While living in Japan was one of the most incredible opportunities of my life, it also was a period of significant loneliness. I'm not new to transition, as our relocation to Japan was my ninth military move. But relocating to the other side of the world was unique on so many levels: the loss of community, a different language and culture, a significant time change that made even virtual communication with friends and family challenging, a child who stayed behind to attend college on the other side of the world; to mention a few.

Over they years, I did my best to embrace the solitude that came with living in Japan. In an almost meditative practice, I used the time to think, reflect, explore and create. As I worked my way through this time, I continued to photograph and wrote the following poem as part of the healing process.  

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.