Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Japan Pan Syndrome: Nihon Remix II

I've previously expressed my bafflement and enduring confusion with Japan. I mean I love it. But it has been a subtle kind of curse, as well. I find myself missing it a lot lately, for some reason. Maybe the weather, as I see the cherry blossoms are due to bloom in Kyushu this month. Maybe the culture, as I'm currently living in the whitest, most suburban place I've ever lived. Maybe it's the kids- Taviri has just discovered Japanese culture, and Arkaedi speaking Japanese would be the cutest thing that could possibly exist.

But mostly I think it's like I wrote five years ago- I'm not prepared for anything else. I lived my first 20 years as a prospective bhikkhu, filled with pretension and ideology. I had zero thought of the future, I was just skipping and ambling through life. I ended up in Japan on pure luck, doing a job and wandering over the country. It was as close to a logical conclusion as I could have hoped for. Except it wasn't a conclusion. I came back, went to school, had kids... I'm a teacher now. And I like that.

Except... again, it isn't a conclusion. I don't work that way. I'm already ambling towards the next thing. It's not healthy, or realistic, or smart. It's certainly not fair to the family. But it's true.

Friends talk about buying a house. I think of buying a house in the same way many would think of getting a fatal diagnosis. Which is silly. But it's how I feel. In fact, in the face of all the madness and instability in my life, it's practically the only thing that hasn't changed. I equate settling down and owning a house with death.

I'm better than I used to be. I can function as a normal person now, and I sometimes stay in a place for years. Even three years! But I'll never be settled in the sense that many of my friends are. I'll never be stable. And Japan is a big part of that. Japan is my crucible, where I lived during most of my twenties. It's where I grew up. Or failed to grow up.

And ironically, I'd like my kids to see it and live in that world. I don't care if they grow up or not. But it's nice to have the choice.

Also, Godzilla.
Meow! Grr!

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