A few reasons... 1) I no longer live in Japan, though I often wish I did; 2) Fewer lawsuits when you write about the past - especially when you write everything as though it was written 20 years previous—which I do... as I expand upon the diary I kept from my days in Japan... expanding on it with a viewpoint from 20 years later, to be sure... but I try to keep the spirit alive.
It's funny how one can look at the words from so long ago and then be transported back to those exact moments when it occurred. To be honest, if it wasn't for this diary, I would have little recollection of what I did or how I felt while I was there in Ohtawara, Japan. Matthew, my great friend then and now concurs.
It's strange though... for both he and I, Japan represented a turning point in our life—and yet, with the passage of time, we blurrrrrrrr.
So... why do I write about the past? To relive it, I suppose. But it's not like I am enjoying myself every time I write about it. Many days, I look back with a sad fondness for people and places I may never see again... knowing some are long since passed from this mortal coil, others long lost in travel and life, and still others who are simply lost.
It is painful to write about MY past for another reason. It is MY past... and while I do finally see the infinite kindness of others who went out of their way to look after me—people for whom I probably never properly thanked—I also see how troubled I was... and how it seems to mirror the life I live today.
Here's a line I found somewhere—a long time ago—that seems to sum things up for me:
"If you want to understand your past, look at your current situation. If you want to see your future, look at your current actions."
I have no idea who wrote that. I have it written in my own hand-writing on a well-worn pad of paper from Japan... but it sounds too profound to have come from my pen.
I'm sure there are more than a few of you out there who think that sentence is profound. I know I did when I kept that tidbit of knowledge... but do you know what... it's one damn scary adage.
If you want to see your past, look at your current situation... Geez... women problems then and now. Both are what stop me from enjoying life to the fullest, so instead I enjoy life to the foolest.
If you want to see your future, look at your current actions. But dammit! My current actions suck. Does that mean my future will too? That's the scary aspect.
But do you know what's even worse? While the past me had a great network of friends and family AROUND him, current me has friends (only) in cyber space.
It's both good and bad... but dammit all to Tartarus, the next step for the future is me having friends only in my head.
"Hey Andrew, let's go for a walk!"
"Nahhhh. I'm just going to sit around the skull casing."
My imaginary friend is lazy. Or am I the friend in this situation?
Whatever... I'm a writer and every writer needs an outlet... physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, sexual—whatever.
I don't even know why I am writing this... is it for me only? Publication? Why share it? It's personal... oh yeah... the blog... damn... that's right... public humility. I've been ever so naughty. I deserve a spanking. Whack! Whack!
I wish that was the case, but, whatever...
Since you may or may not be reading this, I guess you know my answer. Well, actually, if you aren't reading this, you have no idea what I am talking about.
Cheers from the future,
As for why I chose to use a Joss Whedon DVD of Serenity? Many Reasons, I suppose. But... when one writes the word ZEN, it's a circle. A DVD, a key player in the electronic media age of bloggers, seemed sort of zen, and the fact that it used the word serenity... that was zen. I'm sure there are other reasons, too...