Living My Dream: Tokyo 2020

The other day, after waiting in a short checkout line at Canadian Tire, I put my purchases on the counter and greet the woman across from me.

Good afternoon. How are you today?

Living my dream, is her deadpan reply. A snort-worthy rim-shot line if I ever heard one.

A dream is an odd, elusive thing. Sometimes it hijacks the mind and draws you away from the present moment. Then again, the force of a dream is not unlike the pull of gravity on the course of a river toward the sea. It is here and now as well as then and there in every way.  Paradoxes being what they are, a dream centers you in the present without contradiction.

Rumi said: Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.

So. Here goes. Once more I acquiesce to the “strange pull.” In a few days I will return to Tokyo to resume my ikebana studies and reconnect with old friends.

Last year this time while in the throes of moving into my new home, any notion I entertained of doing so was a vague oh maybe someday laced with well, we’ll see what happens.

Then relaxing after another day’s work by stumbling down a variety of YouTube rabbit holes, I click on an arresting TEDXBigSky talk by Ulla Suokko: Do You See the Signs of the Universe?

Not long after, as I look out my living room window I notice a white plastic bag the wind has blown into the rhododendron.

On it bold red letters spell Edo. Caught on a branch it hangs there for several days (in case I somehow miss the sign, I suppose).

It is not the only sign. I keep a list on my phone each time another appears. Finally, much as Suokko did, I say to the Universe: Okay, okay I get it. Now give me the dollar signs.

Toyota launches its Olympic campaign: Start your impossible.

As an act of faith I sell the jewelry I no longer wear which languishes in a drawer doing nothing of value for me. My income tax refund comes in.

When optimism toward the venture begins to flag, out of nowhere many other signs appear. Among them an Air Canada advert asks and answers: Where will your dream take you? Making your dreams travel.

Even so, it takes months before I am willing to risk or commit. However, after I book my tickets and celebrate at Vista 18, “Leaving on a Jet Plane” plays as I sip bubbly and gaze over the orange infused strait thinking of Japan.

Since starting, all systems have been go. Bit by bit, I’m packing up and moving again. A blissful momentum not unlike a gentle, guiding hand has smoothed the pathway forward as one by one the numerous elements that must align in order to succeed in such a venture click into place.

Poet Nayyirah Waheed’s words give me focus and loft.

              live that life. the one that gives you

              breath. and. takes your breath away.

By great good fortune (and perhaps the will of the Kami-sama) I can return to an apartment in the same building I occupied in 2017 and 2018. A short walk from ikebana classes at Sogetsu Kaikan and minutes from the Ginza Line, I will once again savour the charming streets of Gaiemmae and call them home sweet home.


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