Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Reflections on my place

Literally, I am sitting at the computer. It's about 2:45 in the afternoon on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007. Although I've been desiring to be back in the States and working I have grown to appreciate the flexibility and mental productiveness that our time in Japan has offered us. I am recently spending days reading, chatting on line and thinking. I am getting out and about but am limited financially; therefore I am trying to spend my days with as little temptation to spend money as possible. Today I spent some time reading one of my friend's (Kim Libby's) blog about her graduate studies. She wrote some very interesting thoughts, which I thought I would share because of their resonance with my current state. She is researching quilting as a way to tell stories and remember.

"The stories are still washing over me, like waves perhaps. Each was short, with only a small window into the lives of each character, but they felt vivid and appropriate. It felt like what I often experience with people I meet for a short period of time before we are separate again - this feeling is most strong with my adult EFL students. I know them for a few weeks, a semester, or maybe a year, but so far, not any longer than that. I have a glimpse into their lives, their hardships and joys, and then it is only memory that remains."

I have a strong connection with this description, especially the last sentence. It seems most of the places that I work and play I have experienced this occurrence. Most recently when I worked this past summer at Anderson Ranch Art Center. In the right situation people connect and share parts of themselves with you. You really get to know someone for a short amount of time but then it is over. I believe those bits of people that you have gathered over time are what makes you who you are. Because, in those unpredictable moments of sharing you gave something of yourself that you didn't know was there before. You begin to define who you are by those interactions.

On this trip I miss those revelations. I experience a different type of self-discovery, however I find that I am interacting with people from a distance. Maybe because of the constant moving in Australia or the cultural and language difference in Japan that has pushed me into an isolated place of constant self-evaluation and prioritizing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I quiet like this place that I am at. I feel that I have endless time to focus on improving.

But when you stop to think about it, Although I am experiencing so many things, I am experiencing them with a few degrees of separation that is only tangible when noticing the lack of physical contact, sharing of personal stories, and comradery.

uummmmm, interesting.