Japan was more than I possibly could have imagined. A complete adventure, right from the very moment our journey started. Fifteen minutes we were supposed to board the plane in Lebanon to fly down to Boston and then New York our flight got postponed for three hours.
So Scott’s parents drove his car over and we drove to New York to catch our 0100 AM flight to Shanghai out of JFK, which we made in time. Over the course of that 14-hour flight there was a heart attack scare that I blearily went to try to help out in. When I returned to my seat I opened the window to find that we were flying along the Northern Lights, a miracle which is beyond words to describe. There was green and deep purple underneath that, moving like visible sound, graceful, fading, streaming along in a current.
Our whole journey remained that way. From exploring Scott’s old haunts in Okinawa, savoring soft velvet whisky nights with Issey-San at his bar, Sammy’s Kiwi, and strolling along the South China Sea, to Kyoto, walking in a hushed enchantment through the bamboo forests, the cherry blossoms blooming, and everywhere a sense of peace and elegance and wonder.
Coming home has not been easy.
When I started this blog, I was reeling in shock from the recent election. Trump becoming president completely rocked my world, my visions for my country, my belief in the future. How could a figure that I, and so many others, find despicable, who spews and promotes ignorance, hate, greed, and so many other negative things, be the elected leader of this country. I started this blog to convince myself that, in some small way, my voice still matters.
That didn’t quite go as planned; from being exhausted in making the big move into the ICU for my career to getting used to living in rural New Hampshire during the winter to family matters and not feeling motivated to be a triathlete anymore, things didn’t go as planned.
I’ve returned in time for Spring. And to go to my Grandfather’s funeral.
Its been scary. Coming home felt overwhelming. I didn’t feel quite ready, stepping into the chorus of IVs, the keen of family members grieving their loved ones, the endless questions and procedures and scans and drawing of blood to answer those questions. The so many minute steps that earn me the hatred of my patients but with the hope being that the end result is an answer. And hoping that it is one that they, or their loved ones, can live with.
I want to remember and always feel what it is to have all my senses so titillated, to see the furls of water beneath my feet on the vermillion bridges arching over those misty emerald mountains and ancient shrines holding with hushed breath the wisdom of years and worship and reflection, with the smell of dirt and cherry blossoms and the hint of sea in the salt-tinged fog.
But that kind of joy, that kind of fullness of being, is right here, in savoring the texture of every moment. I’ve been so good at setting goals and meeting them and always striving. In always having to accomplish something. I’ve been good at setting goals and getting overwhelmed about them. But now I’m finding myself wanting something else. And realizing that the art I want to devote myself to is simply a life well-lived. That I want to make friends and a community and a home, here. I want to dwell in and appreciate the gifts I have. And they are plentiful.