DECEMBER 6, 2008
"Gonna find myself a gray guitar and sing!" This song has been in my head all morning. Counting Crows really reminds me of high school, but they especially remind me of my freshman year in college. It was my first time moving away--Newark, Ohio, two hours away. I could hardly drive it without heavy eyes. I told myself I'd only come home every other weekend, but it seems like I was driving back and forth much more frequently. I lived with five other, very different girls. My roommate, Kat was the one I would befriend the most, aside from Laurie Barker (isn't it funny how when we sometimes refer to people by their fullname?), who I lived with, again once I later transferred to main campus. So, Kat and I had a lot of issues later on down the road. I actually just realized at this instant that her and Josh's mom look a lot alike. But those first few months, or maybe it was sometime in October, she had two free tickets to see Counting Crows at the Wexner Center, and I had some hankering for some Hard Candy (< so cheese, sorry). It was such a great show. I had an opportunity to visit Wexner again this past August (photos). Everything how I had remembered it had completely changed, and I was introduced to a very different and unknown small-style theater area within. It was there I saw Bon Iver. Opening for them was the Bowerbirds. I first heard about Justin Vernon when I heard his album, "For Emma, Forever Ago." He wrote the album while escaping to his father cabin in Wisconsin. I think that at this moment in my life, I was probably two steps away from doing the same thing.
Ticos are so nice. Much nicer than I, infact. I sincerely hope that Japan has not changed my "people spirit." Ticos are always the first ones to say 'bueno'. It's really bizarre the way Japanese culture has changed me in such a short period of time, because I was actually surprised that anyone was acknowledging me at all.
Japan is simple. It really is. But there are still many things to remember and many customs to acknowledge. Most of them, not even traditional customs, though the ones that are, are quite respected and ever persist--taking shoes off at the door, proper eating, proper etiquette, attire, proper service--have always existed. But it's the fashion and the glam that has changed Japan. Simple, simple, simple. We have to learn to live more simply and happily or materialism will consume and you'll never appreciate living without, or that you can. I will say that most Japanese people/families live quite simply and efficiently, but American entertainment has taken its hold, and the Japanese youth are quickly changing the face of the city. I actually really appreciate this, but many of them are also extremely superficial, mechanical and doll-like. I almost pitty them, and I really hate to think that, but it's so surface to the point where I won't have anything to do with it. And it's the rare, genuine relationships few insiders have the privilege to partake in that make the experience in Japan meaningful. Artistic, organic, rebellious, and generous are these friends, like the friends we know back home by nickname, smell, and the noisy ways the eat and get drunk. It becomes no different than anywhere else, and I am still only a bystander to this and know it's authenticity. So, living...
Creating value in an action. I want to feel the earth under my nails, scumming my skin, caked on my clothes, in my food, and in my soul. I wanted to be ok with that, and free of societal expectations. Superficial bounds created by made up "acceptable" guidelines. You must be clean. You must own a home. Have two kids and two cars. Live the American dream like a steel skeletal machine. Eat this, eat that. Read this, preach that. I just want to be free. Unjudged, informed, understood. Unified. I want the choice to do that, and I don't want to be typecast for it. Ever.
"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought."--Matsuo Basho