15 December 2008

Coming home

I think since I left the US in 2003, I have been home four times. This will be my fifth. Leaving, at the time I left, was a knee-jerk reaction to a future I was worried about falling into, working at a desk in ill-fitting slacks and a polo shirt. Japan was everything that cubicle was not and I needed to get away from it, whatever the cost. I stayed away for a lot of different reasons, mostly pragmatic and mostly related to Japan being what it was, so full of intrigue, dark forests, and long staircases with shrines on hills. But there was a part of staying away from home that was less pragmatic and more related to how much of a dead-end my life had become before I left.

Going home is always, to some degree, coming to grips with that again. I always end up throwing things away. The first time was the worst — the walls of my room just plastered with shit. Every time I have thrown more away, but I know that when I go back, there will be more to throw away. I've resigned myself to accepting it will never all be thrown away and that I will always find little things, notes I had saved saying to myself, 'I will only keep this one thing — I need to keep something.'