I asked Adam if he thought my previous post was too disjointed, and he, supportive husband that he is, said, “Yes, but in a good way, like, if you don’t like what you’re reading, just wait a minute.”
“So, my writing is like the New England weather?” I asked.
Whenever I see this “hack” where you cut the crotch out of a pair of tights to turn them into a top, I think, “What’s going on in your life that you need to make a shirt out of a pair of tights?” Maybe it’s time to get off the internet and start securing some funds?
I went for a walk in Shinjuku Gyoen (if you haven’t figured it out, yet, this is one of my local parks). It was a typical humid Tokyo day that makes you feel like you’re a spider hanging in a bathroom corner while someone takes a scalding hot shower for three months straight.
I saw a bright red dragon fly. It stayed near me until I managed to get my phone into camera mode, then it flew away. This always happens in these situations, as if every natural being in my vicinity can intuit the moment I’m about to take a picture so it can immediately jump out of frame.
As I circled the lake, I stopped to talk to a tree, and I scared something big into the water. I saw several splashes, like it ran a few steps across the surface before it submerged. What was it?
My birthday was this week, and I got a lot of really nice birthday wishes on the social media platform that shall not be named. Maybe its only contribution to society is that a lot more birthday wishes are exchanged. Is it worth it?
We went to a make-your-own-okonomiyaki place that has vegan options. Okonomiyaki is my favorite Japanese food. It was part of my mom’s regular lunch rotation during summer breaks when I was in elementary school.
Afterwards, we went for a walk in Yoyogi park. The sound of the cicadas has reached the level of deafening one expects this time of year. It’s hard to hold a normal conversation. It can cause hearing damage.
As the larvae make their way out of the ground, the crows pull them up and stuff themselves. Their stomachs are so big and round, right now, they waddle around groaning, but yet, they’re still looking for more.
This morning, I watched this video about a couple in their 50s moving from the US to Portugal. It seems like more and more people are relocating at an age that we used to consider to be settled.
The main thing I miss about my youth is feeling like I have a lot of time. I’m not really that old, but I think about death a lot. Like, every day.
When I was in my mid-30s, I had the kind of energy that made most 18-year-olds tired. I didn’t just burn my candle at both ends, I threw the whole damn thing into the fire.
I didn’t gradually lose my energy. I hit a wall. Overnight, I went from nonstop joy and activity to rock-bottom exhaustion.
I’m not good with timespans, but I think it lasted for at least five years. Things slowly improved. I started to feel ambitious again. We moved to Japan.
For the first few weeks in Japan, my eyes itched and watered so much that I couldn’t see. That got better, only for me to lose my hearing for a few weeks. As soon as that was resolved, I found myself covered head to toe in itchy horrific hives for months. My hair fell out in clumps.
When I told my dad about it, he said with completely seriousness, “Well, I guess you’ll have to move back.”
I’d sold my house and most of what was in it. I’d given up my job and started a new job in Japan. I was not moving back.
Then, my mom suddenly passed away at the age of 62. That was the summer of 2016, so you know how my fall went.
We came to Japan with three cats. One died; Zophia. I’d had her for 16 years, and I was hollowed by guilt over things that I couldn’t have foreseen and were mostly out of my control.
Just as I started to heal enough to build a nourishing life in Japan, the pandemic started.
Then, another cat, Basil, got cancer. All we could do was give him palliative care wait for him to die. That took almost a year. He’d been my husband’s cat before we got together, so Basil had been in my life about 13 years at that point.
All that death was a shock to my system.
Somewhere in there, I felt like I transitioned from a young person to an old one. For me, the main difference between feeling young or old is that when I feel old, I see myself on a downward-only trajectory.
But, I never stopped feeling like a total novice at life, either. Now, rather than being content with my cluelessness, I feel like I’m doing something wrong because I’m getting old and old people are supposed to know things. We’re supposed to be sure about what we want and decided about our lives.
I’ve had exactly as much time as everyone else to get my life together, probably even more because I’ve always pursued life hard, but my life isn’t together.
Psychologically, I’m the kind of person who will never want to be settled. I prefer to think in terms of expansion, not protection, but when we get old, we often need to settle down and find ways to weather the storms of age.
I’m 46, so this is all very premature, but, like I said, the past decade or so has been kind of rough on me. My life got small, and not only did I hate it, but I’d started to believe my life could never be big again. The next main event would just be another death.
I’m gaining some of that perspective that old people keep going on about. Maybe it’s not so much perspective as acceptance of the way things are. Of course, my level of acceptance and contentment with life changes on a day to day basis.
So, anyway, I’ve been struggling with insomnia, lately, and I’m taking a class in Python for fun.
I find myself exhausted and half-functional while trying to make sense of course materials. It’s like I’m back in college again.
The only thing missing is the steady intake of Mt. Dew and M&Ms that kept me going back then. I’d never be able to handle the caffeine and sugar these days. I cut out caffeine years ago, and I limit my sugar intake.
The class is too slow for me, but I’m enjoying it, anyway. It’ll be fun to take the next class in the series or maybe try out my new skills on programming something.
The class is on Coursera. I’m shocked at how much they offer for free on there. I found some Art History classes I’d love to take. Maybe that’s a little weird because I majored in Art History, and how much do I really need to know about it? There are also some design classes that might be fun.
Well, I think it’s time I ended this entry and sent it off. I hope you’re having a good day.