This Is Harder Than I Thought It Would Be

I don’t blog as much as I used to. Possible reasons:
1. The people who got me started on blogging on a non-Livejournal website rarely blog these days.
2. It’s all about micro-blogging. (If you want to stalk me on Tumblr, you can do it here. I don’t post regularly on that site, but this could always change.)
3. Not working in some form of customer service doesn’t really bring in fresh ideas/funny stories.
4. Working in entertainment is kind of neat, but you can’t really talk about what you’re currently working on. (Confidentiality agreements and all that.)
5. I don’t feel like my writing style is up to par these days.
6. Death does not get easier to process as I get older. (Not my own mortality, but the taking-away of people part.)

When things really throw me for a loop, I tend to revert back into things I’m familiar with, and a lot of that is compromised of pulling out books and journals from my teenage years. On a whim, I pulled out this book:

I received a copy for my 11th or 12th birthday and read it dozens of times. Eventually I moved onto the harder stuff (Haruki Murakami, Junichiro Tanizaki, Ryu Murakami), and Banana Yoshimoto became my go-to book when I wanted something girly to read.

After Lisa’s passing, I went through my bookshelf and pulled Kitchen to read. I knew it was going to be an easy read: no elaborate storylines, no drama-filled love affairs, no violence. It’s a book I could read just for the story.

Or so I thought. Right off the bat, there was a death of a close relative, followed by the stages of grief. All I could recall was the transsexual mother and a budding love story.

I’d never see my own grandmother again. Never again. I don’t care for the loaded sentimentality of those words or for the feeling of limitation they impose. But just then they struck me with an unforgettable intensity and authority.

That’s just the English translation. I have no idea how close it is in the original Japanese text, but those sentences really struck a chord in me. And then there’s this:

To the extent that I had come to understand that despair does not necessarily result in annihilation, that one can go on as usual in spite of it, I had become hardened. Was that what it means to be an adult, to live with ugly ambiguities? I didn’t like it, but it made it easier to go on.

“Moonlight Shadow” is a short “encore” story that also deals with death and grieving (and had somehow completely slipped my mind). In this story, a young girl gets to “say” goodbye to her boyfriend who was killed in a car accident. Because she lost her love so abruptly, she finds immense relief in being able to wave goodbye to his spirit.

It sounds cheesy to write this (and I’m wincing as I type this out), but this book literally pulled me from a dark spot. There were so many times I came across a passage where I wanted to shout, “THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I’M FEELING RIGHT NOW!” There were a few times I came across a passage that gave me hope about dealing with last November and December.

I’ll never be able to be here again. As the minutes slide by, I move on. The flow of time is something I cannot stop. I haven’t a choice. I go.

I just came across that line while looking up passages I wanted to include here. Absolutely love it.

The next post will hopefully bring me back to my usual smart-assed self, especially since I’m doing the whole online dating thing again. But in the meantime, thanks for sticking with me while I’ve been in limbo.

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