Archive for March, 2009

A Very Long Pause, or Something Like the End

IT’S COME TO THIS. After an agonizing amount of soul-searching, mental wrangling and internal debate, it appears The Daily Transit has reached its Seattle P-I moment. I’ve run this blog for more than two years and poured much into it — and received much in return, in the form of comments, insights and new friends. But you handful of readers who have continued to stay close have surely noticed the posting become thinner and thinner still.

Since taking a full-time job last June I’ve been stretched between the office, the blog, a pile of half-baked projects and something like a social life. Try as I might to accomplish all that I jot down in my planner, I am regularly and exhaustingly reminded of a well-worn truth: there are only 24 hours in a day. Thus, if I hope to focus and bring to completion any of my other endeavours, something must give. As much as I would prefer to ax the desk job, unfortunately TDT can’t put rice in my bowl or coffee in my cup.

There are two paths ahead. One is that in the semi-near future, this blog will be reborn in a new, more focused format; probably with a name that lets me off the “daily” hook. (I’m the kind of person who needs to stew and digest before scratching out a narrative worth reading.) The other is that this is simply the end. I look forward to devoting more time to writing longer, in-depth pieces to hopefully submit for publication elsewhere, and to journaling my observations in a way more honest and personal than is fit for a platform such as this. I’m also hoping to spend my hours outside the office switching off, going analog and restoring a skill I fear my whole generation is losing — handwriting.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that I will vanish from the Internet entirely. For those interested, I will still be micro-blogging on twitter and hopefully posting even more (organized and edited) photos to flickr. My sincere thanks go to everyone who has made writing here an even more enriching experience. Please stay in touch, and safe travels.


Ben Hancock (The Daily Transit)

Days 6 & 7: Where the Yodo Meets the Endless Ocean


HUNDREDS OF FEET ABOVE Osaka’s streaming avenues, Janice and I are sharing a hot dog. Or some form of one. The sausage has been tucked delicately into not a bun, but an undersized French roll that leaves the dog sticking out the ends. Still, it satisfies, and we watch the blinking lights of planes arriving and vanishing above Kansai International as we dip into a conversation about the things we’ve lost.

The last six months have been taxing; an unconventional start to married life. The adjustment has wrung us of creative energies, and so much of what we sought in coming to this side of the world seems to have thus far escaped us. Weekends that could have been better spent traveling were frittered away on errands. Regimens designed to help us study language, write daily or cook more often were abandoned. Our friends have spread diasporic across North America, falling out of touch across an ocean, and we’ve yet to make any solid acquaintances.

We see the stage and the countdown clock ticking towards midnight. Perhaps it’s the altitude, but after several days of rest and exploration we feel ourselves sobering, realigning. The things that matter float to the surface as our minds settle in quietude. We talk now about what we want; what we promise we will do. And a New Year looms, almost literally, on the horizon. A half-rotation of the earth and Japan will again greet the sun.

Continue reading ‘Days 6 & 7: Where the Yodo Meets the Endless Ocean’

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