parasitegirl: (dark)
"Would you like to think about what your life should be...?" the trash can asks me. It sits in my therapist's waiting room, asking me that one question each time I wait.

In Japan, where lunch boxes may demand things like, "Let's enjoy flavor life together! " it’s not unusual for random objects to be decorated with English proclamations. I don’t expect the English around me to always mean what it says or say what it means. English is often here just to be here.

I always wonder about this trash can though. Its grasp of English is better than the average object. I know that my therapist speaks English. What it asks is all too appropriate for the setting.

Would I like to think about what my life should be...?
Very long and a little touchy )
parasitegirl: (Default)
November 22nd, 2011
My parents are readers. This was not enough to keep them together, they divorced when I was three, but it did provide me two separate but extensive book collections to grow up in. They both continue to send me books they have read. I’m rarely surprised but usually pleased with what they include in care packages. My mother and I are close enough in taste that she’s learned to ask before sending, lest I’ve already read what she intended to mail.
And when we need to escape, when we need to burrow into a book that will allow time to fall away but not tax us too much, the three of us turn to mysteries. There is nothing like a good procedural. The unknown falls into patterns. There is also comfort in knowing that even though the case has been solved that the eccentric detective/ private eye/ lawyer/ old lady/ forensic scientist you’ve grown comfortable with will return in the next volume.
We book readers are not alone in our love with the crime procedural, television is as smitten. The bodies will continue but so will the battle for justice. The world is continually dark and trying to reach the light. Patterns will be exposed and evidence will bring us closer to the truth. Our biases will be revealed. Our flaws will compromise the outcome. The seemingly insignificant moments will be unwound and found to be the clue we needed all along. We will have our answers, but finding them has changed us…but never enough that we’ll be unrecognizable next week.
I also start with the body. What can I say? It provides me with structure. What I have written in the past, they photos I have taken, and those who can confirm my story are not always nearby, but I’m always within reach.
 More )

The Path.

Nov. 21st, 2011 05:03 pm
parasitegirl: (Default)
November 21, 2011.
It is time for me to find discover where I have been. I don’t expect it to be a simple process. I can’t just flip a switch. I haven’t written regularly for seven months. There is no way to render those lost months instantly defined. Even if that option was open to me, I’m not ready to see everything at once. I suspect I haven’t just wandered into this fog of unexamined days…I may have been running away.
I have stopped this search many times. In my mind I’ve placed events chronologically only to find disorder. I’ve fixated on one aspect and lost the rest. Ive reached in, fumbled, and brought my hands back stained and empty. I’ve called off the dogs, erased the search grid, and stepped away from it all.Faith )
parasitegirl: (Default)
November 21, 2011


Every year the elementary school near my apartment makes illuminations for the neighborhood. An illumination is the term the Japanese use for holiday light displays. The elementary school creations are crude: dark green chicken wire formed into shapes and then wrapped with white Christmas lights strung on industrial gray cords. The end result is industrial and military, the strings of light resembling barbed wire more than seasonal joy. In the daylight they look like toys for the damned. On my way home I pass the train of tortures and the koala of Kali. Night transforms them into a world of abstractions. The students never get quite enough lights to clearly define the objects they’ve made.

This year’s crop of elementary school illuminations sprung up two weeks ago. Hideous as they are, I am happy to see them. I’ve been wondering about how the energy awareness of the quake’s impact on our nuclear grid will affect the huge illuminations that Tokyo loves. I still don’t know. I’m just glad that the students I’ve never met are still making these. I love that these ugly creations are proudly displayed and I enjoy them more than the polished illuminations around malls and other stations

I wonder about lights but I am no longer haunted by them. I can enjoy what is there.
On my desaturation )
parasitegirl: (Default)
After my word vacation I will be re-entering the land of writing for and about the earthquake and its continuing aftermath.

First up, the Silk Road Relief for Japan charity CD of international/world musicians many of you know and like will soon go public. FB pages and websites going up this week or so. I'll be on-line researching more information about the musicians to build up blurbs/bios where the promo materials sent to us are lacking and helping with promotional outreach on top of that, time permitting.

To quote Kelly Williams, one of the primary organizers behind this project,

" Much of the money given to large NPOs like the Red Cross has been held up in government red tape here. So smaller NPO and NGO groups have really had to step up to fill the gaps. We are now hearing stories of people who are being shut out of disaster aid. For example the family whose house is 3meters away from where the Tsunami stopped. Their neighbors homes were destroyed so the neighbors qualify for aid. But this family`s home is still standing and they do not qualify. Yet the town that supported their jobs, all the utilities and infrastructure are gone. And then there is the toxic environment right next door, that makes their home uninhabitable. Yet these people do not qualify for aid due to government red tape.

Thankfully the NGO and NPO groups are aware of this problem and starting to provide help. We really hope that Silk Road Relief for Japan will help them to continue doing so. If we can sell 100,000 copies world wide, it will raise $1 Mil. for smaller NGO and NPO support. We can do this with your help. We can do this! Together we can really make a difference."
parasitegirl: (Default)

Really not fun to know that I live and work in what is being called a radiation hotspot. The government has just launched investigations to find out more about such so-called hot spots.
parasitegirl: (Default)

Perhaps having LJ and FB blocked at work is what I needed to update and write more.


