While living in Japan has been one of the most incredible opportunities of my life, it also has been a period of significant loneliness. I'm not new to relocation; this is my ninth military transfer. But moving to Japan was unique on so many levels. The loss of community. A different language and culture. A significant time change that makes even virtual communication with friends and family challenging. A child who stayed behind to attend college on the other side of the world.

Over the past few years, I have done my best to embrace this solitude. In an almost meditative practice, I have used this time to think, reflect, explore and create. 

As I worked my way through these feelings of loneliness, I wrote as part of the process and this poem evolved.  

A gaping hole, 
where community once filled.
In a place that I feel
I do not fully belong.

A fluster of loneliness.
Confusion at the crossroads.
A search for meaning
and understanding.

Inward I retreat.
Focused on the quietude.
Unexpected reflection
and contemplation.

Allowing the process.
Making progress on the path.
Slowly, step-by-step.
Releasing from the constraints.

In silence.
The fluttering of breath.
Welcoming and connecting.
Without resistance.

An enlightenment.
New awareness.
Alive to the possibilities.
I am found.