Thursday, August 18, 2005

saying goodbye

These are some of my cousins. I'm smack in the middle of the ages, Holly (in red) and Elena (in black) are 8 or 9 years older than I and Colin is just about to start college.

and I still haven't figured out how to say goodbye. In some ways I feel like I'm embarking on a new life and even when I come back to visit I'll be a wiser grown-up version of my current self. In which case, I want to say goodbye with dramatic gestures and tearing eyes. On the other hand, I will probably come back to visit around Christmas time. That's only 4 months away and I probably wouldn't have visited any sooner than if I was in Cali or Wisc. So, in that case I mean more of a "ja--mata" than a "sigh-a-nora."

In the same way, I alternately feel terrified (like when I realized that I can't read the name of the neighborhood I'm living in so that I can't follow signs home--that'll be my first, of a couple hundred, question to my trainer who's picking me up at the airport), and also very nan-shalant (I'm not even attempting spelling this late/early). Part of me feels like... not that'll it'll feel like home, by any means but...

When I left Japan, I remember driving with my family to the train station and my host mother made one of the only nice comments of my year stay (though it did sound a little forced). She said that when I come back to Japan it will be using the word "kaeru" and not "kuru" or "iku." the difference, my English speaking friends ask? "Kuru" means come, "iku" means go, very simple. but "kaeru" means "return home." we don't have a single equivalent word. It was probably the nicest thing she ever said to me.

So while I was in the States and planning this move to Japan, Paul was reading "Another Roadside Attraction" to me, out loud. and one of the main characters says that wherever he travels he is "always voyaging back to the source."

really, the more I think about it the less I know what the hell it means. but it appeals to my sensibilities and belief that if I try hard enough I can make any place feel like home.

and if I can make Tokyo home, I can go anywhere. I can make anywhere home.
and if I can make Tokyo home, I shouldn't be afraid right?????

No comments: