Thursday, September 23, 2010

From bus to bus to plane to train…enjoy the journey…

Today is the fall equinox. Usually for me, this day passes like any other. My busy life topples over itself. One day I look up and watch a drop of rain knock the last red leaf off a branch. Snow sets in. I gather my acorns and hibernate.

“Travel slowly,” I read once on a flight to Japan. Wise words crammed against a magazine advertisement for neck pillows.

These days I’m discovering that it’s good to have a destination, but it’s even better to savor the process of getting there.

I cast another quizzical glance at my itinerary:

Goal: Get from point A (Kanazawa) to point B (Tokyo) in time for the wedding

Point A: Time of Departure from Kanazawa: 12:20 PM

Point B: Time of Wedding in Tokyo: 2:30 PM

To Do List for the hours between 12:20-2:30 PM:

1) Take a bus from my apartment to the train station in Kanazawa

2) At the station, somehow figure out how to buy a ticket for the airport shuttle bus

3) Somehow figure out where in the station to catch the airport shuttle bus

4) Get to the airport for the 12:20 PM flight to Tokyo

5) Land in Tokyo and find a restroom

6) Change into my wedding outfit and somehow not look like I got dressed in a public restroom

7) Once dressed, somehow figure out how to get on the monorail bound for station H. (I can’t pronounce the name)

8) Once on the monorail, somehow figure out which station is station H.

9) Get off the train, and somehow find the south exit at station H. What’s the Japanese word for south?

10) Somehow recognize the person who is picking me up from station H. and walking me to the wedding

11) Somehow get to the wedding before the bride gets married

I commit the steps to memory, but with every “somehow,” my anxiety level rises.

Suitcase in hand, I step outside my apartment, walk down four flights of stairs, and wait at the bus stop.

The air is cool.

A butterfly dashes by.

I get lost in the space between its flutters.

Maybe things aren’t so complicated after all.

I’m beginning to see my journey less as an obstacle course from point A to point B, and more as a series of moments flapping against moments that congeal over time to create a memory…

SCCRREEEEETCH…and I’m startled from my philosophical reverie…

The bus doors close. I’m not in them.


12:00 becomes 12:01

Will I make it?






I guess I’ll just wait for the next one.

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  2. Okay, I see a picture of what appears to be the moments just after a wedding (I'm gathering pic was taken by you). What I'm wondering: Did you make it to the wedding on time OR did the just-married couple courteously reenact photo-ready highlights of the matrimonial ceremony for their late-arriving American friend? I also heard (and perhaps this is news (or ruse) to you) that trained guardian butterflies are assigned to look after Kanazawan new-arrivals. Maybe you should compare the butterfly from an earlier pic to the one featured here. Revelations may be had. jan

  3. Ah the mystery...check out my photos on facebook...revelations may be had... Thanks for reading Jan!