Keeping Busy and Staying Bright

I’ve been busy–considering that many venues I would enjoy have shut down–but things also take longer here. Everything from negotiating basic communication with Google Translate to preparing simplest food in my tiny kitchen (thought it’s the best of the ones I’ve had). Then there’s regularly scrubbing everything down with hot soapy water or dealing with seven hours of laundry that should take two. Time fills up. And it doesn’t.

I can enjoy walks in parks and open air avenues that aren’t crowded. However, it’s not verdant here as it is in Victoria. Though single blossoms dot the gardens and occasional early blooming cherry trees are almost ready to burst,  everything that’s not an evergreen is drab gray-brown and not particularly uplifting unless it’s brilliantly sunny.

Friday last I went out to Kichijoji and Inokashira Park and found it quite the downer. I’d been there with K in fall of 2010 when in the riot of maple leaves it was gorgeous. Not now. Not yet. A few magnolias and some meagre promise of cherry blossoms. Anything but heartening.

As I wandered the pathways I couldn’t help wonder how I was going to manage six more weeks of this limbo and the uncertainties surrounding my scheduled departure.

However, the last official day of winter (depending on which calendar you’re using) was sunny, and I chose to visit Shibuya Sky, a newly opened development of the Shibuya Scramble Square.

Two hundred thirty meters above Shibuya the architects have created the illusion that one might step off into the blue air and fly.

I looked at my home beside Aoyama Cemetery with new eyes.

Though 213 shops and restaurants beckoned, I opted for two hours in the late afternoon sunshine and one sunset.

As the sun sank behind the Japanese Alps leaving a mica-coloured river of rooftops, my perspective shifted to less temporal concerns. A Maori proverb says: Turn your face to the sun, and the shadows fall behind you. 

Rumi offers: If light is in your heart, you will find your way home. It’s also true that if light is in your heart, you are home wherever you are.



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