The skies

In Houston, we have clouds that hang low, low in the skies, appearing to be mountains in the distance.

In Loma Linda, they have real mountains… and I love it.

However, it keeps making me feel like I’m in Japan and am suddenly on the wrong side of the road, and the wrong side of the car, and I need to fix it immediately… (because that’s the only place I’ve ever had real mountains)

Post-a-day 2019

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late-night chatter

Tonight, I share an exchange I had with my mother on the late-night ride home tonight, as a sort of appetizer for what is to come soon regarding mistaken words spoken aloud:

Mom: “[…] and I had several many [phone] calls…”
Hannah: “How many calls did you have?”

And then we both totally cracked up as she tried desperately to answer, but couldn’t even get the whole word several out, and I commented that she had clearly used the quantification of the phrase ‘huge big’.

Post-a-day 2018

Get a handle

I broke my new (to me) car today.  Okay, well, a part of it.  The car was parked on a street whose sides really sloped downward – and I mean a lot.  When I went to open the driver door, after unlocking it, the door opened just slightly, before my hand flew towards me, and the door slammed back shut.  The handle had broken.

And so, at least until I find a bonding agent – aka glue – that will hold well enough to stick the broken underside of the driver handle into place – hey, I wonder if that’s the issue with the other door – , I’ll have to do what I did this afternoon and tonight, and enter my vehicle from the passenger front door, because now both doors on the driver side won’t open from the outside (but the back seat door came that way when I received the car, so that wasn’t my doing).

Add that to the duct tape, and I am an image in blue 2002.

I mean, talk about ghetto – I’m getting there faster than ever anticipated (which was never!).  Haha.

Post-a-day 2018

The Lingering Effects of Culture?

I have noticed two behaviors of mine that linger still (and consistently), despite my having been in the USA and out of Japan for almost four months.  They are 1) constantly looking right first before crossing the road, naturally walking to the left, and casually beginning on the left side of the road when riding my bike; and 2) silence.

The first has been improving significantly, and is almost never present when I am driving a car (though those two-lane, small town style, empty roads do make me think twice before I pull out onto them).  It is mostly just my bicycle riding and walking that is still in the habit of Japan’s side.  Seeing as how I am aware of the road-crossing issue every time I approach a road, I feel confident that things will be fine there – even if I must continue constantly checking both directions over and over again, because I don’t trust myself as to from which way the cars actually will be coming on which side.  The second is a bit different.

I wonder if the silence is something about which I need to worry.  I feel like it is no big deal, however, when I look at it from an outside, USA perspective, I seem almost oppressed in the action.  The silence comes in the regular everyday passing of people at work.  I often only smile and nod when we make eye contact, and I regularly say little-to-nothing in group conversations.  Partly, I have no interest in discussing the present topic with the present company most of the time.  However, I wonder if part of that is because I am not accustomed to discussing things with people like I once was.

My distress tied to living in Japan significantly affected my desire and will to learn Japanese.  Therefore, I really didn’t put forth almost any effort in the language beyond the absolute necessary, until I was on the rise from all of the depression, only a few months before my departure.  This means that I was not able to participate in most conversation around me.  Yes, I could understand a good amount of it, and often all of it (though, occasionally almost nothing), but I usually was unable to respond.  It was my first experience with what I previously had only heard other people say they did, and the development of which I couldn’t understand: understanding a language, but not speaking it.

So, I grew incredibly accustomed to speaking very little and to listening a lot.  And this was not a conscious decision, necessarily, though I had intended to observe for the sake of learning all about the culture and language.  My goal was to learn, not to separate and somewhat exclude myself.  Transferring the same behavior over here to the USA, my native country, has the behavior occur quite differently.  As mentioned, I seem somewhat oppressed, like something is preventing me from speaking.  All I notice is a lack of desire to say anything most of the time.  But I also don’t even consider whether I want to speak or not – I just don’t speak…  So, I am wondering about this, whether there is something more there, something in the way for me, preventing me from full self-expression.

 

Post-a-day 2017

a Turn in the Road instead

Something I have learned about Japan is that roads that appear to be turning into a dead-end almost never are at their ends.  That is, they are all false dead-ends.  If you keep going on the road, almost as if magic were at play, a continuation of the road appears just past that house or those bushes – things only appear to be ending, when the road merely has turned (and quite sneakily in my opinion).

Some days, I wonder if this is a sort of big picture lesson for me to learn.  We always talk of life as a road or a path.  Perhaps these Japanese roads are a new take on the road of life, the path we are taking, which seems to be coming to a dead-end…  and, perhaps not.  Nonetheless, I find myself wondering often about it, because it is such an odd thing to have discovered, I feel.  🙂

 

Post-a-day 2017