Our Beating Heart


Passing through,
deep-down reckonings with
our place in a world
made perfect with
our humble imperfections.
The sun, which does not dim
in our darkest days,
the sky, never once lowering
as we dive into our every shadow,
the view, always changing,
the light speckling magic
where we least expect it
before it continues its dance
across the spaces
we inhabit,
between us,
passing through,
moving toward what stills us
past change,
past commotion,
in our truest space:
our beating heart.

My Street Japan. Day 36.

My Street Japan. DAY 36. Tammy T. Stone

My Street Japan. DAY 36. Tammy T. Stone

The day I’ve been waiting for … we have an appearance by the Shinkansen!

The famed bullet train might be one of Japan’s most famous cultural phenomenon known abroad (after, what, geisha? Otaku (techno or manga-related “geeks” or obsessives)? Sushi-samurai-ninjas?

They’re already making a faster one, but for now, the Shinkansen reigns for the commuter and traveller alike. And we have a line mere meters away from our home!

I was a bit wary of two things when we move in: being on top of a steak house (cockroaches) and being so close to the Shinkansen (which you can make out as a white rectangle square windows top-frame), for the noise factor. After moving in, I would forget it existed unless I was either super-on-edge and irritable, or outside staring right at it. I have no idea how this thing manages to be so quiet, but Japan, even in the cities, can be a place fun for trying to hear pins drop.

Oh – there it goes now (just barely, because I’m listening for it)! This line is from Tokyo to Nagoya. On a local train, Nagoya station is one stop away, and is actually the largest in terms of physical size, in the country, from what I understand (Kyoto’s is much more architecturally interesting, though).

Like many of Japan’s old-new/modern-ancient duos, this bullet train, bastion of modern technology, also happens to look a little bit like something out of the 60s, but I say, “vivre la contradiction” (mainly because I don’t know how to say this in Japanese).

Japan Photo Diary: 335 (travel protection friends in orange)


These guys are encased in a small shrine area on a very busy road, one of my common bike routes. The encasing is concrete on top of a concrete ground, right under a very busy Shinkansen train line. They are deity idols, “jizo”, meant to protect people on their travels. Every time I get here, the stillness and peace emanating from this little oasis makes me pause, stare at them, and say a little thank you. I love how their “outfits” match the orange of the “mikan” (tangerine) offering here.