I may have mentioned, or at the very least intimated, on one occasion or another that I don’t really like these kinds of posts – the ‘I’ styled ones. The essential reason behind this is that I don’t think that I have enough practice, expertise and or overall knowledge to on the subjects being covered which makes feel that parallel to this, ‘I’ styled posts have a tendency to detract from the real purpose of Trees in the Train Station – to express my own discoveries in a way that could hopefully serve as a kind of source for others who may well be in the position that I have been in. One part veiled spiritual biography, one part encyclopedia sans exhaustive subject matter, one part trail of breadcrumbs and one part road map; in essence my intention was to help people like myself by articling what happened to me, in the broad understanding that most people who come to Paganism and Heathenry on their own go through congruent stages or events or otherwise have questions of a congruent nature. That said however, two months of utterly failing to maintain my commitments here warrants an ‘I’ styled approach for my personal accounting of why it has been two months. The two months silence is, admittedly, the byproduct of many factors – some of which I downplay the effects of and some that I do the obverse of and overplay the effects of. It is hard to know with which of these things to start with, so I shall do neither and instead start with a mechanical, neutral reason.
As anyone who has moved home in the last 10 years (or so) can probably attest, getting your new internet connection set up has graduated to that category of things that exists just below getting your gas, electricity and water set up. Not, strictly speaking, essential or even necessary but fairly close to those aforementioned necessities and just as (if not more so) irritating to organize. The first time around, my connection was not too difficult to organize, however I failed myself by not thoroughly checking the nature of the connection I was getting. A replacement connection has been far more involved to get set up and there have been set backs – nevertheless the connection is supposed to be ultimately well worth it. Although I have been holding off ending the original internet connection, the severe restrictions placed upon it have made me more than a little gun shy in using it for anything other than what is absolutely necessary. I have not been receiving emails for the last month and a half because just checking them each day was enough to put me over one of the two limits my bandwidth came with. Although I do have an internet connection at both my offices, that is only a recent change and now that the school year has started I more often than not am more concerned with next week’s lessons in my spare time (at the moment). Mechanically speaking, that is why have been two months in absentia. Unfortunately however, I cannot end there as there are not solely mechanical reasons.
The most succinct way to start this part is to say that I am still unsettled. Yes, two months into a new life having just moved out of home to a foreign country and started a new job and I am still not settled. I can’t decide whether I am being sarcastic about my own foolishness or driving my point home even further and saying that I should have adapted by now. Just to give you an idea of my mind at the moment.
In one of the drafts that I wrote for this I made mention of how there are a number of internal and external conflicts in my life right now. I’ve just moved to a country that I have lived in before, gotten into a very good program that I tried for two years to get into, and yet I can’t stop thinking about what my next move will be; I am living in a beautiful piece of countryside Japan in what amounts to an almost ideal location – not so far removed that I can’t do anything without a car, but removed enough that I am able to have a quiet home and lots of scenery around me etc. but there are still many scars of the modernized Japan intruding on my idyllic picture. Just as two examples. Even then, I think that I am downplaying the former’s effect on me and overplaying the latter’s. In the draft I was rather melodramatic about how I expressed both those dissonances and several others, and while the melodrama was simply a reaction to a poor state of mind and likely not eating right that particular day, I can’t ignore the dissonances. To my eye it is profoundly ironic that a country, a culture, that has styled itself towards absolute harmony engenders in me a sense of disharmony. And it is this which is causing me the most internal frustration, not because I am personally inflexible or disliking of disharmony but rather because those are the things that I am used to – of all the things that my new life has brought me this disharmony is what I should be finding the least difficult to adjust to. Making matters muddier is that this blurring of the lines and inability to deal with it satisfactorily is not just an external phenomenon; it is something my own mind and personality are experiencing too.
These internal concerns stem from many places, but perhaps none more so than my own fractured attentions at the moment. It seems ironic that I am most focused these days when I am at work. While I would like to say that I am a polymath and thus it is to be expected that I would have many interests competing for my time that would be a purely egotistical statement. Factually speaking, there are lots of things that I want to do, that I feel driven to do. However this drive is often at odds with the reality of working a ‘Nine-to-Five’ job that involves having to be a combine Secondary Parent, teacher, source of linguistic accuracy, constant and unyielding source of motivation for hundreds of children and cultural quasi-ambassador all at the same time. I just can’t grasp how tired I am at the end of each day and how suddenly I go over the edge from the ordinary, healthy kind of stressed to ‘stressed beyond the capacity to think properly’. My own limitations as a person keep getting in the way of the things I am driven to do, the things I do to try and cope with those limitations also get in the way of the things I am driven to do.
Consequently, things fall by the roadside which further drives me to pick them back up again and unfortunately Trees in the Train Station for all its personal importance, is a very easy thing to drop.
It does feel good to write again however.