I’m writing from a hostel in Fukuoka, the sixth-largest city in Japan, the site of the second-largest Japanese port, and a cultural… no.
I’m writing from a hostel in Fukuoka. The curtains are drawn. A vague must mixes with the metallic odor of the air freshener seemingly used in lieu of custodial services. The cheap bunkbed groans in frustation each time I shift my weight to awaken my tired legs. In my head, several months have passed over the last two weeks. In my head.
My languid slouch in front of the computer conceals the posture of my soul: kneeling. Always kneeling. I look for the sacred in everything I see, everyone I meet, every place I go, hoping, begging the world to be just a little bit grander. Praying that the faded hues of material reality conceal a second realm, richly saturated with the layered stories of a thousand generations past. A second realm, where the minutiae of modern life are insignificant specks, disappearing into shimmering bands of the galaxy. A second realm, where the fallen rise again, lifted high on the eternal wind, hallowed by the fierce sunlight of our ancestral star.
With equal parts delusion and desire, I force my bare fingertips through the plastic wrap that divides the modern world from the Old, over and over and over. And each time my hands come back bloodied and raw. Stop pushing, the world tells me. Stop fighting with me. You are none but my own. But I never learn—I don’t know any other way. I am the fighter. I see my injured hands and think, I must try harder. I must go further. I see my hands and see the wonderful tools that they are, destiny of diaspora writ into the powerful tendons and nimble digits shaped by the trees our home. I see my hands and believe they can catch the wind.