Snapped outside Meguro Station on Friday night whilst waiting for a friend. He/she/it/phallic thingy wasn't handing anything out - no flyers, magazines, or political campaign leaflets to be seen - but was just standing there waving and posing for photographs. Well, I think I was the only loser taking pics, but what the hey, I'm a time traveller. And a superhero.
This was my second Christmas in Japan. Most of my friends have gone back to their respective countries for the silly season, so I was swinging solo. Last year, I felt pressure that I had to do something to mark a day that essentially holds no value for me. This year, I didn't feel the pressure to make it into something that doesn't exist for me. The fact that I worked yesterday and today made ignoring the whole thing easy.
We break for a week starting Friday. The New Year period is very important in Japan and is viewed as being an auspicious time. Typically, it is filled with tradition and ceremony, all deeply nuanced, and I have no hope of understanding much of it. I have, however, managed to grasp some basics that don't bode well for GG's 2007.
One is that you don't carry over debts or tasks from the old year to the new year. Feck - I'm doomed. I'm always doomed financially, so there's no digging out of that hole by next Sunday. And the tasks? How many projects did I start this year and not finish? More than you can poke the proverbial stick at. Let's see, I started: a screenplay, learning Japanese, and continued my Italian; started learning html to build websites, how to build a computer, how to install Linux for a dual boot system... And they're just to name a few in a long list. Didn't quite manage to master/complete/build/begin to speak any of them. Ha.
These unfinished tasks may well be a shroud over my karmic energy for the upcoming Year of the Boar (bore?), but I'm happy to wear it if it would get me out of the next accursed tradition:
Total spring clean of your house - in winter.
Apparently I am supposed to clean the house even more rigorously than usual -- which means I'll need to actually clean it, period. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing better than a house purified of its physical and metaphysical blemishes. I just don't want to be the one who has to freakin' do it. Stupid cleaning.
There was also something about making decorations, but I'm no Martha Stewart. I'll chuck a basket of pine cones by the front door, cross my fingers, click my heels together three times, and hope for the best. Wish me luck.
And what have you done?