spend the closing days of the year on cleaning frantically

Japanese people spend New Year’s Eve cleaning. Basically, they spend the closing days of the year on cleaning frantically because somehow they need to clean up the house thoroughly and wash the car before the new year comes. The cleaning reaches the climax on New Year’s Eve. Mothers also need to prepare the special meal for New Year’s. The pressure that everything has to be done by New Year makes them prickly all day. They often take it out to someone in their families. So, New Year’s Eve is a day of cleaning and fighting in Japan. I recall few New Year’s Eves in my childhood that I managed to escape my mother’s scolding. I sincerely wanted to get rid of that custom, and have firmly decided not to clean up on New Year’s Eve. Even so, every year I find myself cleaning up somewhere in my apartment in spite of myself. I did it today, too. Does DNA work in this act…?

When change happens, many things come to an end simultaneously.

The finals of the Japanese ‘manzai’ tournament was held yesterday. ‘Manzai’ is one of Japanese comedy styles, which is a stand-up comedy by two or more comedians as a team. The tournament for both professionals and amateurs is held annually and decides the best comedy team in Japan. The finals is broadcast live nationwide and the winner takes one hundred thousand dollars. It’s a big annual event for me, as I adore Japanese comedians. I wait for this event for the whole year like Christmas, wondering who will win each year. Prior to this year’s finals though, I heard the shocking news. The tournament would be discontinued and it was going to be the last one this year. To me, it’s like Super Bowl isn’t held anymore. They cooked up various reasons for the termination but it’s obviously due to lack of sponsorship and the ratings. I can’t believe that more people watched a figure skating this year that was aired on a different channel. While watching the last ‘manzai’ competition on TV, clenching my hands for excitement as usual, I knew how much I would miss this event. Now, my favorite comedy tournament is over, so is Christmas. Our new song is completed and come new year, the move to my new place will be in full swing. When change happens, many things come to an end simultaneously. It’s a little sad, but that’s what moving forward is all about…

one of the saddest sights

I usually get prepared foods at half price at a supermarket after they give up on selling them at the list prices as the store’s closing time draws near. I know very well the exact times when they put half-off stickers on the leftover items for several supermarkets near my apartment. As I’ve been shopping this way for years, some of the shoppers have become familiar to me. At several different supermarkets, the people jostling for half-off items are usually the same line-up, including me. They sometimes get acquainted with each other and exchange information. Although I am, without doubt, one of them, I don’t feel like joining the half-off circle. When I find familiar faces, I always pretend not to notice and try to look away from them. It seems my last pride while enjoying shopping at half price more than anybody else. I saw one of familiar half-off shoppers at a supermarket the other day. She’s the one I see almost every time I shop during the half-off time. That evening, she was returning some half-off items to the shelf, looking into her wallet carefully. I thought I saw what I should not see because it was one of the saddest sights to me that someone was calculating the rest of money for what they wanted to buy. As soon as she left the shelf though, I picked the items she had unwillingly returned into my basket, as they were goodies. While buying them were completely legal and nothing unethical, I couldn’t help feeling guilty somehow…

I was completely awed and fearful.

I saw God for the first time in my dream the other day. I was preparing for work in my room. I looked out the window and noticed three small dots in the cloudy sky. While I was figuring out whether they were aircraft or UFOs, the three black dots were getting bigger and bigger as they were coming closer. They were flying with tremendous speed toward my window and I recognized each dot was in the shape of a human. The two of them were leading the way for the third one that was flying a little behind them. I was extremely frightened and covered my eyes. Even so, I felt an urge to see them and opened my eyes. They were hovering right in front of the window. As soon as I saw them, I clearly understood, or was told somehow, that the two human-shaped things at the front were angels and the also human-shaped one in the middle behind was God. In this dream, God was Jesus at the same time. Their looks were so different from my imagination. None of them had wings nor was wearing white. All of them were quite young with black hair, wearing black hooded coats. They were flying just by themselves, with their arms lightly forward and their knees slightly bent. I was completely awed and fearful. God/Jesus was looking straight into my eyes with a serious gaze while hovering. Then, He turned and flew away with His angels high up in the sky. When they disappeared, my mother came into my room. I told her what had just happened but she showed no interest. Instead, she asked me to let her hear our new song. The moment I pushed a play button, I woke up. Later on the same day, totally unexpectedly, our new song had been finished at long last.