A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Saturday, November 12, 2011

from Excitement...

...through delirium into dementia.

5 days.

This weekend is wrap-it-up weekend.  I still have a couple of little crafty tasks to complete.  And the packing. With a layer of pulling stuff from storage so that my son can have a garage sale next weekend.

It's all good.

The important stuff is done.

This is such a first for me.  My first trip out-of-country.  I really have no prior knowledge to pull from, no expectations.

I don't like surprises, and usually prepare for the unknown with serious research coupled with paranoid imaginings.  But I've become a believer.  The more positive I throw out there, the more comes my way.  And the more I fret and focus on the negative, the more likely it is that the negative is what I will get.  So, I've done a little searching to get some mind-holds but when the fretting kicks in, I kick it out.

Consequently, I have few impressions, few fantasies.

My priorities are clear.  This trip is about my family.  I've left the details of how and what and when to them, and they're doing a good job.

Perhaps for the first time in my life, I'm totally relaxed about giving myself over to someone else for a while.  My younger son will get me to the airport.  I can manage getting myself checked in, through security and to the right gate.  Onto the plane and belted into my seat.  The only fantasy I've nurtured is the one that involves my netbook, new travel journal, kindle and daily journal.  I refuse to fret about who will sit in the other seat in my row.  I've had fleeting images of a nine year old with ADHD whose parents have decided to fly first class while he is banished to economy (next to me).  Or the lonely 85-year-old woman reeking of April in Paris who is thrilled to have a captive listener for 12.5 hours.  But as soon as they slip in, I banish them to business class.  I plan to enjoy every minute of those 12.5 hours indulging in the reading and writing that I find it hard to make time for in the day-to-day.

I have tried to learn a little about my destination of Kami itabashi.

As near as I can tell it's a "suburb" of Tokyo in the same way that Hollywood or Santa Monica or Culver City are suburbs of Los Angeles.  If you saw it from the air, there would be simply never-ending city, no real distinction when one neighborhood ends and the other begins.  I look forward to learning its distinctions from walking and watching.

I did read that this is the time of year for fall color in this part of Japan.  Maybe I will see some, or maybe it will be too late, or maybe it will be too early.  My son is taking me into Shibuya one day and I will walk Yoyogi Park to the Meiji Shrine.  Late November, I read, is the time for color at the park.

from maridari travel blog, November 2007
 There will be pictures here, either way.

I may be experiencing a black-out.  It's important for me to remember that this is a country still reeling from a major natural AND a major man-made disaster.  The park that I will visit is one of the refugee homeless areas.  I'm reminded occasionally of what it was like to visit New York the May after 9/11, and wonder if there will be similar reminders during this trip.  They still experience occasional earthquakes.  Coming from Southern California these do not frighten me, but it will be a different experience in a place where they have so recently suffered such terrible loss.

Mostly, though, I focus on the excitement of kissy-face with my new grandson, long catch-up conversations with my son when he is with us and with my daughter-in-law when he is at work.  I suspect I will have the most welcome opportunities to get to know her family.  I've met her mother once here in California, but this time I look forward to meeting the rest of her family.

5 days.

I'd better get this one started.

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