11 April 2011 ~ 5 Comments

Gonna master the art of following my heart

Been doing quite a bit of writing lately.

And editing.

And a whole lot of thinking.

Ever since that earthquake on 3/11 very few things about life here in Japan have remained unchanged. But, I have managed to stick to my guns, creatively.

It hasn’t been easy. Fear is a persistent bastard, and he has hordes of agents out in the field.

Some of them are easily identifiable. Their disguises utterly transparent. Isn’t that my mother? Wait! No, that’s some un-treated 9/11 PTSD sufferer with a shaggy mop dyed black on her head. And, that looks like my lifelong friend, but, wait, no, it’s irrational panic lurking behind that cheap Frankenberry cereal box Halloween mask of concern.

Yeah, it’s been a rough month.

Big ups to my peeps who supported me without first expending a great deal of energy trying to convince me to run for my life cuz “can’t you see the goddamn sky is falling??”

Big ups to my fellow gaijin (made up of both so-called flyjin and stayjin btw) who have, with myself, forged a tight little circle of strength and resilience through social networking and information sharing. Sending out posts, tweets and messages of their own struggles, reminders that though I was living in a big Gaijin house emptied of every one aside from yours truly, I was indeed not alone. Yep, our own little cyber-support group. Some even throwing an intervention when my resolve momentarily weakened and I had Number 1 Travel Agency queued up on my SKYPE.

Yep, March was a hell of a month. April, however, not so much.

The beginning of April has found me climbing back on the wagon, re-shelving the books and sweeping up the shattered dishes in my heart, so to speak. Trying to re-learn things I never imagined I’d have to, things I never had to be taught to do. Like trusting the earth. The way an accident victim after months in traction has to re-learn balance in order to walk.

April has found me in a kind of existential rehabilitation.

No crisis of confidence. No writer’s block. Nothing like that. I haven’t asked myself questions like “Why am I here? And where is here?” It’s more like the earthquake and the drama that has followed has, to my astonishment and joy, provided some of the answers to questions that troubled me for years while at the same time presenting me with some new questions.

Ain’t that just like Life, though? lol

I won’t get into all the questions and answers in this post. That could fill a book.

But, one answer that came to me, didn’t come via the disaster, but in its aftermath. It came while I was picking up the pieces of myself, sorting through them, examining them one by one, deciding which will join me in the after-disaster-life and which I will throw away.

As if change were that easy.

I thought thoughts like, “do I need my selfishness? Yes! Keep it!” “What purpose does my laziness serve? None! Toss it!” Those were examples of no-brainers. Some pieces, however, were not. In these cases I had to follow my heart.

Me and my heart go waaaaaay back! We’ve had a love/hate, trust/distrust relationship since the 80s when my heart told me stalking is not creepy at all. It’s just an alternative method for acquiring vital information on a subject you happen to be infatuated with It did! It also informed me, with no uncertain terms mind you, that if I stalked Rhonda she’d see me for the dedicated lover I’d be if she’d only come to her senses and accept me.

Since then I’d taken all heart advice with a grain of salt. It’s been right as often as it’s been wrong. Actually, right and wrong aren’t the best way to describe the results of following my heart. I mean my heart told me to move to Japan. It also told me to stay after the quake. Were these absolute rights or wrongs?


There’s an art to following your heart. An art form that, like most art forms, can take a lifetime to master.

I had this thought while i was sorting through pieces of my life and listening to King reiterating my thoughts musically.


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5 Responses to “Gonna master the art of following my heart”

  1. Ryan 11 April 2011 at 1:05 pm Permalink

    Hmm, it’s been a tough time, for sure. Stay on focus though, it’s not gonna be like this forever, you know.

  2. Spartanintokyo 11 April 2011 at 1:48 pm Permalink

    In my life I’ve mostly either followed my d!@k or my heart… both ways f@#ked me up pretty bad.

    Now, I go with my head. Usually.

    Ok, with my d!@k on Friday nights…

  3. Verity Veritas 13 April 2011 at 10:46 am Permalink

    Yep, as you have learned it's a delicate balance, tricky because sometimes what you think is your heart is just your ego cleverly disguised, whispering things it knows you want to hear.

  4. B. Nielsen 21 April 2011 at 11:27 am Permalink

    Long time lurker first time poster here. I've become a changed person lately and part of that I think is me finally noticing my heart was trying to lead me places in the first place.

    Blogs like yours, and recently discovered Badboy and Salaryman as well, have opened me up to new ways of thinking and looking at things. I've been interested in living in Japan for quite some time and I'm glad I can see things in a different light through your words.

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