Monday, October 03, 2005

what Okinawa is made of

i'm sure this topic can and will be covered in several blogs
if not in every one in one way or another

my days are filled with slight melancholy for things i knew and extreme giddiness for the things i've yet to discover. Finding a balance seems to be the growing experience everyone talks about.
I can play the piano on the second floor of the Junior high school. I'm learning new japanese songs and looking at the wall covered with pictures of composers i learned about as a kid but whose names i now can't read.
Even though katakana is used to write foreign words in japanese, knowing it(which hoooray! i do now) does not guarantee comprehension. Something written as "kohee" in katakana..means coffee. but that's almost too simple. names of composers are near impossible to figure out. but i'm working on it. still looking for tschakoivsky; that should be the most amuzing one.

watched my students compete in the Track & Field event. It was a very hot day but an enjoyable one. Every school was represented by a cheering crowd of supporters who relentlessly screamed, danced, whistled, and moved to show their athletes they were there for them.

My students did allright. A 3rd grader took a third place in high jump and a few girls took 4th and 5th places in 100m, 400m, and 400m relay. I walked around the field a lot and spend time chatting with other ALTs.

later that evening i drove south to Yasmine's apartment in Nakagusuku and had a wonderful time hanging out with Chris, Kelly, Martin, Priya and Yasmine. Yasmine is from Turkey and so she had the ingredients for me to make turkish coffee and even pretend i knew anything about fortune telling. (although, i did surprise myself and was able to see a few things and talk about them) and really missed my grandmother at that moment.
but that's the balance.

we played a game i brought from the states called catchphrase and it was a hit. The game uses a lot of American expressions and it was fun watching Yasmine try and explain them literally. stayed up way too late and had a late start but made it out to see yet another gorgeous castle in Nakagusuku, called appropriately, Nakagusuku-jo.
The road from the castle lead to the ruins of a hotel that was abandoned years ago because of hauntings and rumors and no wonder, there are tombs within the hotel grounds and it's next to a massive castle with shrines on every corner.
Okinawa is a deeply spiritual place; there is energy at work here the likes of which i've only felt in Israel; so i'm not surprised that the hotel had to be left behind, even though it looks like it was very near completion.

these are some thoughts i wrote down earlier when i was looking at the pics of the hotel.

[walking through the abandoned building, an eerie feeling crept through me. whether it was because i knew the hotel was left to squaters because it was haunted or because it was such a contrast between the castle ruins i had just strolled through. we expect to see something that is 700 years old on the brink of collapse..seeing a modern building in the same type collapsed state is onerous and near disturbing, although also very fascinating and exciting. Fascinating because things like this do not exist in the realities of most people. There are buildings like these out there some people call home, and the society doesn't think of them as people worth considering. Even though the building has been abandoned by those who would pay to stay in it and enjoy all the amenities it should have offered; it is still very much in use by teenagers, drunks, punks, partiers, and americans. However, the one things that disturbed me more than the haunted feeling was a swastika with an SS sign painted in one of the rooms. Yes, the hotel was covered in vulgar graffiti, but to have that in addition to everything else was sickening.]

So we went from the ruins of the old that are being rebuilt to the abandoned construction of the modern that has been left to ruin.

and that's the stuff of Okinawa.
that and the great people i meet here.
they make the balance happen painlessly and harmonously.

and for some reason i'm considering running. gabrielle has insisted that she'll get me to run soon enough, and i didn't believe her. although this is still just the thinking process, the fact that i'm thinking about it should put a few people who know me on alert.



Anonymous said...

yup... i think you put your finger on the pulse of the ruins...

- Chris

Kevin Thomas Hurley said...

Best blog yet. Very insightful and heartfelt.

Rosemary said...

Just read both Kevin's and your most recent posts. You two are SO BLESSED! It is extremely moving to read about what you are experiencing, and I am a bit envious, as well. My teaching in a Serbian school is a bit of an adventure, but not nearly as that of which the two of you are a part. Keep posting your insights and photos...and I'll let you know when we have an Internet hook-up in my classroom. I'd love to have our students connect.

Blog World said...

Faith is spiritualized imagination.
Henry Ward Beecher- Posters.