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“Some days are meant to be counted, others are meant to be weighed.”

September 22, 2010

“It was when I was happiest that I longed most…The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing…to find the place where all the beauty came from.”
– C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

Rusutsu, Hokkaido, Japan

I love living here. Isn’t it beautiful?

Despite my happiness, I find myself beginning to long for things: understanding, maturity, and balance.

Some days I am overwhelmed; some days I am lonely. Throughout all of the struggles, I am trying to find contentment in the ordinary things. A beautiful field under an open sky. I fight fear with curiosity, yearning for more knowledge about this enigmatic country, so far removed from what I know. Some days I wake up and understand everything going on around me. Some days I wake up and feel more lost than I could have imagined. Why can I always have a conversation with so-and-so san but never make out two words from that third grader?

I may not have attained much balance in my life yet but I’m looking for it. Isn’t that a step in the right direction?

思い出せば遥か遥か
未来はどこまでも輝いていた
きれいな青空の下で
僕らは少しだけ怯えていた。

If we remember that far, far away
the future is shining somewhere
we only have to be afraid a little
as we sit here under the beautiful blue sky.

 

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 22, 2010 6:39 am

    Hm… I really do think that looking for balance is a good way. However, in my opinion, if you’re forcing yourself too much… well, it’s ironic.

    I’m firmly convinced that as long as you’re open-minded and curious you’ll definitely achieve the understanding, maturity and balance you long for.

    • September 22, 2010 6:56 am

      I agree! I think I have enough innate curiosity that I’ll never have to force myself to learn. 🙂
      One of my favorite professors once told me “balance and timing are key.” I also reflect on that and try to incorporate it into everything: writing, exercising, traveling, and learning.

      • September 22, 2010 7:14 am

        Wow, why don’t my profs tell me such useful phrases? I like and will absolutely remember this one, thanks.

        Learning is so much fun. I myself study psychology and have just finished my B.Sc. In October I’ll continue with the M.Sc. and totally love this field of study. I cannot imagine to finish learning EVER. 🙂

  2. thesocratesofsnails permalink
    September 22, 2010 7:58 pm

    Have you read “Till We Have Faces”? I’ve always been interested in checking it out, since I understand it’s an adaptation of “Cupid and Psyche”, which I love.

    • September 23, 2010 2:12 am

      I have read it! I truly love it. I’ve read it several times and I always come to more understand about what Lewis is trying to do in the story. It’s definitely complex and a good challenge for my soul. It’s one of my favorite pieces.
      I love mythology and am fascinated when authors rework old myths. Sometimes it doesn’t work and sometimes it does. This one does! I reccomend it! 😀

  3. September 22, 2010 9:23 pm

    Hi Jenn,

    I did my undergraduate senior thesis on C.S. Lewis’ and Thomas Merton’s writing on war. Very interesting and not as heavy as it sounds. I love that you use C.S. Lewis quotations! A quick question: do you read a lot of literature in English while in Japan? And did you bring books with you or do you order them online? As for me, I miss American bookstores… not even the English section of a French bookstore can cure me!

    • September 23, 2010 2:17 am

      Oh wow! I would LOVE to have written that paper! I’m a Merton and Lewis bibliophile! They both are so quotable.
      The answer to your first question is “I read a lot of literature period.” haha I’m an avid reader and am hoping ot eventually do a PhD in lit. I read, read, read. Now that I’m in Japan, I do find that I have more time to read for pleasure. When I was in school, I had so many lit classes that I couldn’t find time to read off of my syllabi too much. I brought only a few books with me, as they are very heavy and I needed all the extra weight in my bags for essentials. A lot of my friends and I have been book swapping recently. Also, I found a small but impressive English section in a Japanese bookstore. However, I must admit that doesn’t satisfy me! I recently went back home to the States and purchased eight books! Once those are done, I’ll probably set up an international account with Amazon.

  4. September 23, 2010 5:12 am

    The passage is lovely. Is there a Kinokuniya in your area? Granted, it’s not the cozy, dusty bookstore with the fat cat — rather, certainly the one in Shinjuku, all eight stories of it!, wasn’t — but it was a godsend when I craved walls of tomes in English. On the 5th floor as I recall. Funny the little things we remember years later.

    • September 24, 2010 1:45 am

      There is a Kinokuniya in Sapporo. I have already raided their English section extensively. haha I have racked up a nice amount of my point card.
      I also prefer cozy bookstores but this will have to suffice. 😉

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