I’ve had a hard time writing this month…about the quake, my life, anything. It’s not so much about being blocked as it is feeling like I don’t have the energy or desire.


I shouldn’t be surprised and I shouldn’t feel like less than a writer for it. The quake overloaded me with words and starting points. I had things I needed to write about. It was the sort of writing that transports you to a highly emotional state, it revisited and catalogued difficult emotions, and while the rewards were high (working through/ understanding those emotions and staying connected to the outside world) it was exhausting and unsustainable.


Even thought the changes the quake have cause for me and my friends are not over, there is still much to write, in early May I hit a point where I needed to take a break. I needed to be free from words.


continued. )


parasitegirl: (Default)

April 22nd


I am tired. I think many of us are. The pollen count is rising. As the weekend draws near, many of my friends here are also reporting that feel like they are coming down with colds or are generally worn out.


I have been back in Japan for almost three weeks.


Don’t get me wrong, the amount of time that I feel like things have gotten back to normal has increased. My days are mostly normal. Time passes and friends dare to say ,“I don’t want to jinx this, but it seems like the aftershocks have settled down” And we giggle as we look for wood to knock on. I climb into bed and realize “I haven’t worried about X today…odd.” The bed rattles me awake periodically, but I go back to sleep.


Yet, yes, life is different.

more... )


parasitegirl: (Default)

This is from my ongoing writings about the quake:

Part 10, March 19-20th


Long, about Japanese dancers. )
parasitegirl: (Default)
I never before realized how much I gauge how late it is after dark by the number of storefronts/signs/lights that are turned off until I came back to Japan. I keep thinking it is much later in the evening, due to lights.

Energy conservation is, of course, an issue here because of Tepco. The rolling blackouts have stopped but the question of how this with change in the summer when air-conditioners start coming on? Unknown. There is talk of no longer having air-conditioning on in the trains vs having it on but having fewer trains run. Sumer in Japan is no joke. If you recall I lasted less than a month before I caved in and bought a small window airconditioner last year and my work-out/dance practice schedule was exclusively after-dark with oSmall changes in my train station. )
parasitegirl: (Default)
By far one of the most inspiring ex-pats to emerge from the scene here in this time of crisis has been Kelly Williams of Rain In Eden. He has helped organize charity events, shared many charity links for charities he has personally be involved with, is often looking out for many of us, and through all of this he has been kind, level headed, thoughtful, and publicly well spoken. He is one of the first people whose updates I check on in the morning and before I sleep, just to see what his take on things has been. He's also interjected on comments left for me when they got heated or overly scare-oriented.

I may be joining his gang of do-gooders on whatever is planned for next. He put out a call for:

" someone who can assist us for our next charity project for Japan. We need help reaching potential sponsors for charity concert events. And we are also looking for media contacts. If you can help, please write to me and I can tell you more about this very wonderful new project to help Japan`s recovery."

And also contacted me personally. I'll keep you posted. I might not be the greatest at in-country networking but I may have a fighting chance at being good at blog/publicity updates, spreading information, and getting people in contact with people internationally.
parasitegirl: (Default)
Just thought you'd like a heads up. I'm ok. That was a long quake and we're all awake, scanning news...but things look not worse.

Yay, not worse!
parasitegirl: (Default)
In an attempt to do some good on my return:

Negotiating with a buyer for my heavy coin costume...yes, THAT one. Proceeds will go here:

I hope to sell a few more from my collection for various causes.

I'll also be on the Second Harvest Japan crew for my first time on Saturday the 23 in Tokyo to prep food and distribute in Ueno park.


Apr. 7th, 2011 07:42 pm
parasitegirl: (Default)
Three links that may give you some idea of some of the other issues around leaving the Tokyo area...the word Fly-jin.

March 16th

Apr. 3rd, 2011 08:45 am
parasitegirl: (Default)
You know the drill, work in progress, gets locked down later, first few days are now locked down.
Long )

for. The intimate, consensual, bruises of that night that I remembered and he’d lost to time…I longed for it as my calls went unanswered.


I was not comfortable with these thoughts.


More bad news and conflicting reports at Reactor No 4 came to light, but I couldn’t process it.


I went online and asked friends and strangers for help in finding me a place to stay in Taipei if my friend fell through.


I had no idea if I would leave the following morning but I posted my travel information online.


I returned to having near-sleepless nights. Sometimes the earthquake alerts on my phone woke me. Sometimes new worries about friends in Tokyo woke me, sometimes it was thoughts of my former lover and his family. Most of the time it was the haunting images my rage brought me that kept me from sleep. I saw myself, face to face with my old friend, lashing out, hitting him beyond the point he could resist hitting back in self-defense, all in a drunken haze of ocean and crumbling concrete.


Sometimes the ocean of sleep took me, but often it tossed me back on land.


Mar. 25th, 2011 06:33 pm
parasitegirl: (Default)
I know I have been quiet.

I've been writing for days. I think I'm on page 29? There is only so long I can immerse myself in those memories each day. So far the written me has just arrived in Nagoya and is getting her first taste of what it is like to awaken without the alarm of the earth quakening.

Maybe this is shallow, but I wonder if I should be looking into contacting publishers. I wouldn't even know where to begin...but I have years of experience writing about my life in Japan, I'm writing about this, and I am planning to be back in Japan around the 3rd of April....and I know it's not going to be the same Japan I left. I know I am going to write more.


parasitegirl: (Default)

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