Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Finally, Sakura wo sakimasu! The Cherry Blossoms are blooming!

Its about 2 weeks later than normal, but the Cherry Blossoms are finally here! The trees across the street from my office, whose buds have been shut up tighter than a nun's ass for the last month, are finally showing signs of opening. By the weekend I am sure that the first white signs of the beauty that is the Cherry Blossom season will be upon us. Time to hop on the train and head to Ueno park or to the park adjacent to the Imperial Palace.

I love this time of year. For me it is symbolic of the all the hopes and also the disappointments that I have experienced since I first came to Japan over 5 years ago. At the time fleeing a loveless and sexless marriage to a not so typical American shrew ( meaning she was twice as selfish and twice as whacked in the head.) I arrived in Japan, not knowing what to expect, but not entirely happy to be here. Soon after I arrived it was Cherry Blossom season. Suddenly, going to work each morning was a total joy. On a really good morning, as walked up to my office building, I could see the Cherry Trees and also see Fuji-san quite clearly. And in that moment, I knew I was free and had found an existence that I had been dreaming about for so many years. I knew I had finally crossed over and I could not go back. Now that time has passed, I know that was the right decision, my only regret that I waited so long to do it. I should have sent the shrew packing years ago and gotten my ass over here to Asia.

To me the blooming of the Cherry blossoms is symbolic of both new hope and also, as the years have passed, fear that I cannot maintain this superior existence in the future. My ability to keep working for this company will rapidly evaporate with the coming of the next year. I know that, having milked every opportunity to keep myself in the same job that I have come to both love and hate. Now as the time runs out, I worry for the future, fearing that I will never no life as good as it is now.

When I get in these fits of fearful introspection, I always watch one of my favorite movies. Tonight it was " A river runs through it". The part at the end, where Paul catches the really big fish seems particularly apt to my current situation:

"I knew then, that in that moment I was witnessing perfection; my brother Paul stood not on the bank of the Bigfoot River, but suspended above the earth; free from its laws, like a work of art.

And I knew just as surely, and just as clearly, that life is not a work of art. And that the moment could not last."

Its how I feel about this current period in my life. I desperately want this beautiful existence to continue, to continue my travel and to be insulated from the harshness that is the outside world and most assuredly the life of commuter America. However without gainful employment, a means to pay the crushing payments that always seek to engulf me (the obscene amount of alimony the ex extracted through America's corrupt family court system), my idyllic existence will not be able to last.

Now I have paid a big price to get to this current state of being. My children, I get to see seldom, my daughter has only spoken to me once since her graduation from High School. My son and I seek to reach out to each other, neither of us really knowing how to communicate; more regrettably neither of us wanting to make the effor that is required. I should feel guilty about that. However, I do not. The only thing I feel guilty about is not feeling guilty. I guess that means I am callous, however I choose to think it means that I have come to realize that life is not fair, and that you have to seek happiness for yourself. No one else is going to give it to you.
I miss my children, but not the life I spent with them. I am also comforted by the knowledge that they are both strong and are survivors. Hopefully some of those characteristics came from me. I believe so.

So with this bittersweet reality hanging over me, I will set out view the new birth and the new life that the budding Cherry Blossoms represents this weekend.




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