28 Jan Words I Hope Emit a Glow, Far Beyond My Window
THE CANDLE FLAME flickers and the window’s cracked and outside my small apartment in Osaka, Japan, rain falls upon the roofs which fade into the distance.
I’ve never lived in a proper city. I wonder if that’s why they allure me so deeply. For years, I’ve craved the ability to step outside and become lost in a world of flowing energy.
I hope to one day live amongst nature again, as my time over the summer living simply in the hills of southern Italy affected me tremendously.
But for now, I want to be a part of something that feels vibrant and greater than me.
I look outside at buildings seeped in rain. It feels we’re all a part of something together. Perhaps from outside, on the road or near the horizon, you could feel the feint, strengthening glow emitted from these words.
Right now, this space, this process, this — it’s all I really need.
Growing up in Los Angeles has made me who I am. It’s provided me with gratitude, for I’ll always believe that there’s nothing as healing as the sun on my skin; nothing as liberating as the rush of the cold and powerful ocean; nothing as nostalgic as the salty taste that’s ever-present in the California air.
That’s something I miss. But it’s not the only thing I love about our world.
How I feel right now tells me I made the right decision moving to Japan, at least for this chapter. On my first trip to Japan in 2019, I returned to normal life back in LA and was a shell of myself.
I’ll never forget the feeling on Christmas Eve when tears came to my eyes and I stepped onto the deck, partly because I thought I shouldn’t have been so torn, but I was.
It was Christmas, yet I could barely talk, and each time somebody casually asked, how was Japan? I felt the pressure in my chest expanding.
It wasn’t just a trip — it was the precipice between the former Vinny and the man I am now. On that trip, I unknowingly walked off the cliff and fell into a new understanding.
Pursuing anything less than the sincere callings of my heart and soul won’t cut it anymore.
I couldn’t realize that Covid, conceivably the biggest setback for a kid waiting to set sail, was indeed a proving ground. I cultivated patience and garnered other valuable experiences, waiting for what happened five months ago.
While I still face the roadblocks, difficulties and worries we all grapple with in our own ways and in our own time, I’m here.
I continue to contend with the meaning of success, this striving to become something; the road ahead is far from clear, yet I feel as one. What I say is how I feel, and I strive to live truthfully by the words that I say.
I feel good, being me and taking one step after the last. That tells me all I need to know.
My friends are gone after visiting. I’m on my own again. My eyes welled up while walking home the other night, listening to music and looking up at the night sky.
I know, however, that it’s not the end of an adventure, but the beginning of a much greater one in which my friends, my family — everybody I can possibly reach with these words — are a part of.
Right now, in the grand scheme of everything that’s happening on our planet, there’s a journey to take part in. We can sit back and act as if things can’t change, or we can saddle up and ride together.
Our paths will ebb and flow; we’ll learn what it means to be alone, what it means to find our way, what it means to have people who are our people, connected as a constellation of love in this world regardless of where we stand.
I have friends in Osaka; I’m becoming part of a community.
It’s scary to leave what we know and face the world on our own. But if we remain true to who we are, we’ll find our people. Trust in that.
It’s challenging to know with perfect clarity how we truly feel about life, about this world, about our own individual journey. What’s helped me over the years, what helps me now, is noticing the life around me.
How it moves my soul, makes me feel, makes me think. That eventually leads to answers, or at least, the next best step to take.
Through all these choice, all these chapters, all the valleys we must traverse and the times when life feels good, we grow. In some way what we’re doing now takes us to the next step, and even if it’s unclear at the time, each step holds its own meaning.
Nature, even amongst a city, brings clarity.
The sun sets every night, but we are not the same. The streaks of light across the sky are different now, for we’ve lived another day. We’ve experienced what it means to be human. Now we may exhale, finding solace in what we can’t control.
The sky becomes red, and purple, and black, and the wind whistles, and the day shuts its eyes, finding peace beyond the mountains.
Joy comes in the sound of the rain, falling outside the window. I open the window, and although it’s cold, I must listen, if only for a moment.
The season’s settled, the next chapter’s here, and it’s magic, listening to the raindrops which fall upon an unknown landscape. This feeling of hope, possibility and love, emanating from my small Osaka dojo — this feeling tells me I’m where I’m meant to be.