December 24, 2014
Today is our wedding anniversary. 26 years ago, I married my wife. On this day, my wife and I are separated by 17 hours time difference as well as the great distance of 5,474 miles. I can only reach her on the telephone, due to the fact that she has no internet access. She has been gone since December 3, and I hopefully expect her back on January 23. Till then, I have been marking my time by writing my daily narrative for Facebook and my blog. I have consistently been fascinated by the passing of time, and how it affects one or a group of people. For me, now that I’m alone, I noticed the seasonal change (even in Los Angeles), and über-mindful of the sun going down and rising. All my mornings this year is taken up by writing and posting hopefully by 11:00 AM. Usually by the afternoon, I am totally drained by that morning’s work, and I just read or watch a film. One thing I notice, is that I have been watching more European films alone. When I’m with my wife, I like to watch Japanese films together. For one, Japanese is her native language, and for me, it’s a way to share or be exposed to her culture. At the moment, Hulu Plus has quite a few Japanese films from the Criterion Collection. As the husband, I am also the film curator in the house. But when I watch a film with her, I ensure that it is a title from this collection. For one, it is always excellent, and two, I find Japanese films very moving. Even the Yakuza dramas, I find a tear in my eye.
Nevertheless, now that she is gone for the season, I have been sitting here in her studio to do my writing. I think I do this so I can feel closer to her, because all her belongings and artwork are here. My World (my office) is too cold for me, and it just reminds me of “me,” and I don’t want to think too much about “me.” Which of course, that is exactly what happens - there is only “me.” When she is here, then “she” is here. The me becomes more of “me and her.” That’s perfect.
As a creature of habit, the only way I can fill the void that was her, is to write everyday. I was recently struck by the artwork of On Kawara, a Japanese artist who lived in New York City, who did a series of paintings a day with that day’s date as the subject matter of his work. It has been noted that if he doesn’t finish a painting of that specific date, he would destroy it. I can understand this, because if I miss one day’s posting, then it would ruin the entire series. For instance, if I die before finishing this essay or tomorrow, the whole work I have done so far this year, is also destroyed. Also, like Kawara I want the viewer or the reader to reflect on the date that my narrative is placed. I want them to consider what they did on that date, and how that can possibly relate to my narrative.
I have very few things to offer this world, and hopefully by writing these daily pieces for the year 2014, it will have some sort of meaning to my readers. Or perhaps not. My job is to write the pieces, and the reader’s job is either to read or ignore them. Both are perfectly OK with me.