I can feel the kiss

I recorded this video clip in Vanuatu 2010.
The true beginning…as every day is a beginning.
I just wasn’t aware of it then, that the trip to Vanuatu
was going to set-off a chain reaction of events,
that lead from this moment in Vanuatu,
to my ‘new life’ in Japan just a year later.

The amount of accumulated special moments since then
until this present moment, is huge!
So what I am doing, is to spread them out on my
enormous time line.
I have divided the time-line spanning from little before this
video in Vanuatu until today, and on it I add photos.
To each photo I add a note with event name,
for example “Live gig at Meguro Live Station with xxx band”.

Under the line I also add notes like departure times for
flights, visits from abroad, and everything else.
Just to keep track of all the places I’ve been…
is a task in itself
During the years I cover (about 6-7 years), besides my life in Japan,
I lived in or visited (not in order and many I visited several times):
USA: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico,  Texas,
Utah, and Washington
UK including London and Wales, Sweden, Germany, Laos, Ukraine,
Azerbaijan, India, Nepal, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan
Vanuatu, Mexico, Canada, Singapore
…. and more
and in Japan, I traveled a total of 6 weeks with Japan Rail Pass.
From northern Tohoku to Kyushu and a lot of it in between.

The program I use for this purpose is called ‘Scapple’
and it’s really invaluable to my book writing project.

In the photo below I combined two screen shots.
In the upper half,
one can see one year (of approximately 7 years total)
In the lower half one can see
how it looks closer up.
I still need to add more notes about each event,
for example names of band members at a live,
or who was with me at a certain bar and so on.

scapple

It is however time-consuming!
Often I find my mind wandering off.
A photo generate an intense feeling of
actually being there.
I can smell the flowers.
I can hear the music.
I can feel the kiss on my lips.
I can hear arguments and conflicts.
I can sense the love
It’s all embedded in this time line.
And the questions arise.
Why?  Why did we meet?
Why did I choose this or that?
It is also time consuming by the whole
metod in itself,
but in the end, I’m sure this is the best way!

Memories, but also a future.
My future.
Our future.
I have no doubt that even if I’m writing my book
about the past, it is not finished.
My story is not finished.
Friendship, and relationships,
continue in to the future.
My book is a snippet of this
continuum!
It really has no true beginning,
nor is it by any means
over yet!

Anna

 

X Japan and Memories

X Japan Bangkok 11-08 2011 Toshi

The process of writing my book is a somewhat tedious one.
I’m not writing the book in  a straight chronological order,
but it’s starts with Japan, and a lot in my life the past decade,
has do with Japan and Japanese music,
Naturally then, most of the content is from my years in Japan…
not all, but most of it.
In order to aid my memory I’m going through thousands and thousands of photos and video clips.
I’m creating a time line with a great program called Scapple. I highly recommend Scapple for any kind of mind-mapping, or system charting.
Beside the time-line, I am also using Scapple to create a huge sociogram,
in order to graphically visualize how people I know, and have been in contact with,
are related to one another.
It’s been a big eye-opener for me to be able to see how many people are connected to one another!!

The book, which is a memoir, will tell what I did before setting foot in Japan,
and why at all I decided to go to Japan of all places in the world.
X Japan and hide with Spread Beaver, is central to this.
It was through listening to Japanese music, that I decided I wanted to go.
I have never been any kind of Japanophile, but my whole life I’ve been very fascinated by Asian history and philosophy, particularly Chinese.
While studying at UNM, my friends Yumi and Rio Watanabe (re-)introduced me to the band X Japan.
X Japan and hide, then in turn lead me to a fascination with Japan, its people, its culture and of course, the Japanese music.
In the beginning particularly with Japanese Visual Kei
and Japanese Rock.
X Japan was my gateway to Japan.

So with the thousands of photos from the many live gigs, parties, travels, dinners,
back stage areas, family events, weddings, funerals,  bars, business meetings, hospital visits, lunches…..
I’m able to revisit my own life for the past 6-7 years,
and little by little I’m putting it all together,
The time line helps me to get more of a ‘bird’s view’,
to see the bigger picture, and then from it, be able to create the more detailed content.
X Japan, and the Japanese music,
have connected me with so many people around the globe,
not just in Japan.
For example, in the fall of 2012 I visited a friend in Kiev, Ukraine,
who also admires hide, and the Japanese music and culture.
Facebook and twitter have connected me with people all over the world,
and given me many amazing adventures and experiences.

However, Facebook and twitter are also a great sources of misconceptions
of how the world is, and how people actually feel.
By examining my own recent history, I hope to be able to examine this further,
and investigate how to best deal with emotions arising from having
a presence, and participating, on social media ‘places’.
What amazes me are also all the different social ‘rules’ regarding:
what to write, when to write, and how to express oneself on Facebook.
There are big differences between different cultures, countries and regions in the world.
The effect when we all interpret what other people post,
is one giant mess at times, and there is no explanation,
no manual, no help to interpret it all.
Often we aren’t even aware, that we might have completely different intentions with our posts online.
All this fascinates me!
But
Most in the book will not be about how we differ around the globe,
rather most of it will be about shared appreciation.
For example the love for hide and X Japan that reaches far outside Japan,
and yet not necessarily into mainstream global media.
I will therefor also dedicate a big chunk of the content to telling the readers
about lesser known artists and bands in Japan.
Which in a way has been my mission ever since that day
at Miura Reien in May 2011;
The visit to hide’s grave.
My meetings with the Japanese musicians,
and other Japanese people.
My interactions and experiences of different kinds of relationships in Japan.
How I felt. How I feel. How I’m interpreting all these encounters.

Oh and yes, the X Japan concert in Bangkok November 8 was amazing!!
It was their final performance  of the South East Asia tour
which in turn was a part of a bigger world tour 2011.
The Thai X Japan fans went to great lengths to help me.
Not only did they house me, the also got me an amazing ticket very close to the stage
dead-center of the arena.
#WeAreX!