Sunday, December 28, 2014

Home time is my favourite time.

Merry belated Christmas!

Unfortunately, my family has come across some health problems in recent days and I wasn't able to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Day. But luckily, I finally had some time today with no immediate obligations, so I spent all day at home doing my favourite things: reading, watching an old movie, playing piano, and of course, baking.

We had some sour apples at home that none of us really wanted to eat, so I turned all five of them into an apple pie. It was a success! I coated the apples with sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla to sweeten them up a bit, and the crust was crisp and flaky -- the perfect texture I was aiming for. All in all, I was pretty happy with the result.

Let's not take quiet days at home for granted. Wishing everyone a warm and happy winter holiday!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Gather ye rosebuds.

Sometimes I lose track of how many years it’s been -- but it’s only been four years. I graduated university in 2011, but my mother passed away just before that in 2010. It’s hard to believe it hasn't been an eternity since she was here.

My hope was that, every year, when I write an entry on December 6, I would find myself a little more grown up and a little wiser. Perhaps with some interesting anecdotes or enlightening experiences to share. Or maybe someday, I would be happy or busy enough with my life that I don’t need to write something like this. Instead, I just find myself feeling the same -- sometimes happy, sometimes sad -- just one year later, typing away at the screen.

Maybe it’s still too early. I still cry sometimes, when I’m alone. I see children with their parents, and I tear up. I watch movies with people at the hospital, and I want to cry. I listen to my friends talk about their parents, and I feel genuinely happy for them -- but also an uncontrollable pang of sadness. I have a really good day -- then I pick up her picture when I get home and cry because I wish my mother could see me now. Or better yet, I wish I could have given her some of my time.

I always think that I need twice the amount of energy, twice the amount of experience, and twice the amount of fulfillment in my life, to make up for the life lost that should have been my mother’s. I should be writing the book I’ve always wanted to, I should be becoming someone famous, or I should at least be making my way to "the top" as an ambitious career woman. But I’m not, and at most I guess I’m just a normal 25-year-old who doesn't know what to do with her normal life.

I don’t want to be normal. Being average is one of my worst fears. Born in an average family, go to an average school, get average grades and make average friends, get an average job, live an average lifespan -- and die. It sounds so futile and so terrible to me.

But I know already, I know, my family is not an average family. My mother was not an average person. My grandparents didn’t raise me in an average way -- they raised me with immeasurable love. 

And this is the frustrating part for me. How can I show, with my life, that all of this is not average? How can I turn the trivial thing that is my life, into something that isn’t fruitless? I don’t want a lot of money or luxury, or unnecessary fame. I just want to feel like I’m glad to be alive, and when I die, to feel glad to have lived.

I want to become the positive existence that I pretend to be. But, I also want to stay my sad self when I'm by myself, because I feel that if I cease to be sad it would mean forgetting my mom.

I just want her to be alive. But she's not, and I am.

What am I to do?

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

Friday, June 13, 2014

An old town filled with endless new life.

Hello, dear diary and dear readers! The rainy and hot season has already begun in Tokyo. I'm sorry to admit that I have neglected this blog for the past half year, but hopefully this will no longer be the case in the months to come. 

Upon misplacing my Sony digital camera that had accompanied me everywhere until recent months, I bought a new Fujifilm XA-1 camera this early spring. It is my first mirrorless camera, so I will need to take my time in getting used to using one; but hopefully this will be motivation for me to keep practicing and sharing some of my pictures here.

At the end of April, I took another long overdue trip to Kamakura. My first time in Kamakura was in the early spring of 2013 when I visited film director Ozu Yasujiro's grave, and it remains to be one of my most beloved cities so far in Japan.

The weather was beautiful at the beginning of Golden Week, and I'm glad I was able to take a trip down there before it became too crowded later in the week.

I didn't visit too many places this time around, but it was a lovely day well spent. Starting with a hot latte in the morning at a coffee shop near the station, we made our way down a series of roads, progressively away from the station and the crowds, eventually arriving at Hokokuji.

The gardens were neatly kept at Hokokuji, and the bamboo forest provided a cool and quiet atmosphere to take in the spring air, filtered sunlight, and the liveliness of nature.

The beautiful shades of green, and vivid yet subtle colours of flora, gave me fresh energy amidst the constant and busy, urban work life.

We recharged with a long lunch at a small, Italian restaurant hidden on the second floor of a building located in the middle of a busy, shopping alley. Finally, we took the Enoden to Enoshima for a bright view of the ocean, and had our fill of the air and sounds of the seaside.

 Kamakura, you have yet to disappoint me -- and I doubt you ever will. I will be back soon!