Tag Archives: relationships


Sweet brown tender, wrapped up in a cloak of my senses like a gently fading blanket, the smell of sweat and liquor crushed into cotton sheets. Perched on a collapsable stool, I comb my fingers through matted hair, savoring the reverberation in every pore on my scalp. This kind of mystique is the mortar in my foundation, running through every fibre of my identity like Italian marble. I can still taste each delicate pluck of your tongue, a slowly evaporating lozenge that oozes amphetamines to my throbbing blood vessels.

The terminal nature of our torrid affair threw gasoline on the flames of our passion, and the heat left burns in my memory I pray never heal.

The bittersweet memories

On the east edge of lake Saiko is a restaurant hotel, Ma Maison.  Apparently it is a chain but I have no knowledge of the other store locations.  It is a quaint, wooden building with a white exterior and eaves.  The inside is dark and lined with wood trim, the kind of place you would never think twice about spending hours in.  Early twentieth century replica pictures dot the walls and the place is lit entirely with dim twenty watt tables lamps.  Soft romantic music from the thirties and forties lilts through the air, mixing with the hum of the old confection refrigerator.  Ella Fitzgerald and red table cloths almost bring a tear to my eye, dredging up memories of dates I had brought here.

Initially the Fuji Lakes were a private retreat, a solemn sojourn of deserted campsites and endless sessions for reading Kerouac.  But in time, it meant so much of me that I had to share it with the person I desperately wanted to understand me.  And so each trip of hiking, horseriding and campfires drew to a close with a bottle of asti and the enchanting haven all to ourselves.

I thought I had grown too old and too strong to be moved by a little atmosphere, but I suppose there are a couple of embers deep inside that still smolder.


From experience there comes a point where lessons are so rote that they become unspoken.  You know how hard you can work, how much you can endure before the slide. At that point values and priorities all fall into place unthinkingly. Sometimes though I wonder what part of this is repetition, and what falls into the realm of matters of the heart.

But, regardless of how much doubt and wont murmurs in your soul, the music will always be there to catch you.


What is it that prompts emotional growth?  For biological things, nutrients and environment are the biggest factors, along with any motivated conditioning.  But what about love, compassion, or social awareness?  If one is loved does one learn love?  If one is shown compassion is it learnable? 

Physical growth is possible largely due to physical factors.  So is emotional growth based on emotional factors?  From my experience it seems like dramatic change prompts growth, however this may only be as the change is memorable, so the events immediately afterwards tend to be catalogued with more scrutiny.  Am I able to love as I do now because of thirty years of slow, accumulated caring?  Could I have realized these things any sooner if I had diverted more resources to the cause?  If that is the case, then we do have direct control over how growth as human beings.  Our free will permits us the opportunity to optimize this equation.  So it is quite true that a man is best judged not by what he has, but how he spends his time.

This is another thing I mean to understand more fully in my heart.  If I did there would be much less guilt in my life, and much more satisfaction.  Thanks to the powers that gave me the conscience to realize this.

Precipitating change

Change comes whether you wish it or not. You can try to hold back change, but ultimately it will always best your efforts. You can try to precipitate change, and in a tangible sense this is quite possible for many worldly elements.

I didn’t really plan on things changing this fast, but they are. It’s a big change, so naturally I’m nervous. I’d probably be a fool if I wasn’t. Well, I’m a fool anyway but that’s beside the point.

Tomorrow I’m going to take my driving test. America doesn’t have an agreement with Japan like most industrialized nations that permits the simple conversion of a license. I’ve been talking about making this change for years, but it all came together in the last three weeks. Now I just have to pass the test, which is fabled among expatriates for its difficulty.

Bigger than this is that today it was also decided that I’m leaving Shibuya, my beloved home of eight years. Eight years of living in the shadow of the greatest metropolitan center in the world. Eight years of living alone, returning home each day after a long battle at work to spend a few humble hours in quiet. Eight years of making selfish decisions solely for my own comfort. Eight years of bachelorhood.

A new chapter begins June 14th, a new chapter of no longer running around with the freedom to do solely as I please with no one to answer to. A new chapter where I discover myself from learning about someone else. A new chapter where my worth is more than just what I can accomplish with my own two hands.

For a person who has spent so much of his life planning, waiting, and drawing up diagrams to explain it all, in the end the biggest changes are made not with the mind, but with the heart.

