It’s finally come! I’ve waited long, yet the arrival feels abrupt. BAM! Sunny weather and tolerable temperatures to rip through the wind on two wheels. The snow has receded just enough to give me passage to the foothills here in Toyama. A random day-off in the middle of the week couldn’t have been more timely, and today I made my first real adventure of 2013.
A bit reluctantly, I opened my Toyama mountain guide book to look for places I didn’t believe existed. Yet it was only minutes until I had already planned enough trips to fill few months. This place is certainly not dry yet. I plan to make the most of my time here, and I don’t think I’ll be lost for mysterious mountain destinations. Spring is floating up the mountains devouring snow, but it’s quite a slow process. I found the smallest of the mountains assuming it had the least amount of snow, and so today I went up Hageyama, 466 meters high in the Kamiichi area of Toyama.
This is what I love about the woods. This is what I love about Toyama. This is what I love about Japan. This is what I love about life. This, whatever you want to call what I did today. Alone, except for those I meet along the way. Free, except for the setting of the sun. Inspired, by the experience of a place I’ve never been. It’s my secret life, yet it’s not really a secret in a “people aren’t supposed to know about it” kind of way. You’re reading it now. But perhaps you’ve never met me, which makes this a different kind of experience for both of us, you: reader, me: writer. Some of you know me personally, which makes this a special experience as well, you know this side of me not many others do. I’ve told other people about my adventures, but they don’t care, do I don’t. It’s not worth the trouble unless someone is actually listening, but if they are, maybe it’s not such an interesting story anyway.
ANYWAY … it’s been a long dirty winter. The seasons mean different things to each of us. This is something I have a great amount of interest in. I’m very mindful of the changes of the seasons, and enjoy tracking its effects on the human world: mostly, my own. Very often, the winter is a quiet time for me where I enter some kind of hibernation and refrain from doing a lot of things. I had my hibernation, but it was cluttered and fanatic. Then I took on a lot more extra responsibility for a couple months making me busier than ever. Now, I’m looking forward to the spring in order to start over, with a lot less, doing what I want.
What I want has to do with … less. Throwing out all of the superfluous crap I’ve hoarded and constructed, or inadvertantly accumulated, and making room for all the good stuff to happen. This is where Zhan Zhuang (standing meditation) comes in. Though it is an activity of itself, which requires energy and time, it is a great purifier, aligning me to be in my life as I … am, and allowing me to avoid all of the stuff … I don’t need to do. It’s not like there are lots of physical objects to get rid of, or habits to stop, but more so making a shift in perspective. Yet it’s not just an instantaneous shift of viewing the world which will change it all for good, but rather the maintanence of a kind of being where I can live in a way that … I prefer. That preference is not just “me” and “what I want“, but also about accepting “what I don’t want” and all of the outside phenomenon of the world, for better or for worse.
It’s about action. It’s about being. Thinking is important, but it’s a tool to be used appropriately. Thinking certainly cannot be underestimated. However, I feel my young adult education in Japan has been teaching me to act, and then think later on. I make plans, I have ideas, but if I get stuck inside of them, I lose myself somewhere other than where I am for the most part. It’s a strange quandary: I would like to write about it all, but if I just write about it all, then I won’t be having the experiences that make life worth living. But if I just go out and experience, then I won’t have time to write it down for the world. I have never regretted putting down the pen and picking up the bike. Perhaps this is the trick of life. We put our own personal style into the world by how we make our decisions. No one person will do something exactly the same as another. Often, what two people do can be completely contrary. Many people will stay inside to hone their craft away from the world. I, however, will abandon my craft for the world. This is apparent in everything I’ve ever done, and perhaps a curse preventing me from specialty in one specific area. Doing this, saying this, thinking about this, this is very much me. Perhaps I will never be rich or famous like I’ve dreamed, but I know I’ll be happy.