My body yearns for wood and dirt, and here I sit writing with my fingers on the keyboard and my eyes on the screen, and my mind at a loss, questioning things, muddled. Who I am must be more than these parts – my body and its parts and their senses, my mind that processes them and tries to put them together and make sense of things or feel through things so that I can continue to move forward, survive, live, be and share with others who are doing something like this too – who I am must be some constantly changing syntheses of these things and more. And there are blocks to my saying so, the very tools or pathways or media for expressing or conveying or holding also inevitably compressing, warping, concretizing, simplifying, selecting what I am experiencing-observing-feeling-knowing, but maybe it is in part those blocks themselves that make me feel compelled to get past them somehow. So here I am writing, my buttocks aching, neck craning and shoulders creaking, three floors up in a fine old apartment building of brick and stone and concrete and metal, on this fantastic tool of plastic and tiny amounts of all manner of other substances that connects incredibly to other people on similar devices all over the world, and I cannot help but feel disconnected from something I yearn for. The fact that there are other people near me, the person who I have chosen to be with for most of my life and the children we are raising, is part of what grounds me and is something I am and must be thankful for. My body needs the touch of other bodies, I need other people near me to remember and stay myself.
The house I lived in for about ten years, and moved out of, oh here the years and dates start to become crucial, because I lose my bearings and then my will and wherewithal to write things down – Akira was born in December 2010, the Fukushima meltdown happened in March 2011, so it must have been only a few months before, in the summer of 2010, that we left that house as our dwelling place and moved with Yosuke who was then 4 and the unnamed just conceived person in Tomoko’s belly, and started to make in her family’s disused house what I guess we wanted to be some kind of nest for our growing family, only to uproot ourselves a few months later, in June 2011, first to my parents’ house on an extended visit, and eventually decide to move to where we are now – that house is now gone. Even the address, 3-17 Shimoyanagi-cho, is gone I think, as it and the two houses next door were demolished along with it to make way for a five-story condo development. Just two weeks ago I was standing there, in a state of shock I guess, on ground I had stood on before, I think the mound of dirt where the boke bush and the passionflower vines had been was mounded a bit higher by the demolition crew, but also on ground I could never have stepped on before with the house still standing, and feeling ineffectual and helpless but also very alive and full of feeling and conscious of the importance of making this attempt at closure and moving on, of the importance of being in that moment in that place… also aware then and continually, that this kind of thing, and much worse, is going on constantly all over the world, people being displaced and losing everything and having to move on somehow… And suddenly the words of a Robert Wyatt song come to mind, “We get soooooo out of touch, words take the place of meaning… So out of touch, words take the place of meaning”.