When people hear that I`m going to Japan, most think that I`m going to be taking some grand vacation where I`ll be taking in the sights and sounds of all that the country has to offer. What have I done so far? Walk the dog, go grocery shopping, etc. To me, it`s mostly just `going back home.` Maybe I`ll get to go somewhere neat and fascinating, but this trip really isn`t about that.
What I value most in my trip thus far is getting to talk with my mother. Yesterday we got to just talk and cry for about an hour in the afternoon about some stuff that`s going on in the household, which I might expand upon later. I really appreciate that she feels comfortable enough to tell me exactly how she feels, because it seems that Japan still values for people to contain themselves, even at the point of his/her detriment. I want my `mama` (that`s what I call her) to be able to tell someone her thoughts without having to restrain herself, and I`m glad I could serve some of that role. At the end of the conversation, we hugged and she told me that I can say what I need to, also. Perhaps I am still holding on to that Japanese custom, and I haven`t quite been able to express what I probably want to say. But maybe as we have more of these conversations in the next week and a half, I will somehow find my way to be able to just have some verbal release. As much as I want to keep a lot of things to myself, there is a certain part of myself that want to let go and just let her know exactly what`s going on. There are many virtues to various Japanese traditions, but more and more, it seems that this self-containment doesn`t work, at least for me. While I, of course, want to pass on my homeland`s values (to whom, I`m still not sure, but….), it is up to me to start a new tradition, of openness. And if that`s the case, I need to practice it.
The wall by this computer is covered with family pictures. Tears fall as I write this, because so much of me does want to open up. I still haven`t figured out how to do it, though. Maybe I should do what I`ve learned from those Nike commercials: `JUST DO IT.`