Always I am a little uncertain here. Am I making myself understood? Do I understand correctly? Am I being properly polite as I fumble along? Am I going in the right direction? Am I (really) on the right train?
As I hurtle through the darkness I can’t help but feel it as a metaphor for existence. We have a destination (if not an actual destiny) at which all will disembark. The rest is riding into the darkness alien and alone, crowded by strangers and questioning our purpose. Along the way, we might find moments of transcendence and beauty.
I’ve never been away from home or travelling alone this long. (I worried about that when I made the arrangements with the agent; however, assured that I could change my ticket to an earlier return for $150, I took the chance.)
Today I’ve arrived at that moment in my journey where I don’t necessarily wish to return home, but the awareness of how much easier everything is back there grows. There I am always sure of things; I can get what I want with ease.
During these musings, a friend from home with business in other parts of Japan calls to use up the minutes left on his phone card before departure. How good it is to hear a familiar voice across the miles. Here is another unexpected moment of grace: the pleasure of rapid-fire English, quick wit, easy laughter, and deep affection.