumn of my last year in school, I reached a point – several times – where I physically couldn’t do anything but sit in bed and finally ask for help.
On outreach to Kenya I broke down and then did things anyway.
And while working as a teacher I had to, well, quit working as a teacher because of where it brought me.
I keep walking into walls. Running into them in fact, heart first. I think I should learn to hit them with my shoulders instead, so that I don’t break into a million pieces. But I do also think I’ll be the one to tear them down.
From the times I couldn’t undo
couldn’t stand up again.
From the times I couldn’t win
but only say
one of us will grow tired
and it won’t be me.
From endless days
of searching back:
I love you,
said as easy as breathing.
(is how they’ve learned not to give up)
(Yesterday, borrowing my roommates car.)
I’ve had too many days
In these last few days
To write about all of them.
I was thinking about it a few weeks ago, when we went to Walmart in the middle of the night to buy things for a friend’s birthday. That’s crazy! It was an adventure, such a day, such a whole day and night to write about. Maybe I’m too excited, or actually I don’t care if I’m too excited, joy belongs to the people too excited. But then the next day something new happened, and I never did write.
My life feels full of those days lately.
(And that’s good. I document things that are rare.)
Pride is a river
Eat it for breakfast
of ice cold water
to see clearly
your bones are shaking
(I throw it right back up again)
_________ your pride
have it for lunch
WILL QUENCH THE FIRE!
(welcome to your body)
The bulimia of pride
I throw it right back up again
Pride is a river
(but) In the evening
I have remembered the alcohol in my veins and I set a match to it.
Eat The last supper
Swallow your wine
if you lean your back against me.
Or: The inevitability of time
Wow, deep right?
See, we didn’t quite have time to finish our ice cream. I was eating my cookie dough extra chocolate chip caramel chocolate sauce deliciousness while stressing out about not stressing, and then suddenly the sky was dark and we were biking along the road as rain started to fall, fireworks going off in the distance. Violent in comparison to soft lights from the restaurants we passed. It was not bad. It was one of my favourite moments of the whole evening. But as we hopped off and stood next to our bikes the sentence ‘The inevitability of time‘ popped into my head.
We just bike alongside that time. Sing with it. Get rained on, messed up, as it flows by like the wind and grabs our hair and hands with the unforgiveness of a ringing bell. The sound of it is breaking my bones from the inside out. I was just supposed to be here for a short time. Last year was the fourth of july I was supposed to experience. Now it’s no longer just a small window or good perspective into a culture that is not mine, but it’s tradition for me too. There will be another fourth of July, and the sun will sink as a countdown until the fireworks start again, if I die, if I live, if I stop caring. It continually exists. Apart from me. Maybe that’s what I’m saying.
Anyway. It was one of those moments when finding a specific set of words and using them to define the moment, the experience, the lesson, made me feel better, calmer, satisfied with existence because it means I am here, I am growing, I am seeing this moment as being something.
(And is it ever something. My heart sings with it, beats with it, and I am just lost enough)
I wanted to make a ‘thank you’ painting for the school where I worked. I thought flowers, because what you do in a school is basically planting seeds in people and hoping it grows/helping it grow to something good.
Also, let us appreciate technology, where you can edit photos of your paintings and then change your mind before you destroy them in real life (I went with the first background).
And here is the first painting on the theme, that I deemed too weird and stare-y, so I kept it for myself and now brought it to Florida to make people think I’m very fancy and artistic.
somewhere in the dark corners of my phone:
Everything you make me throw up I swallow right back down again, the wisps of sweet poison to the bitter taste of my fingernails, I swallow it down again. Grasping hands clinging to asphalt and tissue and all the atoms they cannot see, second hand looking and eyes eyes eyes on me. I swallow it right back down again (please) I swallow it right back down again.
I came home wednesday feeling like there was nothing left of me. Or maybe like I was an aquarium, filled to the brim with water that could flood my eyes or hands at any moment.
I suppose it was some sort of emotional exhaustion. There were all the things I wrote about in the last post, but then it just continues. Saying goodbye to people I won’t see before I go, having my last day in school and saying goodbye to students and teachers, hanging out with friends and having our annual ‘summer is here’ restaurant visit with the family. I came home from that and it was as if each of my limbs felt different things. Maybe the stress was in my right arm and the calm in my left. I was left feeling nothing. As if they cancelled each other out.
Anyway, then I went to bed, and felt better when I woke up. It’s weird how simple complicated things are. And now start the last few days of being home, packing, and occasionally hanging out with someone and saying goodbye. Maybe I’ll go make pancakes for breakfast.