Here, we live close to the sea. The wide river leading to the Sea of Genkai is meters from our door. We cycle to the coast to watch the sea change. Our river swells, breathes deep, and long. When the rain comes, our house on stilts feels safe, as the water runs off the red roof, down the tissue thin glass. The feeling of missing home can often swell in me, just as the river rises. I meander to the edge of land, feet in sea, and look west, or north, to wherever land doesn't lock me and there I deposit one more salty tear.
When the sea seems too dramatic, remote and bereft I go instead to Ohori Koen. A park I can peddle to in nine minutes. There are joggers, dog walkers, loners that all circumnavigate the black pond. I walk or watch. The bobbing cluster of swan boats carry me to Hastings, to Sussex, to where my right arm is. Lone musicians practice chords on the banks, under the trees. Tiny dogs are indiscriminate in their affection towards strangers. Jazz lulls the post work workers to sleep, coffee still in hand. I go there to feel like a cog, a moving part, an animated element of this working city. A red headed, blue eyed element, desperate to belong.