So I sit on the sofa, alone, in my quiet. With a microbrew in my hand and Music for Airports on the Hi-Fi, I start the goodbyes to the decade of my mind, before I start the welcomes to a decade of my heart.


Regardless of how many times it’s explained, some things in life just never make sense until they happen to you.

It’s called “lovesick” because your every thought, your every action is irregular. Like fever bringing a wave of delusion, you are not yourself but more, guided by unseen forces. You just can’t realize how ridiculous you’re acting, and even if you have a shred of composure left to, you don’t give a damn anyway.

The taste of what comes next

To be so close you can taste it. To feel all that you’ve felt at once, somehow your whole life coming together to a tipping point where what happens doesn’t matter as much as how certain you are of something you feel inside.

I’ve thought, and thought, and thought about it, and I’m now at the point where the thinking gives way to doing. The kind of doing that gives way to done.

I don’t care what happens tomorrow because tonight is all the belief I need to live forever.

The rose

I bought a potted rose because I had heard they were among the hardest plants to keep, a flower that required daily care and attention to reach its fullest potential. Falling prey to a variety of diseases and parasites, if I didn’t have the rose on my mind every day, and act accordingly, it would die. I’d kept dozens of varieties of other plants before. Some I purchased at full bloom, others only tiny specks of seeds. Some withered in the summer heat and perished quickly, others hung around year after year, contributing little but requiring virtually no maintenance whatsoever. Some started out nice enough but I let them grow wild, and they choked each other out, fighting for nourishment in the soil. I bought a rose because I was so bad at appreciating what I had, because I went through so many lesser flowers halfheartedly. I bought a rose because I needed to practice love.

Love is not a seasonal custom, or a pleasure to enjoy when one’s in the mood for it. Love is everlasting labor, and reward. It’s appreciating something special for what it is, and what it brings to you every day: in the pleasure of seeing something thrive, and the grace from having a chance to make something better of yourself, to make something other than yourself better. I’ll probably live to be eighty-four and still not fully understand this.

I bought a rose with the hope that we could grow together, and I’d gain a strength inside that I’d always lacked. I bought a rose as training for something more precious than the life of several thorny stems in earth. I bought a rose and watered it, put in the sun, talked to and fawned over it. After some time had passed, it gathered white spots after a week or so I skimmed some articles on-line which led me to buy a fungicide at the department store. I sprayed it on and walked away, later bothered with how long the milky chemicals glazed the once vibrant leaves. Branches grew brittle and snapped off, petals fell to the ground and every new blossom that formed was smaller and more anemic. From time to time when I had a minute and it would catch my attention I would prune away a little of the worst areas; laundry caught on a thorned twig quietly pleading for help.

Winter came and I was left with three meager sticks and dozen sickly leaves. It looked like I had lost again, and I was fated to never learn from my self-absorbed egotism. For the first time since high school I spent a cold winter alone, truly lost in an empty house.

Eventually the spring came and the warmth of the sun returned to my balcony. The same old uninvited vines clung to my railing planters and I began to think of how I’d eventually have to lay down some new marigolds and turnips to cool the summer afternoons. But one day when I wasn’t expecting it something changed. As I was sweeping the cruft from the last five months down towards the drain spout I bumped into that simple brown pot in the corner of ground. The long barren and unforking stalks of my rose were different– over two dozen chartreuse buds had appeared, and in those tiny, meager shoots I found more joy and surprise than all of the last year put together. The rose had taught me a lesson, though it wasn’t the one I thought I was looking for… love was undying, and had given even ungrateful me another chance. If love can keep hope for me, then there must be a way for me to keep hope for it.

Photographs from the heart’s eye


This is important so I’ll say it in English as well.

Recently I’ve been worrying about the critical reception to my show since I’ve invested so much time and money into it. But when I was on the way home from the installation last night I realized something: it doesn’t matter what sort of critical reception I get. The original motivation behind this exhibition was to celebrate my friends; the ones that pulled me up and helped get my feet under me here in Japan. And when I was preparing for the show that’s what I did; I fondly thought of the people in the pictures, all they’d done for me, and I made these photographs as a tribute to them. So the show’s already a success.

Thanks for helping make it one. 皆さん本当に有難うございました。