Happiness and a Sign

Some years ago I worked through the “Proust Questionnaire.” I keep the questionnaire on my desktop and revisit it sometimes to see what might have changed. I did so tonight because the computer threw the draft of this post on top which gave me pause. Was there something I was supposed to remember?

Of course there was. The question asked: When and where were you happiest?  My answer: When the first story I ever pitched became a 4000-word feature in Kyoto Journal: Perspectives from Asia, when I got my first assignment from The Globe and Mail, and when I attended ikebana classes three days a week at Sogetsu Kaikan in Tokyo.

That answer remains the same. I’m not necessarily unhappy elsewhere, but that’s when and where I was/am happiest.

Tonight a fierce wind howls outside and sometimes rattles the windows. Again and again sirens wail into the night. Earlier, before sunset, I walked among the sakura trees as the petals streamed from the branches. After waiting through the winter for that ephemeral sign of spring, in what seemed like an eye blink it went from burst to bust.

Tuesday I booked my tickets to Vancouver and Victoria. Wednesday I shipped two suitcases to the airport with Yamato Transport. I bade far too many goodbyes and savored the last beautiful meals I’ll enjoy for a long while. Today, more of the same, but because it was my last full Tokyo day I drank champagne.

Some days ago before departure was on my mind, I noticed a sign and snapped a photo as I often do.

I hope so. When I think that in less than 60 hours I will be under quarantine and unable to leave my property, it will be a new perspective. I’ll give you that. Will it be bright? Who can say?

Darkness can be luminous.

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