One of my absolutely favorite writing styles are thought streams. And memories are my favorite thoughts to describe in this fashion. Four major cities in six months. Paired with each I have created a mosaic of memories and a thought stream of places or a specific moments. Considering I was based in Hiroshima, I had a bit more to say, so that thought stream is in the form of a podcast…
Early February, cold days and frigid nights. The last day in this historical city we tip toed across the freshly laid snow and took in a Buddhist temple. Incense swirled through air and the wood slightly creaked beneath the socks on my feet. 1001 soldiers, each different. I searched their faces, myth in mind, looking for the features of my grandfather. The halls continued. I followed nothing, but the temple lead me down the paths and eventually to the white courtyard. I stood in the middle of the snow and closed my eyes, but upon that blink the bus ride flashed before me. Suddenly in a new snowy field, a snowy battle. We were now among the trees, dodging icy pellets and falling powdered snow. Then on the drop of a dime it stopped. Walk towards the theatre, find an empty seat, acknowledge wet socks, and fall back into the comfort of warmth.
I never realized how large Monet’s paintings were. I remember a poster of his famous lily pads hanging on the wall of that yellow house and I would look up at it, admiring the soft blues and violets, swirling and layering so perfectly. Now I stand in a white room, a cloud on the ground, natural light poured from the ceiling onto the miniature tiles beneath my slippered feet. Each corner was curved, not a sharp edge existed in that room and I stood in the middle of the box and looked at the enormous masterpiece coming to life in front of me.
Deep breath, rub eyes, I felt like I was just waking up. A new city. The shinkansen dropped us here and we headed further and further into the concrete jungle. Eyes wide, the NYC of Japan? Perhaps. The Skytree watched the world below and guarded Tokyo. The hostel, climb onto the bunk and grab a Murikami story. Look at ceiling and reflect on day, the chaotic alleyway. Smoke darkened the dimly lit shops and menus thrown onto us. But now stare at the ceiling. Opposite. No more to take in, but my eyes search the ceiling, not sure when the details will fill in and what will come around the corner until my dreams fade into my mind and the details again come to life again.
I have a lot more to say about Japan, but this post in particular is a tribute to just a few of the amazing experiences travel has allowed me to have the past term. Thank you Japan and everyone at TGS for being apart of these memories and helping make this whole crazy incredible experience happen.
More to come,
Go explore and make some memories,
Until next time,