Friday, October 19, 2012

Will Miss #497 - reminders of shared humanity

No matter what your nationality, Martians will be happy to eat your head. It's a nightmare we all share.

Whether we realize it or not, we spend a lot of our time awake but "sleepwalking" through life. We're not aware of what is going on around us, particularly when we're not making a conscious effort to scrutinize our surroundings. One aspect of visiting a foreign country as a tourist is that you tend to pay more attention. An aspect of living in one is that you can find yourself eventually going back to the same sort of sleepwalking you did back home. Ironically, I have found that when I'm walking around Tokyo and have a sensory experience which is the same as one back home, it "wakes me up". If I walked by a "coin laundry" in Tokyo, and smelled that familiar smell that I experienced when walking by laundromats back home, I was pulled fully into the moment and out of my waking sleepwalk.

These moments always made me think of the fact that Japanese and American people exist in very different life "tapestries", but sometimes we have the exact same threads running through them. This is a reminder of shared humanity through the minutiae of daily life, and I'll miss that.