Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Biking home from work last night...

...I let the full moon guide my way. Not that I'm in supernatural tune with the universe though I like to think I am. It's just that I'd forgotten my headlamp. Again. And in here in Fukushima, Japan, streetlights are about as common as a decent cheeseburger.

Now the morning sun plays hide and seek with the clouds, falling in threads through the only east window in my second-floor apartment. 700 square feet of superficial luxury: my friends gawk at all the space we have. My friends back home chuckle with undertones of bewilderment - why, exactly, Kevin...do you want to live there?...

I'm sitting on the floor, tapping away as lightly as my early morning motor skills will allow. Wife and son are waking on the other side of the bedroom door in front of me. I call it a bedroom because that's where we sleep. But once we fold the futons and hide them in the closet for another day our 10' x 12' tatami room turns into a playroom, dressing room and temporary dumping ground for when a surprise guest drops by. Behind me lies my office, so dubbed to make it sound legitimate to my wife. In reality it is my cave, my haven, 10 feet by 10 feet of psychological asylum. The guys out there know what I'm talking about.

Today brings with it, as all days do, chores to be done and responsibilities to assume. Fun to be had and dreams to pursue. Opportunities glaring and hidden, and, as we may lament, not nearly enough time. This is the unforgiving, unrelenting, beautiful quagmire of life. How to cash in our minutes and hours and days? Some people offer wisdom pursuant to such questions - a boon to those of us in search of gurus. This, above all, is why I am here.

I've been telling my son, ever since he had ears, what numbers one and two are. No, not that one and two. He's already got those down. The number one and number two I want to instill in his mind - and in his being - are the things I believe form the foundation of a life well-spent.

Number One is happy. Explore this world and find what makes you happy. What lights your fire. What makes your soul explode. Then strip away the excess and pursue these things with everything you've got.

Number Two: healthy. Healthy in mind to understand what happy really means. Healthy in body so you can climb mountains, cross oceans and cycle around the world, forever chasing down and grabbing hold of your own unique Number One.

The moon last night was beautiful. The breeze tumbled in warm and cool cycles. I wanted to keep riding; hold onto the moment forever. Though there will be another moon tonight, I know. The morning I now bask in borders on perfection. This Friday I will be meeting new friends from a country I have never been to. Life is good.

Life passes.

These things I tell my son as he is still learning to pedal his tricycle.

These things I tell myself, as I have only so much time.