Archive for March, 2006

細い線

March 17, 2006

古い服を処分するとわかるのだけど、着るものの趣味がだいぶ変わった。大学院に入った頃と比べて随分マシになったと自負している。

以前はとにかく少女趣味だった。女っぽい、のではない。とことん花柄、ふわふわの、パステル系。それらが自分には一番似合うと思っていたのだが、むしろそういうイメージを自分に無理矢理あてはめようとしていたことに、最近やっと気づいた。

今の私はもっとずっととんがっているから、スカートよりもパンツスタイルのほうが多い。スポーティーカジュアルといえばそれはそれでカッコよさそうだけど、実のところはただのヨガ帰りのトレーニングパンツ+ユニクロフーディーだったりする。せめてジューシークチュールと行きたいところだけど、日本だと高いから無理。

そんなこの頃、「殿」に会いに行くために着る服を一着だけ新調したいと方々のデパートやらブティックを探し回っているのだが、惹かれるのはなぜかみんな「細い線」なのだ。

「線が細い」とは死んでも言われない体型である。きれいな体の線を目指して始めたヨガだけど、筋力が鍛えられてしまうため、既にふくらはぎあたりがゴツくなりつつある。そんな私が「細い線」で構成された極上の衣類を身に纏おうとも、スケールが違っておかしいかもしれないのだが、せめて「細い線」を着ていれば少しは自分の体に対して鬱積している劣等感をガス抜きできるんじゃないか、とも思う。

着ているもので、気分も性分も確実に変わりうると思う。あえて自分がみじめに見える(と思う)ものを着ているより多少は値が張ってもホレボレするものを大切に着る。そこらへんに服魂が宿るのだと思う。

「細い線」を着こなす、そういう人間に私はなりたいのだけど。
「殿」のように。

Words

March 16, 2006

I am thinking about the word “words,” and a beautiful song comes immediately to mind: The Real Group‘s song titled, of course, “Words,” which merits a hearing by everyone who works with, struggles with, obsesses about, and are afraid of words. Every time I listen to that song, I regain confidence to confront the unknown darkness of words. To my mind, that song is draped entirely in black — velvety, luscious, pitch-black. The lyrics (words about words) shine through that velvety blackness, and remind me of the sanctity of words. It’s the stuff human history’s made of, and I personally believe that writing them down with ink on paper, or else singing them out loud are two of the most powerful ways to express that sacredness. Thanks to The Real Group, I have gotten through some pretty desperate writer’s blocks.

* * *

Words (my words) constantly underestimate, misunderstand, miss each other, lose each other; words too often work against me. But it’s the only tool I have to try to document and eternalize the fleeting moments of my life. Unless I write, I forget about an exhilirating walk under ginkgo-lined avenues in autumn. It’s vexing not to be able to pinpoint precise words to describe an inner necessity. It feels futile to interview someone only to realize upon transcribing the tape that the answers don’t match up with the questions. Or the answers don’t make sense. Or, worse yet, the questions (my questions) don’t make sense. Misunderstandings make me feel stupid and inadequate. False words cut into the flesh, sever the tender tissues of the brain, and leave neurons floating in ambiguous space. This is the risk of writing and expressing one’s inner necessities out loud.

* * *

Of course people react to words in different ways. When Deepak Chopra’s prose was read out loud during yoga class the other day, I failed to find him enlightening, for instance. I find scholars like Robert E. Svoboda much more amusing and inspiring. And sometimes spoken words deliver more power than written ones. An instructor at my yoga studio spoke moving words the other day — about how our hip joints, unconsciously, from daily use, tilt to one side or the other. By restoring our hip bones to equilibrium, we learn how to truly balance our bodies. Not only my hip bones, but I seriously think my brain is out of sorts. I read in the newspaper a few days ago that being close to nature inspires words in us. Another writer observed that fear inspires words. Can my fear of not attaining a balanced mind and body inspire great words and help me out of this rut? Can being close to nature find a fresh spring of words?

 

* * *

 

We constantly create words in our separate lives, and either let go of them, or else write them down or hear them out to grateful (or not so) ears around them. But if we all do that, doesn’t the world get too crowded with words? Don’t trite words go to waste, die useless deaths? Then a thought struck me while I was walking the dogs the other day. I was walking under vast cherry trees, and I noticed all these leaves crunching under my ruthless feet. Then I thought: all these leaves — trodden, decomposing, abundant — serves as a vital link within the life cycle of trees and insects and just about everything included in this uncommon yet omnipresent niche. Old leaves turn into the earth, and provide a rich fertile ground for more trees and taller trunks. Leaves create a culture of words. Maybe it’s not so coincidental that the Japanese word for “word” literally means “saying leaves.”

* * *

 

So I feel a bit better about words. I still have fear, but I need to keep writing anyway, and that’s exactly what my mentor had told me — keep writing, don’t stop. And keep reading, too. The next step for is figuring out what my message is and to whom I want to transmit that message to.

Marching On

March 8, 2006

Oh, DRATS! It’s been 16 days since I last wrote anything in here. Didn’t I promise myself that I’d change my puerile ways and make habits stick this time around? Apparently it takes more than just wishful thinking to raise one’s will power up to conventional standards. Right. Got that.

Some changes/updates:

1) The Big Decision has been made. Tokyo is to be my home for the indefinite future. “He” has landed a dream job here, and I’m looking forward to a new phase in life. I love my parents dearly and all, but I’m just about ready to bust out of my parents’ house. I want my own little quaint apartment this spring. Maybe in Meguro!!?

2) I’ve started to study Ashtanga yoga. Seriously, devoutly. I am taking classes every morning at 6:30 before I rush off to work, and the fact of it alone makes my spine stretch a bit taller. I can already sense that yoga could be a life-changing practice, but so far I haven’t gone past the painful stage. Every flaccid limb, every untrained tendon in my body have suddenly began to let their existence be known. But I’m enjoying all of it. It’s been only three days, and I already feel much better about myself, mainly about the fact that I’m getting up early enough to get to the studio in time, but hey, that’s progress, ain’t it?

3) One of the magazines I’ve been writing for has gone out of business. It wasn’t a surprise so much as a resignation. It’s been a long time coming. I felt bad about it for exactly a week, but now I feel liberated. I can choose to spend my time elsewhere, and I would love to love to read more so I can write more so I can write better.

4) The collapse of one magazine led to another, more personal debacle. I was asked to write a simple article in Japanese for a professional writer’s union I recently joined, and, man, it killed me. The resulting article was poorly written, and thus ruthlessly edited. So much so that I lost all confidence in my ability to write in Japanese. That’s my long excuse for not writing in my blog for such a long time.

5) But in hindsight, I should have written about not being able to write anymore, which is what blogs are for anyway, which brings me to my final point: I have decided that I express myself better in written English. And so, while this blog will continue to drag on even if no one’s bothering to read it anyway, it will remain close to my personal life and I will continue writing. I am starting another blog, however. This will be written exclusively in English. Call me a wishful thinker!!