Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I can't decide if Japan and America are far away from one another or very close by. Three plane rides - Sapporo-Osaka, Osaka-Dallas, Dallas-Boston - and I'm back where I started, hugging my parents in the tired confusion of an airport lounge. On the one hand, with no effort on my part, the transition is incredibly sudden. You don't need to climb a mountain to get to America, don't need to pack food and water, don't even need to wear a hat. The whole process is more like standing in line for a very long time. And yet the ground I didn't travel in between - Kamchatka, the Aleutians in Winter, the Coast Range of British Columbia, the Utah Desert and the Appalachians - is all so vast and wild and impregnable...

Which is farther away, downtown Tokyo, or the ridgeline of the mountain you see from your window every morning but have never climbed?


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