Monday, March 12, 2012

Kyoto, Ver. 2.0

As of today, I'm back in the Kyo. I hope that I have a better relationship with her this time around. A lot of the frustration I found there last time was work related, a dissatisfaction with the yoga world that found parallel in Santa Fe. But other things rankled too.

A few months before leaving, Miki and I had climbed up to the top of Daimonji. As we sat looking over the city, Miki asked me what we would do if we were to stay in town. And I went cold. It's amazing that the idea caused a reaction so negative that it was felt physically. That negativity can be found in an interview I did at about the same time. Though there is also some optimism there.

When I left in 2009, I was really burnt out with Japan. From the moment we decided to go, I unconsciously began to focus mostly on the bad parts of the place. I likened it to the break-up of a relationship. To find the courage to say goodbye, we need to first divest emotionally, an act that makes the eyes naturally focus on the warts. Yet a couple months later, as we were on Henro and walking into Matsuyama after days in the deeper mountains, Miki again asked me the same question. And this time I felt sad at what we'd left behind.

Yet I return. I come to Japan this time with a completely different mindset than when I first arrived in 1994. At that time, and through the subsequent 15 years, I was determined to leave the country eventually in order to go to grad school. This time I come with my mind open, finding the idea of finishing out my life here not entirely unpleasant.

Will this mindset affect how I engage Kyoto this time? I quote Shakespeare, at his most zen: "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

On the turntable: Counting Crows, "Across a Wire"
On the nighttable: James L. McClintock, "Nature's Kindred Spirits"


Taiko Tari said...

Well said, Ted.
I particularly like that Shakespeare quote. This particular post is very similar to what I am going through and often I have to remind myself the same mantra. Thanks for sharing.

blaine said...

Maybe in the future I will return and maybe I won't.

Wherever I am I will always make the best of it.

The unpleasant might remain but I won't let it reign over my life.

I hope to run into you in Kyoto some day or have an arranged run in.

wes said...

welcome back!

I'll have to take you on a few of Kyoto's lesser known peaks. That should keep you refreshed!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, Ted. Enjoying your blog, BTW.