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Tokyo Christmas and New Year - Christmas Day / 25 December 2014

Back to work for most people, the day starts with the delivery of some internet purchases; a modern version of Santa?  Merry Christmas.


The light here is amazing! I have a suddenly refreshed insight into the utter necessity of Nordic Juletide festivities. Enduring the darkness of winter, the reemergence of the sun needs celebrating and the possibility of new light-provoked shoots and leaves needs every encouragement it can get.
Here in Tokyo it might be cold, but light-dependant life continues undisturbed. Plants that would otherwise shrivel and die in the cold, seem unaffected. Red pointsetias, Christmas stars, have decorated the windy streets of a shopping complex, spider plants dangle their offspring over chilly pavements and walkways and long green leaves of narcissus flicker in the wind. Camellias blossom red and white in generous profusion.


Things I think I know about plants now sprout question marks. Things I think I know about equality, about living, shift subtly like the colours in a kaleidoscope, make new patterns. The burden of disability that in my daily life I unquestioningly take on my shoulders, melts away.
In holiday mode I no longer suffer society's pressures and condemnations. In gaijin mode there is such freedom to be me.


Sumida shimmers fathomless 
blue-gold reflections, shivers
in her reptile skin as sky fades
and night blackens her winter green.
Still pockets of ginkgo gold float
undecided hearts on backwater
eddies; skyscraper twins ripple
in her tidal patterns as Tokyo 
lights adore mirrored images
born to and from the sea in the
homeopathic memory
of water. Has she forgotten
the dreams I whisper over her
restlessness? Does she remember
the hope I carry across the world?