26 May, 2008

it tastes like being poor and small

Curious. It's a state I've never been in before: to have family and friends, everyone I care about the most, spread out across all corners of the world--and myself soon to follow suit. I'm accustomed to having accessible loved ones, and so it is strange--at least for this summer--to have them dispersed across the globe. Grace left for Peru on Sunday and is currently chilling there now with Elisabeth and Sarah; Guion flies to his beloved Ireland tomorrow afternoon; Rachel and Elizabeth are hiking in Alaska; Kelsey is preparing to do the same in Olympic National Park; Emily is in Egypt or almost there; J.Hecht will be across the sea from me in Korea; J.Clem and Chad are living out "The Motorcycle Diaries" in S. America (see their thorough blogs for proof), with Catherine to join them later; and I am beginning to create a packing list, for I am Tokyo bound in a week (June 5). My head feels dizzy and unfocused and my heart is uncertain and distracted.

I had a very anxious heart when I woke up this morning, thinking about all of these people that I love and how far away we are and how helpless I am. God's word brought some peace but I still need to pray for that all-surpassing peace more fervently, more devotedly. And perhaps it is a good state to be in, this helplessness. Keeps one spiritually flexible, I suppose.

I got information about my hosts, the Koyasu family, this morning. They live in Chiba prefecture (about an hour by train from my university) and seem very kind. To my delight, they have three young children: a son, Yutaro (age 12), and two daughters, Rina (6) and Nana (3). I am excited (and nervous!) about meeting them and hope I will be a easy and likable houseguest for two months. I am scared about communicating; I'm realizing more and more how shabby my Japanese is. But it's at least comforting to know that I can communicate with and understand Nana; we're at about the same language level, I'd guess... "Where is the bathroom? This is a red ball. My name is Abby. What is your favorite animal?"

I think I am going to keep this same blog while I am there, so keep checking here for updates. The photos will, of course, be on Flickr (and I'll be posting more than one a day, I'm sure).

I feel like my writing is very formal and dry right now. Don't know why but I don't like it.

One of the things I've been thinking about lately is how ample God's provisions are. I don't credit Him enough with all of the blessings I have been enveloped with these past few months. Everything with this summer in Japan has been so clearly orchestrated by His mercy and providence; how everything fell together, particularly financially, was nothing short of incredible. It is a prayer I hope will be circulating in my heart this summer: Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.

Reading: Appointment in Samarra, John O'Hara; A Haunted House and Other Stories, Virginia Woolf
Hearing: "Hand on Your Heart," Jose Gonzalez; "Dubuque," George Winston
Thinking: I may experience what it's like to be entirely broke this summer


emily said...

Sometimes it does my heart good just to know that you exist. I love you so much! Also, I should tell you that Abby my sis is difinitely coming to unc- got a scholarship that covers full tuition and fees!

I can't wait to hear about Japan. The family sounds so lovely and I am so glad they have kids! Yay for three-year-olds!

I am leaving for Egypt tomorrow evening... little nervous at the moment but mostly excited.

Love love love you millions and millions,


Chad said...

being entirely broke aint so bad, haha. I´m lookin forward to hearing about your adventures. Have a safe journey, and take care.