We just had the wonderful experience of hosting a Japanese student for a couple of weeks. We had a wonderful time showing him our world. He was delightful and curious, loved everything about America. (Except oatmeal and tomatoes!). Many tastes were new experiences for him. He loved RootBeer, though his friends said it tasted like medicine. He took a six-pack home.
While we were taking him around and listening to
‘Oooo, it’s gootd, so goodt’a lot, it occurred to me that perhaps I was missing much of the
‘soo, soooo goodt’things in my life.
Diane Ackerman, a sensual (as in the five senses) writer who describes things in succulent language filled with imagry, talks about the dulling of the senses in the modern world. So many times we forget to just stop, take a long look at something with new eyes.
Having Kakeru here did that for me. I often wondered what he thought about things. How we appeared to him and what sorts of ideas he was getting with the ‘too much English!’ all around. We would ‘speak swlowly’ when we remembered to, but mostly we just were ourselves. Californian’s with too much to do, ‘so many parties!’ and living ‘so big!’.
When I looked at the world through his eyes, in my limited way, I saw things just a bit differently. I smiled more. I paused more. I spoke more slowly.
Maybe sometimes all we need to do in our crazy worlds is to look at things just a little differently, so we can see them differently.
He didn’t want to return. He loved it here. We loved having him. Perhaps part of that was simply his way of showing me, my world.