Alex Heads, QLD, Australia
The Japan 'super-disaster' as it's being referred to, occured 2 weeks ago today. Eerily, I happened to glance at the clock at 3.46pm (AU) today, the exact time it occured 2 Friday's ago (local Japan time 2:46pm). Co-incidence? Definitely. But it makes for an intriguing blog addition. And due to to the lack of inspiring tidbits I've had to offer lately (my mind's been occupied with my sudden change of direction), I'll take anything mildy amusing to keep this waning blog simmering until the excitement returns.
Despite the necessary flatness I must endure in the wake of recent events, I am doing my best to devise a new plan for the next 6 -12 months, as this was to be originally spent frolicking around various Japanese landscapes. Most of the crushing disbelief I've felt in the last 2 weeks can be attributed to the extreme dose of unfairness this indiscriminatory force of nature has unleashed upon Japan. So many people have lost so, so much. But I'd be kidding myself if I didn't step up with the selfish admission that a small amount of my aimlessness is a result of the universe carelessly shafting the remainder of my adventure. A blog is, for the most part, a somewhat narcissistic luxury anyway isn't it? So I think it's safe to confess my heartbreak at having the proverbial rug yanked out from under me, no matter how trivial it compares to the plight of the more seriously affected.
Despite the premature demise of my Japan-plan, I feel I achieved a lot during my time there. I continued my design liasons with Takara Gallery Japan (all artists are currently donating 100% of our profits to Japan relief fund), got to design various posters for club events, made some incredibly interesting connections, drank plum wine and ate sashimi whenever I wanted, scored a teaching job I liked and was good at, and most importantly broadened my views on so many things. It sounds cliché but a trip like I've experienced really does teach you a lot about yourself. I may have finally been beaten by shaking earth and nuclear threats, but I'm really proud of the fact I didn't let a lot of the little day-to-day hurdles waver my resolve to continue living in Japan. I loved life there, and I'll treasure my precious memories of that time forever.
My lovely ex-flatmate Amarie gave me some wonderful words of advice and reassurance that I will hold with me forever (in the days following the quake and first nuclear fears, she also fed me cereal, banana and trailmix bars when I forgot to eat!). She reminded me of the positive things I achieved during my trip, and made me not see any part of leaving as failure. Sometimes you just need to hear someone else's view on things when your mind is clouded with fear and indecision. She's a complete gem and an amazing cook too (Amarie, I promise I didn't ever deliberately time my arrival home to co-incide with you serving up your delicious dinners, but thankyou for always sharing!), I sure will miss her.
Being back in Australia is strange to say the least... it's not that I was away for so long that I forgot how to live here, it's more a case of a change happening so fast that your thoughts are scattered and your mind needs to catchup... total mental inertia! As each day passes I notice something small but wonderful about my own country and especially the area where I live (near the beach, a great natural healer during sunrise/sunset!). I think the universe is sending me little messages to say 'hey grrrl, you're gonna be aight sista'. (Cos the universe is secretly Queen Latifah). Everyday I get more excited about new beginnings, and the fear of the unknown is slowly transitioning into curiousity about how (not 'if') I will make my next little adventure happen.
I have a few ideas of where to go from here. I watched a really heartwarming movie recently that mentioned something about a yellow brick road, so that's an option, but right now I'm taking a few more weeks to chill with family, friends and chew on a few thoughts (and fresh mango!). I have also been working on a new artwork (have kept the laptop shut on this one and gone back to my canvas & paints days) which I hope to auction soon, all proceeds to Japan relief fund.
In the meantime (this canvas adventure could take some time!) I will be donating all profits from my latest print Hope.
Off to pour a plum wine, watch the autumn sun go down in a leafy courtyard and let the cool breeze bring in a fresh dose of positivity xx