Tag Archives: Motomachi

On being here now

church

This
{leafy cathedral}
is ten minutes from our apartment
in Japan,
just five minutes
from school.

I’ve been thinking about
this
more often
lately.

I’ve been craving more of
this.

Do you remember
The Little Prince
who set off
to visit
new planets
after his rose
disappointed him.
{As if he never told a lie!}

As a child I imagined
the Little Prince
in red Chuck Taylors
and a cape.
Speeding by planets
as if on a treadmill,
his cape in the air.

I’m pretty sure
that’s not
the image
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
had in mind
but
when you’re a kid,
you think what you think.

In grad school,
when I first learned
to traverse
the internet like space
I became the Little Prince.

{We were not all born
in net-time.}

I regarded with awe
the social media constellations:
facebook,
flickr,
twitter.
I had the power to visit,
to stay a while,
then leave.

And I saw that
the galaxy was amazing.
Vast and infinite.
I explored,
collected data.

Years passed.
The universe expanded,
demanded
to be read, learned, mastered
at warp speed.

An article of interest
led to another
and another
as I jumped.

An afternoon was gone.
Then a day.

Just
a hole
demanding
to be filled
and a worry.
What if I miss something
important
happening over there
while I am over here?

A strange race with my own heart

During my planet-jumping journey,
the bliss
of being witness
to everything
became a burden.

Sweeter things fell away.

That’s no way
for a Little Prince
to live.

I’ve had to
re-think my mission.
I need not be acquainted
with every electronic
star.

I need to be here now.

Here.
On this path
with my gentle man
and his orange knapsack.
I need to be in conversations
about fewer things
at greater depth.

When I was a little girl
my mother
{who also loves to read}
would encourage me
to put down my book.
“Go outside
and play.”

It’s taken
half a lifetime
to understand
what she meant.

intersection of fresh and start

perspective

A few days ago
I changed up my routine
ever so sightly.
{I didn’t even mean to.}

Sometimes,
the very best things
happen that way.

I left our apartment earlier
than normal
(but not by much)
to buy a special coffee
for a friend
who’d had a very big week
at school.

Instead of heading straight for the sidewalk
beneath the highway overpass
{a spot I romantically call the canal}
I turned right and crossed the street.

Standing at that corner,
the intersection of fresh and start,
I looked back at the place where
I normally wait for the light
to turn green.

The new side of the street felt calm.
Gravity seemed slightly less efficient.
Even the sun shone differently.

An angel sat on my shoulder and said,
“This is gonna be an awesome day.”
{Angels are not overly concerned
with your ideas about proper grammar.}

Later that morning
I saw a group of four high school boys
in navy jackets and grey trousers
on their way to school.
Three of them
crashed and bashed
into each other.
The boy at the back walked more slowly.
With trousers six inches too short,
he displayed his white sports socks with pride.
As he passed me, he smiled.

I wondered if he {too}
had crossed the street
just to see the world
from the other side

and what his angel said.

Grey skies over Motomachi

Today, I’ve been writing a story about a Japanese woman named Yoko who sets out to find her high school love, a man she hasn’t seen in forty years.

The soundtrack for today’s writing came from Facebook… a recent graduate from my high school posted himself playing, on piano, Inochi no Namae from the Japanese anime film Spirited Away. Here’s another version of this song: