Many of us are here as foreigners, and many of us are far from family, friends, and loved ones. One of the ways we can bring ourselves home again is to write a letter. Old fashioned, I know, but timeless. Describing in letters what you experience while in Japan can bring you and your loved ones that much closer- over oceans and through time. When they read what you have seen, when they see what you have heard, when they hear what you have experienced, you impart into them a breath of yourself. It goes into their marrow, becomes a part of them.
We do not have to have a tight grasp of the nuances of our English language to do this. We do not have to posses a stellar vocabulary or persuasive techniques. We can simply tell them what lies before us. Give them a gift of words describing images they may never see: the array of gold and amber of Autumn in Japan, the gleeful march of children with brightly colored hats singing on their way to school, the characteristically dilapidated shanty-ness of old buildings stubbornly standing amid sleek high rises. We remember poignantly some of the minutest details of our childhood homes, of our friends and their beautiful faces. Let us bring, then, some of the minute details of our current experience to them. Capture the texture of a place, this place, that photographs cannot, that verbal recollections fail to.
No matter where in the world your loved ones are, they will know they are held in your heart when they can hold your words in their hands. When you take it upon yourself to impart what you see or what you taste here in Japan, and they breathe you in for that moment, there is nothing closer than the bond and the affection of two human souls.
A new Creative Writing group is being formed in the Tsukuba and Tsuchiura area. We will gather for discussion, analysis, critique, and interpretation of our English-language creative writing, be it fiction, poetry, drama, etc. All are welcome. Please email Heather Bradford at jhbradford[AT]nifty.com or call 029-842-7650.
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