Sunday, November 13, 2016

Postcard from Japan: On the way home, Wed., November 9, 2016

A piece I saw in an exhibit at the
Narita, Terminal 2, Int'l
Departures area of the 90th
Anniversary exhibit of the Ikebana
Sogetsu group from Chiba Prefecture.
I woke up at 4am concerned that I wouldn't get everything into my suitcase and that I had too much carry-on bags to be able to handle it all.  I was right about the carry-on --- I lugged that through airplane terminals, planes, and more...  The flight was shorter by 4 hours or so but still difficult for me.  I think on the Japan-to-US flight I should have taken some melatonin as was suggested some where on the internet.  Maybe next time.

Close-up of the above piece.  The paper
pieces reminded me of quilling paper but
I'm not sure what it was.
The International Departures floor is huge, resembling at least one football field in size or more.  I decided that once checked in and my suitcase checked and off to the plane, I would walk.  So I walked around the perimeter and around and around this huge flat open area for as long as I could before it got close to the time I should head for my gate.

I happened upon an exhibit of the Ikebana Sogetsu group from Chiba Prefecture (in which Narita Airport is located; to the east of Tokyo).
Ikebana is the traditional art of flower arranging.  I'm not yet sure what Sogetsu refers to (the 2nd character is month, getsu) but every piece used the rows upon rows of long pointed folded papers to form designs.
I apologize for the odd photographs but all the pieces were covered with glass and the reflections made clear images impossible.
Unfortunately, only the light colored pieces came out the best as the dark ones showed only reflections of lights and me.

I watched three movies on the plane (there were about 15-20 to choose from!):  The BFG (Disney animated story about an English orphan girl in London who is abducted by a giant one night but comes upon giants 10 times his size; and meeting the Queen), The Hunt for the Wilder People (Sam Neill in New Zealand and a young Maori boy who live out in the wild rather than let the authorities return the youth to the foster system), and The Legend of Tarzan (no explanation needed except that Alexander Skarsgard who plays Tarzan is an  excellent actor--- and a hunk).

I wasn't sleeping but exhausted so I started another and another movie and finally slept for an hour, I think.  Just not long enough.

The lights of Chicago and Lake Michigan below and the moon above.  
I had to go through customs at Chicago.  Exhausted, trying to stay awake, and hauling my carry-on (laptop, 2 cameras, books, and more) in both hands plus purse on my shoulder, I made it to G11 gate (G went all the way to #99) and onto the plane.  Once in the air and sitting by the window, I realized that it was night time and Chicago lay below with yellow/orange lights brilliantly lighting up the sky with the moon above.  A black Lake Michigan lay off the left.  Finally I realized I should take a picture of my last moments before leaving that brilliance of the big city.

My friend, Julia Voake, met me at the airport.  It was so wonderful to see her!  And wonderful to get home, see my cats (took them a while to come out but once I fed them and petted them and whispered to them, they remembered me), and sleep in my own bed.  Thanks for tuning in for this long Postcard from Japan!