Image © Reylia Slaby. Image may not be used or revised without permission.
At the moment I’m composing this post while being stuffed in a train, limbs awkwardly pressing against my fellow stranger’s. I’m trying my best to gracefully accept this packed, crowded stereotype that Tokyo is well known for.
In review of my day, I feel a bit disappointed that I didn’t try harder to observe my surroundings and find more beautiful things. Granted I didn’t have much time to just sit and relax, but I definitely could have put out more effort.
I do feel better knowing that I’m going to be here a week, instead of my regular go in and go out on the same day trips, which is because I love Home too much to stay away from it for too long. I am flowing at a better pace, and don’t feel so overwhelmed or constricted by time. But at the same time, it is still Tokyo. I have this odd sense of being in a different country when I’m here, and makes me feel very far from home.
But my sister is here. I don’t get to see Betsie so much because she works long hours at night, but it is indeed very pleasant being back with her. Tonight we went to a restaurant, and I had her hold a magnifying glass that was hanging from the ceiling in front of an old-fashioned light. It revived an old idea that I had for a piece. So perhaps this singular moment of interest in this hanging object will burrow it’s way to a future image. We shall see.
I’ve been overthinking lately. Unfortunately my mind has, in a way, been devouring itself. Starting one thing, stopping it, then starting anew at something else. Why must I let myself spiral into this? Part of me is thinking that perhaps in a way my stress and sadness fuels my joy in some way. That this discomfort is my body and mind’s way of communicating to me that there is something else out there. That I have yet to break out of my shell, my mold, this skin that I have to deal with…
I shake with fear of this. Thinking about having to extend, bend and expand myself leaves me with a nauseous feeling. It is me being a coward. Because while I don’t fear growth, I fear mistakes. And I know my desire of perfection will be my main hinderance. I make an attempt to shout to the universe, to tell me what is best, only to realize that I stand alone in a dark, wet cave, and the only sounds I hear are the echoes of my own voices against it’s rocky walls. Yes, voices; I have more than one.
I beg myself to just continue, to not get distracted by feelings that will be long-gone by next week. To just continue.
the title is “Un”.
the box, the box.
who opened you?
not I, said the heart.
nor I, cried the mind.
for the keeper of the key
had long since died.
the box, the box.
where feelings are stored.
who opened you?
you had vowed,
that you would never be
I’m feeling something new tonight. Disappointment never felt this sweet before. I realized that the more I embrace this feeling, the more it fades. It’s unfortunate that the same applies to people.
Self Portraits&poem by Reylia Slaby
When I was a little girl, I loved to spend time staring at my own reflection. I remember that I did this quite often until around the age of twelve. Twelve was when I developed a nasty disease called insecurity, and looking at myself began to produce negative feelings. Prior to that, I was fascinated with looking at myself, and I did it often. I have old pictures that my parents took of myself staring in the mirror. I believe it was separate from any narcissism. All the feelings I remember having was just a simple curiosity and wonder of the body I was living in. I even remember inviting a friend to stare with me once, but he didn’t understand why I found looking into a mirror of any interest. I especially loved staring into my reflection from a car window during a nighttime drive. My face would be layered with the stars, the moon, and the sky, and I felt that in this way I was part of them. I believed that my dim reflection was not only the little me then, but me in the future. At eight years old I believed I knew what I looked like at twenty. I read it in the subtle lines of my face. I felt it as I studied myself breathe. I saw hints of my future in the depths of my eyes.
I’ve gotten a bit older, and at 22 I’ve found that this little habit has made it’s way back in my life a bit. A lot of insecurities regarding my physical appearance have been washed away, and now I find myself fascinated again with looking.
The Greyhound from L.A to San Francisco last month was a beautiful and exhausting 10 hours. Most passengers were sleeping for a majority of the trip, so they missed out on the beauty part of it. As I looked out the window, one thought was constant. It was this: “America is truly beautiful”.