Friday, December 26, 2008

The mission statement

I've wanted to start a blog - on a variety of subjects - for at least a couple of years now, but never did. It wasn't so much that I lacked subject matter (just being alive seems all the qualification one needs to take the internet by storm), or even inspiration. No, what I needed was a spark - a reason - the fizzle and death of my final excuse NOT to blog. Granted, there were plenty of those, too; what if it lacks cohesion? What if no one reads it? What if I write three entries and then get bored and give up, huh? WHAT THEN?! - but ultimately, I needed to whittle that down to one, something concrete. I settled on the title.

I needed a good title, that was what! Something with punch! Something that represented me, my style, my quirks, and then, the world, the people in it, the quirks I would observe and process and spew out the outer husk and possibly most of the nutrients before presenting, steaming hot, to my starving fans! (In my mind, there are always fans. It's a logical piece of the equation; one part inspiration + legions of fans = internet popularity! I find it best to replace the two parts perspiration with an equal amount of fat-free low-sodium vegetable broth. It's healthier and more flavorful.) The title was the thing that held me back. Once that problem was solved, there was nothing to do but log on, tune in, and start typing.

So, a few weeks ago, some friends and I headed to the Nagoya Creator's Market, a large craft fair by the city's pier. At some point, as is inevitable when you've got ADD and too many colorful bits of fabric around you, I wandered from the group, and spent some time filtering between booths full of stuff that I clearly needed but could, in hard times such as these, grudgingly live without. (Though it would certainly lower my quality of life to go on without doughnuts made of felt and a book of some amateur Japanese blog poet's musings on how life is, too, wonderful and worth living, so take that, pessimism!) And that's when I saw the frog.


He was very floral, very froggy, very much on a lily pad. He was also very half-price. The three women who made him (they emphasized that each piece was a team effort) were also very, very charming, encouraging me to keep up my Japanese studies during one of my frequent (as of late) moments of stewing over just how difficult it is to find someone that will actually talk to me. And, most importantly, he was a frog.

What really drew me, however, was the calendar that he held, which includes three years worth of pages, and the tongue-in-cheek tag line that accompanied it: "Ishi no ue ni mo sannen karendaa" (石の上にも三年カレンダー), or "A three-year calendar on a rock." Never mind that the frog was actually seated on his very own lily pad (a lily pad! And he's a frog! Squeal!); the expression was familiar to me, and it struck me as one of the cuter puns in a tragically over-punned country. The meaning of the phrase, too, is one that I rather liked at the time, for no real reason except just because. At any rate, it brought the phrase to the forefront of my mind, and as the frog, who may or may not be dead according to a certain lovable neighbor, has taken residence in my living room, each look at him was a little reminder of his association with the metaphorical vigil.

The frog's name, by the way, is Jerimiah. My little brother came up with that one. Call him Jerry.

Anyway, a few days ago, and I can't even remember why, it occurred to me that "Three Years on a Rock" would make a nifty blog title. Based on an actual saying - check. Established significance to me - check. A little bit confusing, yet relevant to a broad range of subject matter - check. Score! And so, the blog was born.

As I proudly announced the birth of TYOAR to another neighbor/friend, however, her immediate response brought a certain problem to the forefront: "Of course, now you have to stay in Japan for three years to prove the saying right." Abuh? Oh dear. That very possibility had occurred to me, but I brushed it off as paranoia. Now, though? If other people are thinking that, then it must be addressed.

Three years of doing something is, well, a long time. It's very hard to hold myself accountable. (It took over a year just to think up a blog title, people!) On the other hand... I dunno. Staying in Japan for three years is rather unlikely at this point in time, due to various other plans, but... any ideas? Three years to endure... something? Personally, I'm up for letting karma take its course and decide for me... but that's just me.

So... there you have it. Three years of... something, starting once it's decided what that something shall be. Until then, well, structure is another post, now isn't it?

No comments: