Last night it finally struck me like the smell of a skunk as it passes by your open, ground floor window. My time in Japan is not endless. I will not be visiting the library for periodic contact with my family backhome, studying Japanese most of the week, beating people with a large, bamboo stick (and vice versa), playing Monopoly with my host parents, or being ribbed by Jason. I will be in America in four days.

I literally cried.

I don't know if the Taiko drums I got to play earlier that day contributed, or if the cleaning up my room in preparation for the laundry and packing I'll be doing these next few days was either. What I know is a combination of events culminating in walking home alone singing hymns to myself after a day of test acing, Japanese activity participating, host family talking, Kendo club dining, karaoke singing and picture booth taking, resulted in a minor breakdown before bed.

I didn't do a whole lot with my fellow ryuugakusei. Sure, I had classes with them, and I didn't shun them. But while they were out doing things together, I was with my host family and the Kendo club. I was in Japan to be with the Japanese, and I lived accordingly.

Now, I've become extremely attached to various Japanese people, more than I ever realized. The kindness and care they showed the bumbling, nerdy gaijin who stumbled into their world with a excited but wide eyes was greater than I had ever imagined possible. When the fact that I would indeed be leaving sank into my psyche, it was like being shot. My senses simply numbed, and not because of the fifteen degree temperatures.

It really sank in when, after the long list of events featured earlier, one Kendo Club member wrote on the photo booth photos we took "Don't forget us" before they were given to me. Suddenly, just how important these people were to me, and likewise me to them, became dead apparent. It had been there the whole time, growing, and it burst into blossom right then. The sorrowful beauty of something at it's utmost peak, a flower who can only look forward to its end.

Flowers never bloom alone. Just as it was revealed to me how important the Kendo Club was, a catalytic chain of revelation ensued, as one person after another popped into my mind. I probably could have been set on fire and not noticed.

I have chained myself to Japan. These chains will not break, and they will forever be pulling me back here. Even as I am on the other side of the world, the chains will bite into me soul and remind me, "Your friends wait for you in Japan."

I have joked many times I've doomed myself to be eternally homesick, but the magnitude of my curse was never before apparent to me. I was blissfully ignorant of how much I would miss everyone, despite how much I missed my family at home. No matter where I go, my heart will long to rest in both places at once.

How I wish that God would grant me some small part of his power, that he can be in two places at once. If only I too, if only.

1 comment:

jocelyn said...


You will thank yourself later.

I love you, bro.