Thursday, February 18, 2016


It's morning, riding the train in a just-woke-up fog, suddenly I think I'm going the wrong way and wonder what day it is, I slip out my phone and glance at the cracked display. Like watching a slow motion video of blast waves erupt from a bomb, my meta-mind watches as first the thought TREE DAY in an abstract non-word way hits the edges of my mind because of the visual meaning of the Chinese characters burning bright white on the display, next my native language comes booming in THURSDAY THURSDAY THURSDAY and finally like the fading echo of thunder in the distance, the Japanese reading of the characters slide into my mind before it all fades into the torrent of thoughts I had cooking in my mind. This is every day, every moment, as a non-native speaker living overseas I guess. I wake up with foreign words still wet on my lips from dreams of jumbled places plastered with placid phrases. I catch myself thinking in Japanese, but as a non-native it is a broken strange twisted contortion of the "real" thing. Even speaking, I am a flickering shadow of what should be said in Japanese by a person of my age. Living life as a non-native in a faraway land is like that, your identity contorted and controlled by an evolving pile of words that will never equal the shape or colour of your native tongue, and yet this broken twisted contorted chunks of meaning become (gradually without a concentrated effort) comfortable inside the caverns of the mind. It becomes easy to speak, to think, to hate and to love inside a shriveled mesh of thoughts. There comes a point when words are just words, and all of that falls away when you look carefully inside deep enough; you can see beyond that tangled maze to a mind pulsing with emotions and concepts deeper than any phrase could ever attempt to express.
All original content CC 2002-2012 BY NC SA - first design from dilarangmelarang altered by neonvirus and thunderbunny.