Of all the reasons I went to Japan when I did–because seriously, who goes on vacation just before Christmas when they’re a single parent with kids–this is probably the last thing my readers here can relate to. Yet, it’s an interesting story. An incredible story. So I’d like to share it with you, and perhaps you’ll enjoy it anyway. Perhaps it will inspire you to dream, and dream big.
Ever since I visited Japan nine years ago, I’ve wanted to go back. It’s a wonderful country, with kind, lovely, helpful people. But I wanted to go back in the spring, to see the cherry blossoms. Yet I went in December. Why?
It started out with a friend, Susie, who I met here at WordPress. (I’ll attach a link to her awesome Etsy store at the end of this post. Her jewelery is amazing.) She got tickets to a concert I would have given my right arm to see. But not only did she buy more than she needed, she won them. In a lottery. The band’s fan club does that sort of thing. To give you an idea of how incredible this is, the band in question plays to sold-out shows at Nippon Budokan, which has a seating capacity of 20,000. They played there yesterday. But the venue my friend got the tickets to? 2400 standing on the floor. And my ticket was number 252… almost within the first ten percent of the people to be let in. More about that later.
So the next thing was, whether or not to accept the ticket. Could I find someone to look after my kids? Their dad was busy with work – it’s his busiest time of year. No help there. Except I have a best friend who agreed to look after them. Yes. I could go. The flight was reasonably priced and, when I looked for places to stay I found some excellent deals for far less, in fact, than anywhere I could hope to stay on vacation in my own country. I was going to Japan to see my favourite band. It was now or never. Did I mention it was the final concert of the tour I really wanted to see?
Fast forward to the day before the concert. I was going to meet Susie the day of, but I decided to pop by the venue one day in advance when she planned to pick up our tickets. Good thing I did – she was detained on the day of the concert and I would have waited to see her and not made it to the front of the line where, as it turned out, I met a gal from Portugal who spoke English, who told me I needed 500 yen in cash to get in the door, even with my ticket. Can you imagine? Had I not known, I might have spent thousands of dollars to go to a concert and not gotten in for the sake of $5. So, with my 500 yen at the ready, I had to figure out when my number was being called. It was all in Japanese… except my new Portuguese friend introduced me to a lady who spoke both English and Japanese fluently… who just happened to hold ticket number 251… the one before mine. I followed her in. I’m shaking, writing this.
So I got in, as up front as I wanted to be, somewhere in the middle where I could see the lead singer – the one I’d come all that way to see.
Here’s my picture, taken by the lead guitarist.
As I watched this awesome concert that I’d been so blessed with being able to attend, that so many stars had fallen into place for me to be in that spot, at that moment in time, I remember thinking to myself how important it was to fully be in that moment. The music, the crowd, the incredible … moment!
I walked back to my hotel that night feeling truly truly blessed.
It was a bittersweet walk. Alone, I felt a little lost. My real reason for being so far away from home was over and I still had a couple of days left to go. I almost felt as though I had nothing left to look forward to. But.
When I got back to the hotel that night I went online to find out the concert had been taped, which is why I’m writing this today. It was played back to me, live on a streaming website, this morning. I had the chance to relive that wonderful moment! How often does that happen?
Here’s a tiny little excerpt of the concert. I know you can’t possibly understand most of what’s being sung, nor may you know who these people are on stage. But I was there. During this song, the lead singer, Atsushi Sakurai, made eye contact with me. This alone means the world to me. He is my muse – the one who has lead me through my novel and kept me going. He is my inspiration, pure and simple.
(Click on the word “Post.” One of those hands in the air is mine.)
You may not understand, but perhaps it will inspire you to hope that one day all your stars may align as mine did two and a half short weeks ago in Tokyo, Japan.
Susie’s jewelery! https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/birdicatt (I didn’t realize her shop was closed up until she gets back – please be sure to visit her after January 9th!)