I get the feeling that, the more I make this whole 12 Days project about myself than the anime I’m supposed to be talking about, the more depressing all of this is going to be to read. So fuck it, let’s talk more about me. How on earth would I be able to do that with Flying Witch, though? Hm.
While I don’t identify too much with the overall Japanese pastoral aesthetic, and how much it romanticizes life out in the boonies, it’s not like I can’t relate to the feeling that, sure, sometimes it’s good to unplug for a while.
I’m a Boy Scout. Technically I’m also an Eagle Scout, which I hope will do me good whenever I submit resumes and such, but what matters is that I have indeed gone out hiking and backpacking before. I’ve been to Yosemite, the Grand Tetons, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, even to the top of Mt. Whitney. I was small and fat at the time, and definitely out of shape, so it wasn’t quite that fun for me sometimes, but I imagine that whenever we’d get through a long trek or conquer some ungodly uphill climb with 15-25 pounds of gear on my back, the sweeping, gorgeous view I end up with afterwards allows me to forget all sorts of troubles. These days I haven’t had much of a chance (or the drive, to be honest) to go out and do day hikes to keep my stamina up and my interest strong in the wilderness, but if the opportunity were to arise that a small group of us would go camping, I’d be the first one to start planning.
Ever since my driver’s license got suspended thanks to the seizure I’ve been pretty much stuck at home doing homework, surfing the Internet, or playing video games when I should be doing homework. Houses are being built across the street from my neighborhood, on a lot that used to be plain agriculture, so construction companies have been going into our gas lines and jack hammering all sorts of shit since August. This means, I have to listen to this stuff every single morning that they’re working, which is basically every conceivable weekday, and it reminds me of bad things. Like how I’m trapped here until sometime in March when I get my license reinstated. Or how, despite how Far East I am in this city and thus the closer I am to the actual nature side of Ventura, these goddamn jackhammers keep reminding me that I’m just too far away from anywhere legitimately quiet.
Maybe that’s what I really want. Quiet time. Time away from family, the Internet, friends, etc. My high school English teacher would call it “unplugging”, basically meaning: cut yourself off from all means of communication and sit in some cabin in the wilderness and read a book or write a book or some weird Henry David Thoreau hipster shit that gets romanticized around these parts of America. I never really latched onto that kind of thinking when I was in high school, I always thought getting into university and having a hyper connected network of friends to help land a job straight after getting a degree was the more practical option. Now that I have neither thing, spending some time by myself sounds a lot more enticing now.
I’ve always had this feeling in the back of my head, despite my willingness to make friends and connect with people online and basically live out most of my daily life online, that what I really want most out of my life is to be left alone. By myself in some cabin in Yosemite for weeks at a time, cut off from society. I’d probably still need Wi-Fi of course, since I simply cannot imagine myself spending an entire day without having something to write about and publish on the Internet for literally anyone interested to read. And those Twitter memes aren’t going to retweet themselves. So, it’s not like I’m saying that I hate you all and I want to be isolated from society forever once I have the financial means to actually pull that off. I’m just saying, given my circumstances right now and that nagging urge I’ve been getting lately to just go off and do nothing for entire weeks at a time, maybe unplugging doesn’t sound so bad right now.
Watching Flying Witch and its slow-paced, iyashikei styled pastoral goodness reminded me of that fact. The wilderness is a wonderful place. Nature has a lot of great sounds that are actually calming and not annoying like the jackhammer relentlessly threatening to explode my entire neighborhood like it’s doing outside of my house right fucking now. Jesus Fucking God please make it stop.