En route to Tokyo. I often find long train rides a great time to catch up on some pleasure reading, studying, knitting or crocheting, and self-reflecting. I’ve done some studying and read some more of the Pete Walker book, both of which left me in great space for self-reflection.
So far I have been lucky enough to experience the “gaijin (外人, がいじん) seat” phenomenon, which has left me with space to spread out and relax and do a bit of knitting.
I transferred trains at Nippori and continued on to the Ginza area of Tokyo. I’ve been there twice before, but never on my own. In fact, as I travelled, it dawned on me that this was the first time in a long time that I have travelled alone.
During my journey, I came to realize that, since I began living in Japan, I have always been surrounded by people who care about me (even minimally).
It’s a very comforting thought, i.e. not being alone in the world.
Cities overwhelm me–Tokyo, especially so. There is so much of everything: people, buildings, cars, and the rushing to experience all that man can make. Even nature feels manufactured and customized for convenience. I couldn’t wait to get back to my small countryside-city.
Still, I had a very good reason for going to Tokyo. And, to be quite frank, I felt and still feel nothing but gratitude for having been asked to go.
Now, I am back in Hitachinaka. I enjoyed my time in Tokyo. I am still not a city person, but I can understand the appeal. Moreover, the trip gave me a chance to reflect positively on some aspects of my life that I have been finding challenging.
Time and space can bring much needed clarity. And I believe my short visit to Tokyo gave me that.
Also, I found the following proverb that provided me with a healthy dash of simple wisdom:
“泣いて暮らすも一緒、笑って暮らすも一緒“- Japanese Proverb
“Naite kurasu mo issho, waratte kurasu mo issho.”
“It is the same life, whether we spend it laughing or crying.”
In this life, how we respond to our many experiences, whether past, present, or future, is up to us.
Let’s choose to smile or laugh and do what brings us closer to internal joy and harmony.
Thanks for reading.